Introduction The peculiar course of the gacaca process introduced in Rwandan society to deal with the legacy of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi has been thoroughly examined in book-length scholarly studies ( Clark, 2010 ; Ingelaere, 2016 ; Chakravarty, 2015 ; Doughty, 2016 ; Longman, 2017 ). 1 Not only observations of trial proceedings but also survey results and popular narratives collected during fieldwork indicate that testimonial activity – both confessions but especially accusations – was the cornerstone of the gacaca system ( Penal Reform
Around 800,000 1 people were killed in Rwanda between 6 April 1994, when President Juvenal Habyarimana was assassinated, and 18 July 1994, when the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) declared victory and formed a new government. Some 10,000–50,000 Hutu supporters of opposition parties were targeted, but the vast majority of those killed were civilians from the minority Tutsi community. The perpetrators
All MSF staff working in Rwanda when President Habyarimana was assassinated on 6 April 1994 had left the country by 24 April 1994. Before deciding to pull out, some teams tried to provide medical care to the wounded. The Butare team, the last to go, left via Burundi after the killing of their patients and some Rwandan staff members. Burundian refugee camps, camps for Rwandan displaced
Introduction Beginning in 1990, the small Central African country of Rwanda was shaken by a pro-democracy movement and a rebel invasion, led by exiled members of the minority Tutsi ethnic group. The government responded to the dual pressures of protest and war by offering political reforms while simultaneously seeking to regain popularity with the members of the majority Hutu group by stirring up anti-Tutsi ethnic sentiments. Both a number of new domestic human rights groups and international human rights organisations documented the regime’s repression of
Representations of Rwanda have been shaped by the display of bodies and bones at Tutsi genocide memorial sites. This phenomenon is most often only studied from the perspective of moral dimensions. This article aims in contrast to cover the issues related to the treatment of human remains in Rwanda for commemorative purposes from a historical perspective. To this end, it is based on the archives of the commissions in charge of genocide memory in Rwanda, as well as interviews with key memorial actors. This study shows the evolution of memorial practices since 1994 and the hypermateriality of bodies in their use as symbols, as well as their demobilisation for the purposes of reconciliation policies.
This article describes the brutalisation of the bodies of Tutsi and Jewish victims in 1994 and during the Second World War, respectively, and contrasts the procedures adopted by killers to understand what these deadly practices say about the imaginaries at work in Rwanda and Poland. Dealing with the infernalisation of the body, which eventually becomes a form of physical control, this comparative work examines the development of groups and communities of killers in their particular social and historical context. Different sources are used, such as academic works, reports from victims organisations and non-governmental organisations, books, testimonies and film documentaries.
When hundreds of thousands of Rwandan refugees began flooding into Tanzania and Zaire in the spring and summer of 1994, MSF’s management and field teams had two reasons to be concerned. Mortality rates in the vast camps set up in Tanzania and then Zaire were indeed catastrophically high at first. Before April 1994, it had taken several months for humanitarian organisations
In October 1982, MSF set up operations for the first time in Rwanda after Ugandan President Milton Obote expelled 40,000 Kinyarwanda speakers (Hutus and Tutsis) deemed hostile to the government. 1 Rwanda called them ‘Kinyarwanda-speaking Ugandans’ and opposed their entry into its territory. 2 At the request of the UNHCR, MSF began providing in cooperation with the
All of the authors contributing to this issue of Journal of Humanitarian Affairs (JHA) agreed to write articles elaborating on the presentations they gave at the international conference hosted by FMSH (Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme) and MSF-CRASH (Médecins Sans Frontières – Centre de Réflexion sur l’Action et les Savoirs Humanitaires) on 20–22 March 2019 at the Hôtel de Lauzun in Paris. The title of the conference was ‘Extreme violence: investigate, rescue, judge. Syria, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo’. This issue also includes a recent text
The after-effects of mass atrocity – bodies and bones – struggle to be defined within memorial projects. This article seeks to examine the politics at play in displaying dead bodies to interrogate the role of materiality in efforts to memorialise and raise awareness about on-going violences. It focusses on the nexus between evidence, dignity, humanity and memory to explore bone display in Rwanda. It then takes up two artistic projects that play on the materiality of human remains after atrocity: the art of Carl Michael von Hausswolff, who took ashes from an urn at the Majdanek concentration camp and used them as the material for his painting, and the One Million Bones Project, an installation that exhibits ceramic bones to raise awareness about global violence. In thinking about the intersections between human biomatter, art and politics, the article seeks to raise questions about both production and consumption: how bones and ashes of the dead are produced, and how they are consumed by viewers when placed on display in a variety of ways.