THINKING ABOUT GENOCIDE
1. The lower estimate comes from the UN Commission of Experts. The figure of a million is often heard of in the media and in RPF statements. Gérard Prunier gave the figure as “between 800,000 and 850,000” or roughly 11 percent of the population in his 1995 book. The 1997 multinational, multidonor evaluation team scaled the numbers down, writing that “an estimated five to eight hundred thousand” were killed “as a result of civil war and genocide” over three months in 1994. The final estimate has come from the 1999 book jointly published by Human Rights Watch and Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme. The book opens with the lower estimate: “In the 13 weeks after April 6, 1994, at least half a million people perished in the Rwandan genocide.” However, it then goes on to cite the demographer William Seltzer’s estimate of 657,000 dead, a figure extrapolated from 1991 census data, which in turn are accepted as problematic by some authorities. See “UN Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 935 (1994) on Rwanda,” Final Report, Geneva, 25 November 1994 (check); Gérard Prunier,The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide, 1959–1994 (London: Hurst & Co., 1995), p. 265; Tor Sellstom and Lennart Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience, Study 1, Historical Perspective: Some Explanatory Factors(Uppsala, Sweden: The Nordic Africa Institute, 1997), p. 1; Human Rights Watch and Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme, “Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda” (London and New York: Human Rights Watch; and Paris: Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme, 1999), pp. 1 and 15.
2. Many Jewish scholars here insisted that it was the Nazi intention to eliminate Jews as a people—and not the numbers of Jews killed—that marked the Holocaust as different from any other mass killing in history. As we shall see, others, like Hannah Arendt, disagreed and pointed out that genocide too has a history. Michael R. Marrus, The Holocaust in History (New York: Meridian Penguin, 1987), pp. 24–28.
3. Patrick Mazimpaka, Interview, Kigali, 11 July 1997.
4. Opening speech by H. E. Pasteur Bizimungu, president of the Republic of Rwanda, International Conference on Genocide, Impunity and Accountability, Kigali, 1–5 November, 1995, mimeo, pp. 1–2, 3.
5. See, for example, the articles submitted at the CODESRIA conference on the Rwandan genocide, held in Arusha in March 1995, and the articles in the special edition on the Rwandan genocide in the official magazine of the African Studies Association of USA, Issues 23/2 (1995).
6. Numbers, chapter 31:9–10, Old Testament. I am indebted to Ian Shapiro for guiding me to the Old Testament.
7. For details, see Jan-Bart Gewald, Herero Heroes: A Socio-Political History of the Herero of Namibia, 1890–1923 (Oxford: James Currey, 1999) chapters 5 and 6, pp. 141–230; Tilman Dedering, “ ‘A Certain Rigorous Treatment of all Parts of the Nation’: The Annihilation of the Herero in German South West Africa, 1904,” in Mark Levene and Penny Roberts, The Massacre in History (New York: Berghahn Books, 1999), pp. 204–222; Regina Jere-Malanda, “The Tribe Germany Wants to Forget,” New African (London), no. 383 (March 2000): 16–21; Horst Drechsler, “Let Us Die Fighting”: The Struggle of the Herero and the Nama against German Imperialism (1884—1915) (London: Zed Press, 1980).
8. Cited in Jan-Bart Gewald, Herero Heroes: A Socio-Political History of the Herero of Namibia, 1890–1923 (Oxford: James Currey, 1999), p. 173.
9. Jan Cloete, who had acted as a guide for the Germans, deposed the following oath: “I was present when the Herero were defeated in a battle at Hamakiri in the vicinity of Waterberg. After the battle all men, women and children who fell into German hands, wounded or otherwise, were mercilessly put to death. Then the Germans set off in pursuit of the rest, and all those found by the wayside and in the sandveld were shot down and bayoneted to death. The mass of the Herero men were unarmed and thus unable to offer resistance. They were just trying to get away with their cattle.” Drechsler, “Let Us Die Fighting,” p. 157.
10. Dedering, “ ‘A Certain Rigorous Treatment,’ ” p. 213.
11. Cited in Gewald, Herero Heroes, p. 174.
12. Later relieved of his duties because he failed to defeat the Herero militarily, Governor Leutwein wrote: “I do not concur with those fanatics who want to see the Herero destroyed altogether. Apart from the fact that a people of 60,000 to 70,000 is not easy to annihilate, I would consider such a move a grave mistake from an economic point of view. We need the Herero as cattle breeders, though on a small scale, and especially as labourers. It will be quite sufficient if they are politically dead.” Cited in Gewald, Herero Heroes, p. 169.
13. Dedering, “ ‘A Certain Rigorous Treatment,’ ” p. 213.
14. Jere-Malanda, “The Tribe Germany Wants to Forget,” p. 20.
15. Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (London: Penguin, 1967), p. 33.
16. Ibid., p. 66.
17. Ibid., p. 68.
18. Ibid., p. 73.
19. A notable exception is Leo Kuper, The Pity of It All: Polarization of Racial and Ethnic Relations (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1977).
DEFINING THE CRISIS OF POSTCOLONIAL CITIZENSHIP
1. The best-known theorist of underdevelopment in Africa was Samir Amin. See Samir Amin, Accumulation on a World Scale (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1974).
2. Immanuel Wallerstein, “The Uses of Racism,” London Review of Books 22, no. 10 (18 May 2000): 11–14.
3. See, for example, Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996).
4. “The political,” writes Carl Schmitt, “can derive its energy from the most varied human endeavours, from the religious, economic, moral, and other antitheses.” Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, trans. and with an introduction by George Schwab (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), p. 38.
5. Among the most suggestive earlier works are Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, and Mao Tse-tung, “Analysis of the Classes in Chinese Society,” in Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, vol. 1 (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 1967). Carl Schmitt writes: “The specific political distinction to which political actions and motives can be reduced is that between friend and enemy” (p. 26), and then, “For as long as a people exists in the political sphere, this people must … determine by itself the distinction of friend and enemy” (p. 49). Mao begins his essay: “Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? This is a question of the first importance for the revolution” (p. 13). For some of the more recent works that grapple with the question of political identity, see Robert Meister, Political Identity: Thinking through Marx (New York: Blackwell, 1991); Ernesto Laclau, The Making of Political Identities (London: Verso, 1994); Aletta J. Norval, The Deconstructing Apartheid Discourse (New York: Verso, 1996); Partha Chatterjee, “Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: The Nation and Its Fragments” and “A Possible India,” in The Partha Chatterjee Omnibus(Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999); and David Scott, Refashioning Futures (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998).
6. For the left tendency in African Studies, see Issa Shivji, Silent Class Struggle and Class Struggles in Tanzania (Dar-es-Salaam: Tanzania Publishing House, 1973 and 1976); Colin Leys, Under-development in Kenya (London: Heinemann, 1974); Mahmood Mamdani, Politics and Class Formation in Uganda (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1976); Archie Mafeje, “The Ideology of Tribalism,” Journal of Modern African Studies 9, no. 2 (1971).
7. The entire literature on “tribalism” and “ethnicity” in Africa shared the presumption that “tribe” was a cultural identity that got translated into a political identity. For a more recent statement that Africa’s political problems stem from the late-nineteenth-century partition that drew state boundaries cutting across “natural” ethnic communities, thereby making it difficult to create “nation-states” in Africa, see Basil Davidson, The Black Man’s Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State (New York: Times Books, 1992).
8. Joseph Stalin, “Marxism and the National Question” (1913), in The Essential Stalin, ed. Bruce Franklin (London: Croom Helm, 1973).
9. For a theoretical discussion on the modern state, law and rights, see G.F.W. Hegel, The Philosophy of Right (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1996).
10. See Mahmood Mamdani, Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).
11. No doubt, the terms of that incorporation were never a given and always had to be fought for. Nonetheless, even where the “civilized” minority successfully won rights, up to self-determination, the resulting civil society was demarcated racially, as in every settler colony that became independent.
12. Mahmood Mamdani, “When Does a Settler Become a Native? Reflections on the Colonial Roots of Citizenship in Equatorial and South Africa,” Inaugural Lecture, University of Cape Town, New Series No. 208, 13 May 1998.
13. Nyerere was joined by Abdul Rehman Babu, a Zanzibari “Arab” who broke away from the party of Arab privilege, the Zanzibar Nationalist Party, to form Umma, an “Afro-Arab” party pledged to fighting privilege in all its forms. For anyone probing why postrevolutionary Zanzibar has been able to avoid the tragic fate of postrevolutionary Rwanda, a fruitful beginning would be to examine the contribution of the two political leaders, Nyerere and Babu. For an appreciation of Babu, see Mahmood Mamdani, “Babu: A Personal Tribute,” Review of African Political Economy(London), no. 19 (1996).
14. A later regional contrast to Hutu Power was the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa; the latter stretched the notion of “black” to include all those oppressed by apartheid, whereas the former made a bid for power in the name of natives only.
15. Literally referring to the right of the indigenous majority. I am thankful to David Himbara for help with translation of the term.
THE ORIGINS OF HUTU AND TUTSI
1. Dominique Franche, “There’s Only One Ethnic Group in Rwanda: Rwandan,” Le Monde Diplomatique/Guardian Weekly, 24 November 1996, p. 14.
2. Jean Hiernaux, The People of Africa (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1974), p. 60.
3. Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (Dar-es-Salaam: Tanzania Publishing House, 1971), p. 138.
4. Captain Eugene M. Haguma, “The Rwandese Crisis: A Political Economy of Genocide,” Symposium on Interface, Dialogue and Co-Operation between Government and NGO’s for Popular Participation in National Reconstruction, Conflict and Psycho-social Trauma Management, organized jointly by Africa Humanitarian Action and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Kigali, 28 February 1995, mimeo, p. 4.
5. Franche, “There’s Only One Ethnic Group in Rwanda,” p. 14. It is difficult to ignore that Dominique Franche argues on the basis of a historical analogy, and not a historical analysis. True, a difference in physique does not necessarily prove a difference in ancestry. Yet, it remains equally true that a difference in physique can provide a clue to different histories.
6. Laurent Excoffier, Beatrice Pellegrini, Alicia Sanchez-Mazas, Christian Simon, and André Langaney, “Genetics and History of Sub-Saharan Africa,” Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 30 (1987): 151–194, see p. 183.
7. Cited in Scott Grosse, “The Roots of Conflict and State Failure in Rwanda: The Political Exacerbation of Social Cleavages in a Context of Growing Resource Scarcity,” School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, mimeo, 15 November 1994.
8. Numerous studies in industrialized countries have established that this ability in adults is strictly inherited and is not influenced by current or even recent milk consumption practices. Certain global populations, such as those in northwestern Europe or the Sahara and the Arabian peninsula, show a high ability to digest lactose. The hypothesis that accounts for this difference suggests that this characteristic favored reproductive survival of pastoral populations living in harsh desert environments. In other words, where there is an absence of vegetation during much of the year, the complete digestion of lactose makes more of the milk nutrients available for absorption. Only a limited number of groups in Africa are said to possess such an ability in substantial numbers. These groups include the Beja of eastern Sudan, the Tuareg and the Fulani of West Africa, and the Tutsi of Rwanda and Burundi. Summing up the available literature, Scott Grosse argues that one relevant thread links them together: their ancestors were pastoralists “for probably thousands of years,” for “millennia were needed for the natural selection process to produce a high frequency of lactose persistence under these conditions.” The relevant literature includes G. Flatz, “Genetics of Lactose Digestion in Humans,” Advances in Human Genetics 1 (1987): 1–77; R.A.L. Bayoumi, N. Saha, A. S. Salih, A. E. Bekkar, and G. Flatz, “Distribution of the Lactose Phenotype in the Population of the Democratic Republic of the Sudan,” Human Genetics 57 (1981): 279–281; R.A.L. Bayoumi, S. D. Flatz, W. Kuhnow, and G. Flatz, “Beja and Nilotes: Nomadic Pastoralist Groups in the Sudan with Opposite Distributions of the Adult Lactose Phenotypes,” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 58 (1982): 173–178; and D. Brasseur, Goyens, and H. L. Vis, “Some Aspects of Protein-Energy Malnutrition in the Highlands of Central Africa,” in R. E. Eeckels, O. Ransome-Kuti, and C. C. Kroonenberg, eds., Child Health in the Tropics (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1985), pp. 167–178; and Grosse, “The Roots of Conflict and State Failure in Rwanda.”
9. Flatz, “Genetics of Lactose Digestion in Humans.”
10. Archie Mafeje, The Theory and Ethnography of African Social Formations: The Case of the Intralacustrine Kingdoms (Dakar: CODESRIA, 1991), pp. 19, 26, 21, 20.
11. C. Wrigley did, however, dismiss it as outright fiction. To accept that there were Chwezi kings in a fifteenth-century kingdom in the intralacustrine region, because myth and cult claim so, would be, he argued, tantamount to believing that Odin and Freya were kings of ancient Sweden because the Ynglinga Saga says so. Writing the chapter on the Great Lakes Region from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries, the Kenyan historian Bethwell Ogot disagreed: “In this chapter, we accept the historicity of the Bachwezi. We therefore proceed to discuss the major developments which took place in the Kitara complex from 1350 to 1500 as part of East African history, and not as an aspect of East African mythology.” See C. Wrigley, “Some Thoughts on the Bachwezi,” Uganda Journal22, no. 1 (1958): 11–21; B. A. Ogot, “The Great Lakes Region,” in UNESCO General History of Africa, vol. 4, D. T. Niane (London: Heinemann, 1984), p. 503.
13. “In the development of a number of body proportions with age, which appears to be largely determined by heredity, the Tutsi are more different from Europeans than the Hutu,” Hiernaux wrote in La Croissance des Ecoliers Rwandais (Brussels: Académie Royale des Sciences d’Outre-Mer, 1965).
14. Hiernaux, The People of Africa, pp. 62, 81, 82–83.
15. Hiernaux, “Heredity and Environment: Their Influence on Human Morphology. A Comparison of Two Independent Lines of Study,” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 21 (1963): 579–590. All other quotes from Hiernaux, The People of Africa.
16. Disputing the assumptions of “a dramatic turning-point” implied in earlier explanations of migrations following the spread of the agricultural revolution—either as a result of a population explosion (Merrick Posnansky) or of conquest (C. C. Wrigley)—the body of the article concluded: “The expansion of the Bantu did not assume the dimensions of an exodus from one area to another. It was most probably a movement of small numbers of people from one village to the next and sometimes back again, a process that was repeated over and over again until successive generations reached all parts of sub-equatorial Africa, perhaps over the space of a thousand or more years. It should not be imagined that the Bantu migrations took the form of a linear progression, unidirectional, in a perpetual forward movement. On the contrary, over thousands of years, movements must have occurred in all directions.” See S. L. Lwanga-Lunyigo and J. Vansina, “The Bantu-Speaking Peoples and Their Expansion,” in UNESCO General History of Africa, vol. 3, ed. M. El Fasi (Oxford: Heinemann, 1988), p. 151.
17. Around that same time (1987), the prevailing academic view was put forth in a survey article on “Genetics and History in Sub-Saharan Africa”: “Bantu-speaking populations, extending from sub-Saharan Central Africa to southern Africa, appear genetically quite homogeneous. This fact suggests that their expansion was quite recent and rapid, as is suggested by linguists. Bantu speakers are often found genetically close to western Africans. This is in concordance with their linguistic affiliation and the assumed Bantu homeland located on the Nigeria/Cameroon border (Greenberg, 1964).” See Lwanga-Lunyigo and Vansina, “The Bantu-Speaking Peoples and Their Expansion,” p. 161 for the appended note; Excoffier et al., “Genetics and History of Sub-Saharan Africa,” p. 182.
18. J. K. Rennie, “The Precolonial Kingdom of Rwanda: A Reinterpretation,” Transafrican Journal of History 2, no. 2 (1972): 15, 24–25.
19. “Instead of having a single exotic origin, pastoralism had many different centers of innovation, which built on a more general fund of pastoral knowledge innovated by the earliest groups of Bantu speakers to settle in the area, groups that had enjoyed long-term contacts with non-Bantu herders. There were correlates to development of cattle-as-wealth in the banana gardens of Buganda and Buhaya.” See David Lee Schoenbrun, A Green Place, A Good Place: Agrarian Change, Gender, and Social Identity in the Great Lakes Region to the 15th Century (Kampala: Fountain, 1998), p. 79. See also David Lee Schoenbrun, “Cattle Herds and Banana Gardens: The Historical Geography of the Western Great Lakes Region,” African Archaeology Review (1993), pp. 23, 41–75.
20. A 1956 colonial report, for example, spoke of Batutsi “small cattle owners who are at the same time cultivators.” See Catharine Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression: Clientship and Ethnicity in Rwanda, 1860–1960 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989), p. 206.
21. Mafeje observes that “as in Nkore,” there was in Rwanda too “a conscious effort to deny non-Batutsi access to cattle in general.” See The Theory and Ethnography of African Social Formations, p. 60.
22. For a detailed discussion, see David Newbury, “The Invention of Rwanda: The Alchemy of Ethnicity,” mimeo, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, pp. 14–17.
23. “The Politics of language aside, nearly twenty million people speak Rwanda, Rundi, Ha, Shuubi, Haangaza and Vinza in the Western Highland region. These communities could draw on the mutual intelligibility of their dialects and languages to form a regional tongue to rival the prominence of Swahili elsewhere in East Africa.” See Schoenbrun, A Green Place, A Good Place, pp. 22–23.
24. Tor Sellstom and Lennart Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience, Study 1, Historical Perspective: Some Explanatory Factors (Uppsala, Sweden: The Nordic Africa Institute, 1997), p. 56.
25. I say “more or less the same culture” because there were cultural variations within this single linguistic community. Besides regional variations, there were also important variations in work-style and life-style between (mainly Hutu) agriculturalists and (mainly Tutsi) pastoralists.
26. Jacques Maquet wrote in his 1961 study: “Inter-caste marriage was not prohibited between Hutu and Tutsi. Hutu informants say it happened frequently, Tutsi informants claim that such marriages were very rare, but that Tutsi often had Hutu concubines. This discrepancy shows clearly that for a Tutsi to take a Hutu wife in a primary marriage entailed a loss of prestige. It was resorted to mainly because of poverty. Bride-wealth was lower in these inter-caste unions…. A prosperous Hutu could marry a Tutsi girl, but then the bride-wealth was often greater than that for a Tutsi (three cows instead of one). It happened also that a Tutsi cattle-lord (shebuja) would grant a daughter to one of his Hutu clients.” Jacques J. Maquet, The Premise of Inequality in Rwanda: A Study of Political Relations in a Central African Kingdom (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), pp. 65–66.
27. Yet, in the 1994 genocide, Tutsi women married to Hutu men were identified as Tutsi and killed.
28. Jacques Maquet observed that his Banyarwanda respondents held a “biological basis to the patrilineage principle of descent”: “According to their theories, the man’s participation in conception was more important than the woman’s. The analogy with the sowing of seeds in a field is commonly used by informants. It was pointed out to me that if it is indeed necessary for the seed to be buried in the soil, strength and vitality are unquestionably in the seed rather than in the passive ground.” See Maquet, The Premise of Inequality in Rwanda, p. 83.
29. Francis M. Deng, “An African Reflects on Race and Ethnicity,” Brookings Review 13, no. 3 (1995).
30. Neil Fleming, “Rwanda and Burundi—Africa’s Northern Ireland?” United Press International, BC Cycle, Internet, 7 October 1990.
31. See Maquet, The Premise of Inequality in Rwanda, pp. 30, 33–35, 46.
32. Ibid., p. 46
33. David S. Newbury, “The Clans of Rwanda: An Historical Hypothesis,” Africa 50, no. 4 (1980): 390–399.
34. Ibid., p. 398.
35. The class-difference point of view is popular in progressive RPF circles. Textually, it is identified with the writings of Walter Rodney (see note 3). It has most recently been put forth by two authors, first by Tharcisse Gatwa in an otherwise excellent historical analysis of church-state relations in Rwanda, and then by Shinichi Takeuchi, who has argued that the notion of “Tutsi” as developed in the central court in the kingdom of Rwanda be thought of as a “ruling class.” Its earliest employment, to my knowledge, was by d’Hertefelt, who argued that Maquet’s use of the term “caste” to describe the Hutu/Tutsi difference had static implications, and instead proposed that the difference be thought of as one of “social class.”
Writing the chapter on the Great Lakes in the UNESCO General History (1988), the Kenyan historian Bethwell Ogot tended to see the difference as both a class and an occupational difference, making nothing of the distinction between the two:
We hope to show in this chapter that state formation among the agriculturalists in this region antedates the advent of most pastoralists. We also hope to show that for a long time there was peaceful existence between agriculturalists and pastoralists prior to the major state formation processes of the fifteenth century, which to a large extent were responsible for the creation of social classes or castes in this region. In this connection, it is important to emphasize that the terms ‘pastoralists’ and ‘agriculturalists’ are occupational and not ethnic terms. The interlacustrine traditions reveal that when pastoralists lost their cattle and were unable to recoup their losses, they became cultivators; and when cultivators acquired cattle, they became pastoralists. This change of occupation was continually occurring in the region, both at the individual and the group levels. (Karugire, 1971)
See Tharcisse Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” Ph.D. diss., University of Edinburgh, 1998; Shinichi Takeuchi, “Hutu and Tutsi: A Note on Group Formation in Pre-colonial Rwanda,” in Didier Goyvaerts, ed.,Conflict and Ethnicity in Central Africa (Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Africa and Asia, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 2000); M. d’Hertefelt, Les Clans du Rwanda Ancien (Tervuren: MRAC, 1971); Ogot, “The Great Lakes,” pp. 498–499.
36. This was the view taken by a multinational, multidonor evaluation that arose out of a consultative meeting of international agencies and NGOs in Copenhagen in November 1994. According to its report: “In large part, during the colonial period or before the 19th century, Tutsi, Hutu and Twa roughly corresponded to occupational categories. Cattle-herders, soldiers and administrators were roughly Tutsi, while Hutu were farmers. Twa were marginalised and often mistreated by the others.” See Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 19. A similar view was attributed to Alex de Waal, the codirector of the human rights group Africa Rights: “It is difficult to define a tribe, but tribal peoples do have a distinct language, a distinct territory and a distinct culture. This is not the case with these groups. The differences tend to be occupational. Traditionally, it was more like the caste system in the Indian sense” (italics mine). See Martin Bright, “Rwanda: Blurred Roots of Conflict,” The Guardian(London), 9 May 1994, p. E13. Finally, even an author as careful about historical changes as J. K. Rennie shared this view: “The Rwandan state comprised three classes (sometimes called castes): a ruling aristocracy of primarily pastoral Tutsi; a lower class of Hutu agriculturalists making up the bulk of the population; and a tiny minority of intermediate Twa who engaged in specialized or ‘unclean’ tasks such as pot-making or hunting.” See Rennie, “The Precolonial Kingdom of Rwanda,” p. 15.
Writing in the aftermath of the genocide, the social geographer Dominique Franche disagrees: “The word ‘caste’ doesn’t apply either, because it presupposes an economic polarisation that has never existed and a notion of purity that is utterly foreign to the traditional Rwandan or Burundian mind-set.” See Franche, “There’s Only One Ethnic Group in Rwanda,” p. 14. Roughly this same view is repeated by des Forges, Leave None to Tell the Story, as it is by Alex de Waal of African Rights in “The Genocidal State,”Times Literary Supplement, 1 July 1994, pp. 3–4.
37. It was in this vein that Filip Reyntjens wrote: “The ethnic groups existed in the 19th century and in virtue of the principle of patrilineal transmission, each one knows whether he is Hutu, Tutsi or Twa.” To this statement, he added a footnote (16): “The fact that a certain social mobility permitted the passage from one ethnic group to the other does not take anything away from this principle.” Filip Reyntjens, L’Afrique des Grands Lacs en Crise: Rwanda, Burundi, 1988–1994 (Paris: Karthala, 1994). Passage translated by Scott Grosse, selected notes on Reyntjens’s L’Afrique des Grands Lacs en Crise, e-mail communication, 22 November 1995.
38. David Newbury has flatly rejected the migration hypothesis on the grounds that “we have no data on these migrations, and little information on the interaction of these groups in historical terms.” In a personal communication, however, he makes a distinction between “migration” and “mobility,” one that “removes the primacy of cultural interpretation from these histories” and “accounts for the presence of many physical stocks in the region” without “an interpretation that relies on racial determinism or ethnic reification.” See David Newbury, “The Invention of Rwanda: The Alchemy of Ethnicity,” University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, mimeo, November 1995, p. 1; also, personal communication, 24 May 2000.
In contrast, Gérard Prunier has few scruples, either in accepting the migration hypothesis or a linear connection between Tutsi migrants of centuries ago and contemporary Tutsi. Prunier puts forth as follows: “This is a delicate point and we will not try to fudge the dangerous issue of the theories concerning Tutsi origins. Yes, our feeling [my emphasis] is that the Tutsi have come from outside the Great Lakes area and that it is possible they were initially of a distinct racial stock. They of course did not come from Tibet or from Ancient Egypt, but their distinct physical features probably point to a Cushitic origin, i.e. somewhere in the Horn, probably southern Ethiopia where the Oromo have long proved to be both mobile and adventurous. The physical evidence seems plain enough when one has lived in the area and the whole accumulated weight of observations since the 1860s cannot be entirely baseless.” And then he adds in a footnote: “Just as the ‘different race hypothesis’ has caused much crankish writing during the past hundred years, some modern authors have gone to great lengths in the other direction to try to refute this theory and to prove that Tutsi and Hutu belonged to the same basic racial stock.” Gérard Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide, 1959–1994 (London: Hurst & Co., 1995), pp. 16–17.
39. The notion “cultivators” here does not necessarily refer to those without cattle. Pastoralists and cultivators refers, rather, to incoming cattle keepers looking for grazing land and resident cultivators, whether with or without cattle, but with land.
40. Jan Vansina, L’évolution du royaume Rwanda des origines à 1900 (New York: Johnson Reprint, 1968), quoted in Rennie, “The Precolonial Kingdom of Rwanda,” pp. 23–24.
41. See Franche, “There’s Only One Ethnic Group in Rwanda,” p. 14.
42. Vansina, L’évolution du royame Rwanda des origines à 1900. For an appreciation, see Rennie, “The Precolonial Kingdom of Rwanda,” pp. 12–13.
43. See René Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi (New York: Praeger, 1970), p. 18.
44. Vansina, L’evolution du royaume Rwanda des origines à 1900; Rennie, “The Precolonial Kingdom of Rwanda,” pp. 11–64; and Ogot, “The Great Lakes,” pp. 498–554. The following two paragraphs sum up the argument in the UNESCO General History, pp. 515–518.
45. This period coincides with the chronology of kings of Rwanda, as proposed by different historians, basing themselves on oral history. The chronology was first proposed by the Rwandan historian, Alexis Kagame in the colonial period. Subsequent scholarly opinion has held that six of the first seven names on Kagame’s list were mythical, not historical.
The first to rely systematically on Rwandan oral literature, Kagame concluded that the Ruganza Bwimba, now accepted as the first king, had started ruling in 1312. Vansina dated the start of kingship in 1482, Rennie in 1532, Nkurikiyimfura in 1468. Following Kagame, all used the enthronement of Mibambwe Seentaabyo as the benchmark year, followed by the genealogy of twenty-one accepted kings as given. Their differences were based on two disagreements. First, each dated the starting point, being the occurrence according to Rwandan oral tradition of a solar eclipse during the year Seentaabyo ascended to the throne, differently. For Kagame, this was in 1741. Vansina, however, took into account other historical material and insisted on 1792 as the true date. Rennie and Kurikiyimfura followed Vansina. Second, while each followed the practice of subtracting a fixed number of years to account for the rule of each king in the genealogy, they disagreed on the average length of rule, and thus on how many years specifically to subtract for each king. Kagame subtracted 33 years, Vansina 24, Rennie 27, and Nkurikiyimfura 23. The result is a difference of more than 200 years, ranging between 1312 (Kagame) and 1532 (Rennie) as the earliest and the latest founding dates proposed for the kingdom.
In a recent article, David Newbury suggested that the genealogy may not be all that sacrosanct. Arguing that part of it may have been repeated simply to extend it and thereby add to the legitimacy of the kingdom, he has cast doubt on the existence of five kings between the well-known rulers, Ruganza Ndoori and Cyilima Rujugira. This means that although the founding date has generally been given as in the fourteenth (Kagame) or the fifteenth (Vansina) century, it may be even later. For this reason, I have generally followed the chronology suggested by Rennie, who dates the founding of the kingdom the latest, in 1532. See David Newbury, “Trick Cyclists? Recontextualizing Rwandan Domestic Chronology,” History in Africa 21 (1994): 191–217; for the discussion on the genealogy of kings in different writers, see Shinichi Takeuchi, “Hutu and Tutsi: A Note on Group Formation in Pre-colonial Rwanda,” in Didier Goyvaerts, ed., Conflict and Ethnicity in Central Africa (Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 2000), pp. 190–191, appendix 1.
46. Rennie, “The Precolonial Kingdom of Rwanda,” pp. 23, 15.
47. Louis de Lacger, Ruanda (Kabgayi, 1959), p. 88, cited in Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 17.
48. David Newbury, “ ‘Bunyabungo’: The Western Rwandan Frontier, c. 1750–1850,” in Igor Kopytoff, ed., The African Frontier: The Reproduction of Traditional African Societies (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), p. 167.
49. Rennie, “The Precolonial Kingdom of Rwanda,” pp. 34–38.
50. Ibid., pp. 31–32.
51. Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, pp. 134–35, 75–76.
52. Shinichi Takeuchi pens an interesting note to his discussion of changes in land tenure and clientship in precolonial Rwanda: “It should be emphasized that in this case we do not know whether the ‘non-Tutsi’, once appointed chief, would hold on to his Hutu identity, or to what extent this Hutu identity was deemed important” (p. 18). See Takeuchi, “Hutu and Tutsi,” p. 194, fn. 28. Takeuchi gives the number of igikingi according to region (c. 1900) in appendix II.
53. Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, pp. 108, 111, 115; also see Newbury, “Ubureetwa and Thangata: Catalysts to Peasant Political Consciousness in Rwanda and Malawi,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 14, no. 1 (1980): 97–111.
54. Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 5.
55. Newbury, “ ‘Bunyabungo’: The Western Rwandan Frontier,” pp. 167–169.
56. Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, p. 43.
57. Maquet, The Premise of Inequality in Ruanda, p.120; unless otherwise indicated, the information in this paragraph is culled from pp. 109–124.
58. De Lacger, Ruanda, p. 142, as cited in Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 15.
59. The information in the next two paragraphs is culled from the following sources: Maquet, The Premise of Inequality in Ruanda, pp. 101–102, 105–106, 124–125; Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 27; Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, pp. 40–43, 46–47; Antoine Lema, Africa Divided: The Creation of “Ethnic Groups” (Lund, Sweden: Lund University Press, Lund Dissertations in Sociology 6, 1993), pp. 51, 54.
60. Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 20.
61. Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, pp. 10–11, 51–52; M. C. Newbury, “Ethnicity in Rwanda: The Case of Kinyage,” Africa 48, no. 1 (1978): 17–21; see also Elizabeth Hopkins, review of Catharine Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, inContemporary Sociology 20, no. 1–3 (1991): 365–366; René Lemarchand, review of Catharine Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, in Canadian Journal of African Studies 24 (1990): 473–475.
62. L. Dorsey, Historical Dictionary of Rwanda (London: Scarecrow Press, 1994); D. Waller, Rwanda: Which Way Now (Oxford: Oxfam, 1993), cited in Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, pp. 19–20.
63. Captain Eugene M. Haguma of the RPF writes: “The serfs called HUTUS could move up the social ladder, in what was called KWIHUTURA, thanks to their acquisition of cattle … a symbol of wealth in ancient Rwanda. On the other hand being a Tutsi was no guarantee of wealth and influence in the social, economic and political establishment of the nation. Loss of property meant loss of status as a Tutsi. The kinyarwanda word ‘GUCUPIRA’ meant just that.” See Captain Eugene M. Haguma, “The Rwandese Crisis: A Political Economy of Genocide,” Symposium on Interface, Dialogue and Co-Operation between Government and NGO’s for Popular Participation in National Reconstruction, Conflict and Psycho-social Trauma Management, organized jointly by Africa Humanitarian Action and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Kigali, 28 February 1995, mimeo, p. 4. The process of ennoblement and of its loss is discussed in Maquet, The Premise of Inequality in Ruanda, pp. 65–66, 135–36; Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, pp. 38, 98; Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, pp. 12–13; Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, pp. 14, 21–22.
64. Jean-Népomucène Nkurikiyimfura, Le gros bétail et la société Rwandaise: Evolution historique des XIIe–XIVe siècles à 1958 (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1994), pp. 96–97; cited in Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 22.
65. Two traditions persist. In one version, the cult is said to have been “introduced into Rwanda during the last half of the 19th century by two Rwandan cattle traders returning from Uzinza, a kingdom to the southeast.” In the second version, Nyabingi is said to be a historical figure “who ruled Ndorwa-Kajara before the formation of Mpororo” and who even after death “continued to issue her decrees through the mouth of her Bagirwa (lit. ‘those who initiate’) who were almost invariably women.” See Elizabeth Hopkins, “The Nyabingi Cult of Southwestern Uganda,” in Robert I. Rotberg, ed., Rebellion in Black Africa (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), pp. 63–64.
66. Alison L. Des Forges, “ ‘The Drum Is Greater than the Shout’: The 1912 Rebellion in Northern Rwanda,” in Donald Crummey, ed., Banditry, Rebellion and Social Protest in Africa (London: James Currey, 1986), p. 313.
67. Hopkins, “The Nyabingi Cult of Southwestern Uganda,” p. 60. As late as 1920, a British District Commissioner in Kigezi, on the Ugandan side of the border, wrote: “ ‘Nyabingi’ is indestructible: thus the breakup of the agitation and the arrest of those practicing it would not convince anyone of the futility of the practitioners’ claims but would only point to the ill-luck of the chosen media and to the fact that the ‘Nyabingi’ had left them to settle elsewhere.” Cited in Murindwa Rutanga, “The Agrarian Crisis and Peasant Struggles in Kigezi, 1910–1995,” Ph.D. diss., Jadavpur University, Calcutta, 1999, p. 57.
68. Des Forges, “ ‘The Drum Is Greater than the Shout,” pp. 317–318.
69. Cited in Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, pp. 57–60, 100–101; see also M. J. Bessell, “Nyabingi,” Uganda Journal 6 (1938–39): 73–86. Alison des Forges argues that Muhumusa was not the historical wife of Rwabugiri but a medium who after 1905 “decided to tap the legitimacy provided by the Rwandan royal tradition” by claiming the identity of “Muserekande, the wife of Rwabugiri and rival of Kanjugera, who had led an uprising to put her son in power a decade before.” In a similar vein, Elizabeth Hopkins points out two different traditions with regard to Ndungutsi, that “Ugandan sources regarded him to be no more than an influential lieutenant of Muhumusa” whereas Rwandan sources “view him as one of Muhumusa’s sons, by Mibambwe IV, Rwabugiri’s successor, who had been killed within a year of his succession.” No matter which version we take, my point remains: in the popular imagination, Nyabingi linked popular grievances of the Bahutu to the claims of reformist elements in the Rwandan court. See Des Forges, “ ‘The Drum Is Greater than the Shout,” p. 318; Hopkins, “The Nyabingi Cult of Southwestern Uganda,” p. 76.
70. J.E.T. Philips, “The Nyabingi: An Anti-European Secret Society in Africa,” Congo 1 (1928): 318; cited in Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 100.
71. Cited in Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 99.
72. An early and partial formulation of our hypothesis can be found in several authors. I find two particularly worth citing. The first is an observation from the 1972 essay of J. K. Rennie, which both surveyed the existing literature masterfully and came to several original conclusions.
The terms “Tutsi” and “Hutu” seem to me therefore to be historically applicable only when the two groups of pastoralists and cultivators have entered into intimate social and economic relations. “Tutsi” and “Hutu” existed within the state of Rwanda as it grew and expanded, but not outside it. Within the state, the three classes of Tutsi, Hutu and Twa represented ascribed status, defined supposedly by way of life and ethnic origin. Tutsi were rulers, warriors and herders; Hutu were subjects, cultivators, labourers and taxpayers; and the hunting Twa were incorporated as personal retainers, court jesters, executioners and potters. Twa ties to the Tutsi rulers were personal and not mediated through the vassalage arrangements…. Nor did they enter blood brotherhood with Tutsi.
One notices that Rennie saw the Hutu/Tutsi distinction not only as a political division between rulers and subject, but also as a division of labor between cultivators and herders. See Rennie, “The Precolonial Kingdom of Rwanda,” p. 32.
An epoch separates the first from the second formulation. In a reflection on the genocide that draws on their considerable research on Rwanda, Catharine Newbury and David Newbury have this to say: “The nature of Hutu and Tutsi identity changed not only across time; it also varied across regions. Indeed the two identities each have their own separate histories, such that in the context of Rwandan state-building, a collective Tutsi identity emerged before a collective Hutu identity did.” And yet, the authors continue to consider the Hutu/Tutsi distinction as ethnic throughout this reflection, the main reason why this work fails to break with ethnic accounts of the genocide in spite of its being pregnant with several insights. See Catharine Newbury and David Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” mimeo, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, p. 33.
73. In my view, Jacques Maquet erred in tending to diminish the significance of social mobility through ennoblement on the grounds that the numbers involved were small: “It is certain that the number of Hutu and Twa assimilated to Tutsi because of their holding of political offices or because of their wealth, has always been tiny.” See Maquet, The Premise of Inequality in Ruanda, p. 150.
RACIALIZATION OF THE HUTU/TUTSI DIFFERENCE UNDER COLONIALISM
1. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1975), p. 207. At the beginning of the chapter, she begins with a different and contradictory statement: “Both discoveries were actually made on the Dark Continent” (p. 185).
2. Ibid., p. 185.
3. Hannah Arendt makes a useful distinction between two kinds of race doctrines in nineteenth-century Europe: one sought to explain decadence, the fall of cultures, while the other focused on progress, the rise of cultures or civilizations. Doctrines of decadence were epitomized by the Comte de Gobineau, who is credited with the discovery “that the fall of civilizations is due to a degeneration of race and the decay of race is due to a mixture of blood.” Gobineau’s doctrines, however, did not fit in with the progress theory, that of “the survival of the fittest,” so popular in the ruling circles of nineteenth-century Europe. Hannah Arendt explains the reasons of that popularity thus: “The liberal optimism of the victorious bourgeoisie wanted a new edition of the might-right theory, not the key to history or the proof of inevitable decay.” Ibid., pp. 170–75, 162–164.
4. G.F.W. Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of World History, Introduction: Reason in History, trans. from the German edition of Johannes Hoffmeister by H. B. Nisbet (London: Cambridge University Press, 1975) (Hegel’s second draft is dated 1830) pp. 173–177, and The Philosophy of History, trans. J. Sibree (New York: Dover Publications, 1956), pp. 95–99. The section on Africa in The Lectures is the more elaborate while The Philosophy repeats the same speculation, but in brief.
5. “Africa must be divided into three parts: one is that which lies south of the desert of Sahara—Africa proper—the Upland almost entirely unknown to us, with narrow coast—tracts along the sea; the second is that to the north of the desert—European African (if we may so call it)—a coastland; the third is the river region of the Nile, the only valley land of Africa, and which is in connection with Asia.” Hegel, The Philosophy of History, p. 91.
6. According to Hegel:
The northern region stretches across to Egypt…. It includes the countries of Morocco, Fas (not Faz), Algeria, Tunis and Tripoli. It could be said that this whole region does not really belong to Africa but forms a single unit with Spain, for both are part of one and the same basin. With this in mind, the prolific French writer and politician de Pradt has said that, in Spain, one is already in Africa. The northern region is the non-independent portion of Africa, for it has always been subject to foreign influences; it is not itself a theatre of world-historical events, and has always been dependent on revolutions of a wider scope…. It is a country which merely shares the fortunes of great events enacted elsewhere, but which has not determinate character of its own. This portion of Africa, like the near East, is oriented towards Europe; it should and must be brought into the European sphere of influence, as the French have successfully attempted in recent times.
Hegel, “Introduction: Reason in History,” in Lectures on the Philosophy of World History, pp. 173–174.
7. See Hegel, The Philosophy of History, p. 91. And, yet again, at the end of the section in The Philosophy of History (pp. 91–99) that deals with Africa: “At this point we leave Africa, not to mention it again. For it is no historical part of the world; it has no movement or development to exhibit. Historical movement in it—that is, in its northern part—belongs to the Asiatic or European world. Carthage displayed there an important transitionary phase of civilization; but, as a Phoenician colony, it belongs to Asia. Egypt will be considered in reference to the passage of the human mind from its Eastern to its Western phase, but it does not belong to the African Spirit. What we properly understood by Africa, is the unhistorical, Undeveloped Spirit, still involved in the conditions of mere nature, and which had to be presented here only as on the threshold of the world’s History” (p. 99).
8. Pagès (1933, p. 491), cited in J. J. Maquet, The Premise of Inequality in Ruanda (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), p. 108.
9. This and the third myth are from P. Loupais, “Tradition et légende des Tutsi sur la création du monde et leur établissement au Ruanda,” Anthropos 3, no. 9 (1908): 1–33; cited in Antoine Lema, Africa Divided (Lund, Sweden: Lund University Press, 1993), pp. 43, 47.
10. Edith R. Sanders, “The Hamitic Hypothesis: Its Origin and Functions in Time Perspective,” Journal of African History 10, no. 4 (1969). This paragraph draws from pp. 521–522.
11. “In the Talmud there are several contradictory legends concerning Ham—one that God forbade anyone to have sexual relations while on the Ark and Ham disobeyed this command. Another story is that Ham was cursed with blackness because he resented the fact that his father desired to have a fourth son. To prevent the birth of a rival heir, Ham is said to have castrated his father. Elsewhere in the Talmud, Ham’s descendents are depicted as being led into captivity with their buttocks uncovered as a sign of their degradation.” T. F. Gossett, Race—the History of an Idea in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 5.
12. R. Graves and R. Patai, Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis (New York: Doubleday, 1964), p. 121.
13. The stakes in the debate that Greene titles “Are All Human Beings Born of One Biological Species?” were high and inclusive: theological, political, and scientific. “Theologically, it bore upon the Christian doctrine of the spiritual unity of mankind in their common descent from Adam. Politically it coloured conceptions of the white man’s rights and duties with respect to the inhabitants of those regions of the earth which were being subjected to his control. Scientifically, it involved the distinction, enormous in the eyes of eighteenth-century naturalists, between a species and a variety. If the various types of human beings were separate species, the task of the natural historian was to classify them according to their specific characters, accepting these as permanent and divinely ordained. But if human races were but varieties of a single species, science must account for their peculiarities by natural causes.” J. Greene, “The American Debate on the Negro’s Place in Nature, 1780–1815,” Journal of History of Ideas 15 (1954): 384. Also see Sanders, “The Hamitic Hypothesis,” p. 524.
14. According to Gossett:
In 1591, Bruno asserted that no thinking person would imagine that the Ethiopians had the same ancestry as the Jews…. Lucilio Vanini argued in 1691 that the Ethiopians must have had apes for ancestors because they were the same colour as apes. Undoubtedly, he added, the Ethiopians had once walked on all fours.
In 1655, Isaac de la Peyrère, a French Protestant, published a book in which he argued that there had been two separate creations of human beings. In the first chapter of Genesis, a man and a woman are given dominion over every living thing, but it is not until the second chapter that anything is said of the creation of Adam and Eve. Therefore, argued Peyrère, a race of men must have existed before Adam. It was from this race that Cain had chosen his wife when he was cast off by his own people for the murder of Abel. It was the pre-Adamite races from whom the natives of Africa, Asia and the New World were descended…. Vanini and Bruno were burned at the stake for their various heresies. Peyrère was imprisoned for six months and released only on condition that he retract his heretical beliefs, among them his belief in pre-Adamite races.
Gossett, Race—the History of an Idea in America, p. 15.
15. V. Denon, Travels in Upper and Lower Egypt (London, 1903), cited in Sanders, “The Hamitic Hypothesis,” p. 525.
16. Volney, Travels through Syria and Egypt 1783–1784–1785 (1787, p. 83), cited in ibid.
17. Comte de Gobineau’s thoughts are summarized in Martin Bernal, Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, vol. 1: The Fabrication of Ancient Greece, 1785–1985 (New York: Vintage, 1991), pp. 339, 343, 353–355, 361.
18. Ibid., pp. 269, 261, 230.
19. Ibid., pp. 241–246.
20. Ironically, this same notion would later be advanced in Cheikh Anta Diop’s claim that the decline of ancient Egypt led to the dispersal of its population—an Egyptian diaspora, as it were—in turn leading to “the peopling of Africa.”
21. Ibid., p. 9.
22. J. H. Speke, Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1864), p. xvii.
23. Here is how Speke began his elaborate speculation on the subject:
The reader has now had my experience of several of the minor states, and has presently to be introduced to Uganda, the most powerful state in the ancient but divided kingdom of Kitara…. Before entering on it, I propose to state my theory of the ethnology of that part of Africa inhabited by the people collectively styled Wahuma, otherwise Gallas or Abyssinians. My theory is founded on the traditions of several nations, as checked by my own observation of what I saw when passing through them. It appears impossible to believe, judging from the physical appearance of the Wahuma, that they can be of any other race than the semi-Shem-Hamitic of Ethiopia….
In these countries the government is in the hands of foreigners, who had invaded and taken possession of them, leaving the agricultural aborigines to till the ground, while the junior members of the usurping clans herded cattle—just as in Abyssinia, or wherever the Abyssinians or Gallas have shown themselves. There a pastoral clan from the Asiatic side took the government of Abyssinia from its people and have ruled over them ever since, changing, by inter-marriage with the Africans, the texture of their hair and colour to a certain extent, but still maintaining a high stamp of Asiatic feature, of which a marked characteristic is a bridged instead of a bridgeless nose.
Speke claimed that the Tutsi (Watutsi in Kiswahili) were none other than the Wahuma: “How or when their name became changed from Wahuma to Watusi no one is able to explain; but, again deducing the past from the present, we cannot help suspecting that, in the same way as this change has taken place, the name Galla may have been changed from Habshi, and Wahuma from Gallas.” The problem, he admitted, was that “the confusion of travellers … is increased by the Wahuma habit of conforming to the regulations of the countries they adopt.” Nonetheless, he concluded: “We are thus left only one very distinguishing mark, the physical appearance of this remarkable race, partaking even more of the phlegmatic nature of the Shemitic father than the nervous, boisterous temperament of the Hamitic mother, as a certain clue to their Shem-Hamitic origin.” Speke, Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile, pp. 241–242, 244–245.
24. Writing in 1850, a Protestant theologian by the name of August Knobel of Giessen University wrote that “the Hamitic peoples, judging from their physical characteristics, belong, with the Jephites and Semites to the same race of human beings categorised by the naturalists as the Caucasian branch.” Twenty years later, in 1870, sixty-eight fathers of the Catholic Church gathered in the Vatican I Council, appealed for a missionary vocation toward Central Africa, more or less as a rescue operation for “hapless Hamites caught amidst Negroes,” so as to alleviate “the antique malediction weighing on the shoulders of the misfortunate Hamites inhabiting the hopeless Nigricy.” J. P. Chrétien, “Burundi,” Histoire Retrouvée 25, and Le Métier d’Historien en Afrique (Paris: Karthala, 1993), pp. 336, 339; both cited in Tharcisse Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” Ph.D. diss., University of Edinburgh, 1998, p. 106.
25. Charles Gabriel Seligman, Races of Africa (London: Oxford University Press, 1966), 4th ed., p. 61. Seligman went on to explain “the mechanism” by which the “incoming Hamites”—“pastoral ‘Europeans,’ ” he called them—arrived “wave after wave … better armed as well as quicker witted than the dark agricultural Negroes,” leading to “the origin of the Negro-Hamitic peoples”:
Diagrammatically the process may be described as follows. At first the Hamites, or at least their aristocracy, would endeavour to marry Hamitic women, but it cannot have been long before a series of peoples combining Negro and Hamitic blood arose; these, superior to the pure Negro, would be regarded with disdain by the next incoming wave of Hamites and be pushed farther inland to play the part of an incoming aristocracy vis-à-vis the Negroes on whom they impinged. And this process was repeated with minor modifications over a long period of time, the pastoralists always asserting their superiority over the agriculturalists, who constantly tended to leave their own mode of life in favour of pastoralism or at least to combine it with the latter. The end result of one series of such combinations is to be seen in the Zulu, of another in the Ganda, while an even more striking result is offered by the symbiosis, to use a biological term, of the Huma of Ankole and the Iru. The Huma, a tall cattle-owning aristocracy with narrow noses and faces, so unlike the Negro (though they always have Negro hair) that Johnston when he first saw them thought they were Egyptian soldiers left behind by Emin Pasha, live in the country of the shorter, broader-faced Negro Iru; the latter normally provide them with grain, and no doubt in the past there has been inter-marriage (witnessed the spiralled hair of even the Huma aristocracy), though at the present time each group is said to keep to itself.
Seligman, Races of Africa, pp. 100–101.
26. “The missionaries who were the first ethnologists of Rwanda concluded that the Tutsi pastoralists with their slender figures and clear pigmentation belonged to a superior race, the Hamites, whereas the Hutu peasants were representatives of a supposed inferior Bantu race.” Luc de Heusch, “Rwanda: Responsibilities for Genocide,” Anthropology Today 11, no. 4 (August 1995): 4.
27. According to Father Léon Classe, “Les Tutsi sont des hommes superbes, aux traits fins et réguliers, avec quelque chose du type aryen et du type sémitique” (“The Tutsi are great men, with fine and regular traits, with something of the Aryan and Semitic type”). For Father Menard, the “Tutsi est un Éuropéen sous une peau noire” (“the Tutsi is a European under black skin”). The predisposition of the Church was fully backed two years later by the Belgian minister of colonies, J. Frank, in his first ever visit to Rwanda: “Il ne s’agit pas, sous prétexte d’égalité, de toucher aux bases de l’institution politique; nous trouvons les ‘Watutzi’ établis d’ancienne date; intelligents et capables; nous respectons cette situation” (“It is not, under the pretext of equality, to touch the bases of the political institution. We find the ‘Watuzi,’ who are established for a long time, intelligent and capable; we respect this situation”). L. Classe, “Missions d’Afrique des Pères Blancs” (September 1902, p. 385); F. Menard, “Les Barundi,” Archives des Pères Blancs, Rome, par Gahama, J., Le Burundi sous Administration Belge (Paris, 1983, p. 275); both quoted in Chrétien, 1985, p. 138; J. Rumiya, p. 138; all sources cited in Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” pp. 109–110.
28. J. Rumiya, p. 133, cited in Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” p. 83.
29. The 1925 report stated: “Les Tutsi sont un autre peuple. Physiquement ils n’ont aucune ressemblance avec les Hutu, sauf évidemment quelques déclassés dont le sang n’est plus pur. Mais le Tutsi de bonne race n’a, à part la couleur, rien de nègre. Les caractéristiques physiques “rappellent de façon troublante le profil de la momie de Ramsés II. Les Tutsi étaient destines à régner…. D’ou viennent ces conquérants? Ils ne sont pas Bantu, cela est bien certain. Mais leur langue est celle du pays, nettement bantoue, sans trace d’infiltration quant à leur origine.” (Translation: “The Tutsi are another people. Physically, they have a resemblance to the Hutu, except, evidently, some ‘declassés’ whose blood isn’t pure anymore. But the Tutsi of good race has, apart from color, nothing of a negro. The physical characteristics remind one in a troubling way of the profile of the mummy of Ramses II. The Tutsi were destined to rule…. Where are these conquerers coming from? They are not Bantu, this is quite certain. But their language is the one of the country, clearly Bantu, without any trace of infiltration regarding their origin,”) Administration Coloniale, Ruanda-Urundi (Brussels: Report Administration, 1925), pp. 34–35; cited in Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” p. 81.
30. A. Pagès, Au Rwanda, sur le bord du Lac Kivu (Congo Belge). Un royaume Hamite au centre de l’Afrique (Brussels: IRCB, 1933). L. de Lacger, Ruanda (Kabgayi, 1939, 1961); Luc de Heusch, Rwanda: Tableau d’une monarchie féodale (Brussels, 1954; film produced in cooperation with Maquet; all cited in Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” p. 48.
31. Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” p. 44. I am thankful to David Himbara for a translation of the phrase.
32. The next two paragraphs are based on Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” pp. 123–126; I. Linden, Church and Revolution in Rwanda (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1977), pp. 135, 152, 161; Buluda Itandala, “Ethnicity versus Nationalism in Rwanda,” paper presented at the conference on Academic Freedom, Social Research and Conflict Resolution in the Countries of the Great Lakes, organized by CODESRIA in collaboration with the University of Dar-es-Salaam and the Centre for Basic Research (Kampala), Arusha, Tanzania, 4–7 September 1995, pp. 17–18.
33. The Groupe Scolaire d’ Astrida, the top school for the Belgian colonies of Rwanda and Burundi, had no Rwandan Hutu enrolled up to 1945, as opposed to 3 Hutu from Burundi and 46 Tutsi from both territories. As we shall see, the entry of Hutu increased after the Second World War following an antiracist shift in the worldview of the European clergy. By 1954, 3 Rwandan Hutu, 16 Barundi Hutu, 3 Congolese, and 63 Tutsi (from both Rwanda and Burundi) were registered as students at the Groupe Scolaire. See Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 138.
34. Antoine Lema, Africa Divided, p. 59.
35. Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, pp. 119–120. “By destroying the preexisting balance of forces on the hills, the 1926 reform prepared the ground for the emergence of a more starkly authoritarian system, centered on the rule of a single and virtually omnipotent chief.” Ibid., p. 72.
36. In his words: “A revolution of that nature would lead the entire state directly into anarchy and to bitter anti-European Communism. Far from furthering progress, it would nullify the government’s actions by depriving it of auxilliaries who are, by birth, capable of understanding and following it. This is the view and the firm belief of all superiors of the Ruanda mission, without exception. Generally speaking, we have no chiefs who are better qualified, more intelligent, more active, more capable of appreciating progress and more fully accepted by the people than the Tutsi.” Cited in ibid., p. 73.
37. “In fact, these tribunals became the instruments through which the ruling Tutsi oligarchy not only retained but abused its privileges. Their function was not so much to dispense justice as to legitimize abuses and wrong-doings. Since they were in every case headed by Tutsi chiefs it is difficult to imagine how they could have served a different purpose.” See ibid., p. 76.
38. The next two paragraphs are based on Itandala, “Ethnicity versus Nationalism in Rwanda,” pp. 14–17; Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” p. 127; Alison des Forges, “Kings without Crowns: The White Fathers in Rwanda,” in D. F. McCall, N. R. Bennett, and J. Butler, eds., Eastern African History (New York: Praeger, 1969), pp. 178–180; M. d’Hertefelt, “The Rwanda of Rwanda,” in J. L. Gibbs, ed., Peoples of Africa (New York: Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1965), p. 406.
39. See Tharcisse Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” p. 127.
40. The text of the bill signed by Mwami Musinga read: “Moi Musinga, mwami du Rwanda, je décide qu’à dater de ce jour, tout sujet de mon royaume sera libre de pratiquer la religion vers laquelle il se sent incliné. Tout chef ou sous-chef qui défendra à ses subordonnés, à ses sujets et aux enfants de ceux-ci de pratiquer le culte de leur choix ou de suivre les leçons des écoles pour y recevoir l’instruction, sera puni, selon la coutume, comme tout chef qui oublie qu’il me doit respect et obéissance, de 1 à 30 jours de réclusion.” (Translation: “I Musinga, mwami of Rwanda, decide that as of today every subject of my kingdom will be free to practice the religion toward which he feels himself inclined. Every chief or subchief who will forbid his subjects and their children to practice the faith of their choice, or to follow the school lessons where they receive instruction, will be punished according to the custom—just like every chief who forgets that he owes me respect and obedience—from one to 30 days of reclusion.”) In F. Muvala,Introduction à l’Histoire de l’Evangélisation (Kigali: Pallotti Presse, 1990), p. 16; cited in Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” p. 127.
41. “The 1927 colonial administration report shows that those among the chiefs who would not convert, were considered as sorcerers, diviners and superstitious and were deposed.” Report Administration Coloniale Ruanda-Urundi, 1927, p. 38; cited in ibid., p. 129.
42. Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 67.
43. Ibid., p. 70.
44. “The Banyarwanda called the movement Irivuze Mwami, what the king has said you must follow. According to many views, the King never gave such an order, but those concerned, the missionaries and the King let the confusion persist so as to harvest a religious and political benefit.” Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” p. 128.
45. “Kiliziya yakuye Kirazira. This is a popular Kinyarwanda saying literally meaning that the church preaching replaced the culture.” Captain Eugene M. Haguma, “The Rwandese Crisis: A Political Economy of Genocide,” Symposium on Interface, Dialogue and Co-Operation between Government and NGO’s for Popular Participation in National Reconstruction, Conflict and Psycho-Social Trauma Management, Organized Jointly by Africa Humanitarian Action and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Kigali, 28 February 1995, mimeo, p. 8.
46. The two decrees are cited in Lema, Africa Divided, p. 59.
47. Catharine Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression: Clientship and Ethnicity in Rwanda, 1860–1960 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989), p. 167.
48. Haguma, “The Rwanda Crisis: A Political Economy of Genocide,” p. 2.
49. Kagame, Abrégé, vol. 2, 205; cited in Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, p. 157.
50. Cited in Catherine Watson, Exile from Rwanda: Background to an Invasion, Issue Paper (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Committee for Refugees, February 1991), p. 4.
51. Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, pp. 153–155.
52. S. Martin, “Boserup Revisited: Population and Technology in Tropical African Agriculture, 1900–1940,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 16 (October 1987): 109–123.
53. Cited in Roger Botte, “Rwanda and Burundi, 1889–1930: Chronology of a Slow Assassination, Part 1,” International Journal of African Historical Studies 18, no. 1 (1985): 86.
54. Cited in Roger Botte, “Rwanda and Burundi, 1889–1930: Chronology of a Slow Assassination, Part 2,” International Journal of African Historical Studies 18, no. 2 (1985): 313–314.
55. An official note from May 1919 is clear that government tax levies favor exactions on the part of the chiefs: “nice opportunity for chiefs and sub-chiefs to gather cows, goats, hoes, etc.” Cited in ibid., p. 305.
56. Cited in Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, p. 132.
57. Watson, Exile from Rwanda, p. 4.
58. Mgr. Classe in 1916, quoted in Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 122. For further examples, see pp. 121–124.
59. Catharine Newbury, “Ubureetwa and Thangata: Catalysts to Peasant Political Consciousness in Rwanda and Malawi,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 14, no. 1 (1980): 97–111.
60. Catharine Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, p. 112.
61. Take, for examples, the following assorted comments about official tyranny from peasants in the southwest of the country, compiled by Catharine Newbury from various sources:
That man [hill chief at nyamavugo] commanded like the others; when someone didn’t have beans to give as prestations, he expelled him from his land, and likewise for someone who didn’t have mats to give.
In fact, there was no recourse to the courts; a chief could take someone’s goods and could chase him away or have him “killed” by another chief.
They would come to take your cow on the pretext that you were a rebel, and you couldn’t say anything…. You would let your cow go, for at the least resistance you would be put in chains or sometimes killed. And in such a case you could not introduce a court case to claim your rights on the cow.
After the cows of Gisazi [Chief of the Bugarama region] had perished in the Iragara epidemic (1920–21) he went around seizing cattle from people, both those who were clients and those who were not. The informant’s lineage lost a cow in this manner.
See Catharine Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, p. 133.
62. Filip Reyntjens, for example, has traced a 1917 circular from the Resident which identifies Tutsi as lords and Hutu as subjects, and Tutsi as cattle owners and Hutu as agriculturalists. F. Reyntjens (1985, p. 131), cited in Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” p. 66.
63. See, for example, African Rights, Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance (London, 1995), rev. ed., pp. 11–12: “Despite the emphasis on height and straight noses, such was the slender basis of the racial categorization that, during the 1933–34 census, the Belgians were obliged to use ownership of cows as the key criterion for determining which group an individual belonged to. Those with ten or more cows were Tutsi—along with all their descendents in the male line—and those with less were Hutu. Those ‘recognized as Twa’ at the time of the census were given the status of Twa.” Also see Haguma, “The Rwandese Crisis: A Political Economy of Genocide,” p. 3.
64. Scott Grosse, communication on Rwandanet, 22 January 1996. Grosse goes on to say:
I think I may have found in Prunier’s book the origin of the myth of the 10-cow rule. On p. 29, Prunier cites Jean-Népomucène Nkurikiyimfura, an historian murdered in 1994, as reporting that the administrative reforms of 1926–31 allowed anyone owning 10 cows or more to claim private ownership of Ibikingi grazing land, which had previously been collectively held. It appears that only a small number of individuals qualified for this. The vast majority of “petits Tutsis” as the colonial administrators referred to them, were no more well-off than their Hutu neighbours. A survey conducted by Leurquin in the 1950s revealed that the average family income of Tutsi families in Rwanda, excluding the aristocracy and chiefly families, was only 5% higher than that of Hutu families. These survey results have been reported by Linden, DDD, Prunier (p. 50), among others. These data put the lie to the claim that all, or even most Tutsis as officially defined by the Belgians owned large amounts of wealth, as 10 cows certainly would constitute.
65. Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” p. 84.
66. And then added in parentheses: “There is a third racial group—the pygmoid Twa hunters—but they number about 1% of the population and play no part in the political situation.” The Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urandi Information and Public Relations Office, Ruanda Urundi 60, no. 4 (September 195): 5.
THE “SOCIAL REVOLUTION” OF 1959
1. Catharine Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression: Clientship and Ethnicity in Rwanda, 1860–1960 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989).
2. René Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi (New York: Praeger, 1970).
3. Ibid., pp. 285–286.
4. Michael Lofchie, Zanzibar: Background to Revolution (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965).
5. The qualifications about dynastic changes and flouted norms were added after a comment by David Newbury, private communication, 24 May 2000.
6. The empirical information in this section derives from Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, pp. 96, 97, 99, 102–103, 105, 111–112, 266.
7. Ibid., p. 99.
8. Cited in ibid.
9. Ibid., pp. 104–105.
10. Ibid., p. 112.
11. M. Audrey I. Richards, ed., Economic Development and Tribal Change: A Study of Immigrant Labour in Buganda (Nairobi: Oxford University Press, 1973).
12. Mararo Bucyalimwe, “Land Conflicts in Masisi, Eastern Zaire: The Impact and Aftermath of Belgian Colonial Policy (1920–1989),” Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1990.
13. Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression: Clientship and Ethnicity in Rwanda, 1860–1960. The next paragraph is based on information from pp. 112, 163–164, 166, 175, 177, 178.
14. Ibid., p. 166.
15. Ibid., pp. 163–164.
16. G. F. Powesland, “History of the Migration in Uganda,” in Richards, Economic Development and Tribal Change, pp. 30, 36.
17. A. I. Richards, “The Assimilation of the Immigrants,” in Richards, Economic Development and Tribal Change, pp. 161–193.
18. Ibid., p. 178. Also see, René Lemarchand, “Review of Catharine Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression: Clientship and Ethnicity in Rwanda, 1860–1960,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 24 (1990): 474–476; and Johan Pottier, “Review of Catharine Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression: Clientship and Ethnicity in Rwanda, 1860–1960,” Journal of Peasant Studies 18, no. 2 (1991): 346–347.
19. Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 138.
20. Ibid., p. 139; also see Antoine Lema, Africa Divided: The Creation of “Ethnic Groups” (Lund: Lund University Press, 1993), p. 62; and Buluda Itandala, “Ethnicity versus Nationalism in Rwanda,” unpublished manuscript, p. 19.
21. Cited in Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 133.
22. Ibid., p. 135.
23. Ibid., p. 137.
24. Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, pp. 145–147; Martin Plaut, “Rwanda—Looking beyond the Slaughter,” World Today 50, no. 8–9 (1994): 150; Reyntjens (1985, p. 208), cited in Tharcisse Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” Ph.D. diss., University of Edinburgh, 1998, pp. 90–91.
25. Newbury cites examples from Kinyaga: Soma, a newspaper launched in 1956, was “oriented towards publicizing the arbitrary use of power by the chiefs and the discrimination in the society against the powerless.” The trend grew in 1958 when Kinyamateka, the Catholic weekly, carried a series of articles “castigating the system of unrestrained chiefly power and the exploitation by Tuutsi, particularly in the Bukunzi-busoozo-Bugarama chiefdom of Kinyaga.” See Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, pp. 182–183.
26. Gérard Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide (London: Hurst & Co., 1995), p. 43; also see Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 82.
27. Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, pp. 190–191.
28. Fillip Reyntjens, Pouvoir et droit au Rwanda, Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, Annales—Serie—80—Sciences Humaines—No. 117, Tervuren, 1985, pp. 186–189; Lema, Africa Divided, p. 68. An English translation of the “Statement of Views” is reproduced in UN Trusteeship Council, Report of the Visiting Mission T/1402 (1957), Annex II.
29. L. Dorsey, Historical Dictionary of Rwanda (London: Scarecrow Press, 1994); cited in Tor Sellstom and Lennart Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience, Study 1, Historical Perspective: Some Explanatory Factors(Uppsala, Sweden: The Nordic Africa Institute, 1997), p. 25.
30. F. Nkundabagenzi, Rwanda politique, 1958–1960 (Brussels: CRISP, 1961), pp. 21–22; cited in Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, p. 191; also Nkundabagenzi, Rwanda politique, 1958–1960, pp. 20–29, cited Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” pp. 92–93.
31. The information in this paragraph is based on Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, pp. 148, 150; Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, pp. 188–189.
32. Fillip Reyntjens, L’Afrique des Grands Lacs en crise: Rwanda. Burundi: 1988—1994 (Brussels, 1995), and “Sujets d’inquiétude au Rwanda, en Octobre 1994,” Dialogue 179: 3–14; both cited in Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 25. Nkundabagenzi provides a slightly different translation of this text, but in the full. It is worth considering:
The ancestors of the Banyiginya (the reigning lineage) is Kigwa. He arrived in Rwanda with his brother Tutsi Mutusi and their sister Nyampundu…. To reclaim resources sharing, one must prove a brotherhood. But the relations between us (Tutsi) and them (Hutu) have always been built on servitude. Thus, there is no foundation of brotherhood…. The Hutu have also pretended that Kinyarwanda is our common ancestor, the “mediator” of all the Hutu, Tutsi and Batwa families. But Kinyarwanda is the son of Gihanga, of Kazi, of Mirano, of Randa, of Kobo, of Gisa, of Kijuru, of Kimanuka, of Kigwa. This Kigwa found the Hutu in Rwanda. How then Kanyarwanda far posterior to the existence of the three races, Hutu, Tutsi and Batwa, found existing, can be their common ancestor? Our history says that Ruganzu had killed many ‘Bahinza (Hutu monarchs) and then conquered the Hutu counties of which those Bahinza were kings. How then the Hutu could pretend being our brothers? All the details are available in Inganji Karinga (Kagame, 1943).
Nkundabagenzi, Rwanda politique, 1958–60, pp. 35–36; cited in Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” p. 92.
33. Nkundabagenzi, Rwanda politique, 1958–60, p. 37; cited in Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” pp. 92–93.
34. Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 155.
35. See Catharine Newbury and David Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” mimeo, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, p. 9; and Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, pp. 158, 199.
36. Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, pp. 160–161.
37. Ibid., p. 176.
38. Ibid., pp. 154, 159–160.
39. Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 48.
40. “In the end RADER served mainly as a symbol of dissent within the powerholding elite.” Newbury and Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” p. 10; also see Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, p. 200.
41. Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 160.
42. “APROSOMA initially welcomed Tuutsi who shared its goals of working for social and political changes and an end to the arbitrary power of the chiefs.” Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, p. 199.
43. Newbury and Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” p. 10.
44. This, it seems to me, is the answer to the question posed by Elizabeth Hopkins in her review of Catharine Newbury: “Newbury’s suspension of a regional perspective at this critical point in her analysis is most unfortunate, for her exploration of the ‘social preconditions to revolution’ offers no insight into why the ferocity of Hutu action remained confined to northern and central Rwanda and was not, despite the many facets of Kinyagan discontent, at issue in southern Rwanda.” Elizabeth Hopkins, “Review of The Cohesion of Oppression: Clientship and Ethnicity in Rwanda, 1860–1960,” Contemporary Sociology 20, no. 1–3 (1991): 366.
45. The major postgenocide writings convey two different points of view on this question. While Gérard Prunier tends to identify the two parties with “quite distinct regional bases,” Catharine and David Newbury point out that while APROSOMA was more of a regional party, PARMEHUTU had more of a countrywide support. See Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 48; Newbury and Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” p. 10. Prunier’s analysis, on this point at least, seems to fit the processes of 1959 a little too neatly into the outcomes of 1994.
46. Cited in Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 151.
47. According to Lemarchand:
The most important source of disharmony lay in the widely different career opportunities to which each group could aspire by virtue of career and training. Unlike the ex-seminarists, who lacked the necessary qualifications to hold administrative posts, the Astridiens knew that they would be the first to reap the benefits of constitutional and administrative reforms. Their reformist, gradualist outlook, the logical consequence of their professional training, gave them an overwhelming inclination to join APROSOMA. The ex-seminarists, on the other hand, stood little chance of making their mark in life so long as the Centre Scolaire d’Astride remained the only channel of recruitment to government posts. Faced with a denial of career opportunities, they were naturally predisposed to reject political reforms. Nothing short of a revolution of the kind advocated by the PARMEHUTU would enable them to satisfy their aspirations for leadership.
Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 234.
48. Lema, Africa Divided, p. 68.
49. Ibid., p. 38.
50. Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 26.
51. Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” pp. 192–194.
52. That role has been depicted in starkly opposed terms by contemporary Rwandan writers. Two examples will suffice. Captain Haguma of the RPF writes: “A reactionary HUTU—extremist party—MDR—PARMEHUTU was created by the colonial officials in collaboration with the Catholic church and especially Bishop PERRAUDIN with the intention of effectively blocking the Nationalist Independence programme of King MUTARA RUDAHIGWA.” Tharcisse Gatwa writes of the same development: “It seems, from the point of view of this thesis, that it would not be an insult to the quality of organisation and determination of Kayibanda and his colleagues to say that their sudden success and the penetration of the PARMEHUTU propaganda on the hills heavily relied on Colonel Logiest and the Catholic Church resolute support.” See Captain Eugene M. Haguma, “The Rwandese Crisis: A Political Economy of Genocide,” Symposium on Interface, Dialogue and Co-Operation between Government and NGO’s for Popular Participation in National Reconstruction, Conflict and Psycho-Social Trauma Management, Organized Jointly by Africa Humanitarian Action and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Kigali, 28 February 1995, mimeo, p. 10; Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994).”
53. The point is made by Wamba-dia-Wamba:
The politics of independence faced other considerations than the mere replacement of colonialists in the State posts. The mere replacement in Rwanda context, would have favoured only a Tutsi domination. Some kind of “social revolution” breaking a Tutsi hierarchy had to take place. That it was in line with colonialists’ interests does not make it unreal. It gave rise to a political prescription on the state in favour of Hutu domination. Of course, this is a state of possible ethnic wars and not that of civil peace, it is true. In the main, opposition to this “Hutu majority” State has been basically based on an ethnic politics of state entryism—including by military invasion/conquest (emphasis mine).
Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba, “The State of All Rwandese: Political Prescriptions and Disasters,” paper presented to CODESRIA conference, Arusha, 1995, p. 13.
54. Lema, Africa Divided, pp. 70–71.
55. Cited in Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 169.
56. Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” p. 96.
57. Cited in Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 189.
58. Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 27.
59. Cited in Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 203; James Murray, “Rwanda’s Bloody Roots,” New York Times, 3 September 1994.
60. Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, pp.198–206.
61. Wm. Cyrus Reed, “Exile, Reform, and the Rise of the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” Journal of Modern African Studies 34, no. 3 (1996): 481.
62. Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, pp. 217–219.
63. Ibid., pp. 223–224.
64. Colin Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1968–1969 (New York: Africana Publishing), p. 193.
65. Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 28.
66. Newbury and Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” p. 13.
67. Human Rights Watch Arms Project, “Arming Rwanda: The Arms Trade and Human Rights Abuses in the Rwanda War,” Human Rights Watch 6, no. 1 (January 1994): 8.
68. See Haguma, “The Rwandese Crisis,” p. 11. Similarly, Africa Rights claimed that 10,000 Tutsi lost their lives during the 1959 Revolution; see African Rights, Rwanda: Death, Dispair and Defiance (London, 1995), p. 11.
THE SECOND REPUBLIC
1. “The other,” says Paul Theroux, “is the brother.” I thought of Hutu and Tutsi. See Theroux, Sir Vidia’s Shadow (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1998).
2. Prunier continues: “In fact, under the banner of ‘democratic majority rule’ on one side and ‘immediate independence’ on the other, it was a fight between two competing élites, the newly-developed Hutu counter-élite produced by the church and the older neo-traditionalist Tutsi elite which the colonial authorities had promoted since the 1920s. Poor Hutu were used by their new leaders as a battle-axe against a mixed body of Tutsi where, because of the elaborately constructed ‘Rwandese ideology’ we have sought to outline, the poor stood by the rich on the basis of the myth of ‘racial superiority.’ ” See Gérard Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide (London: Hurst & Co., 1995), p. 50.
3. Tharcisse Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” Ph.D. diss., University of Edinburgh, 1998, p. 53
4. This is how Gatwa sums up the aspirations of 1959: “that of liberating both the oppressed and the oppressors from the chains of an obscurantist and degrading system so as to rehabilitate them in their dignity as the children of God.” Ibid.
5. Catharine Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression: Citizenship and Ethnicity in Rwanda, 1860–1960 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989), p. 222.
6. Colin Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1973–74 (New York: Africana Publishing), p. B237.
7. Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, pp. 57–58.
8. Vidal, an anthropologist who conducted numerous interviews at all levels during 1967–73 confirmed that the hostility directed at Tutsi came almost exclusively from educated Hutu, not from the mass of the population. In the rural areas that she visited, access to land was a far more important issue of concern than the Tutsi question. That the land question was separated from the Tutsi question, one may note, was of course also a consequence of the revolution: by redistributing land in Tutsi hands, it had decisively separated the two questions. See Vidal, “Situations ethniques au Rwanda,” in J.-L. Amselle and E. M’bokolo, eds., Au coeur de l’ethnie (Paris, 1985), p. 170; cited in Catharine Newbury and David Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” mimeo, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, p. 46, fn. 43.
9. Urmuli rwa Demokrasi, 3 July 1966; cited in René Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi (New York: Praeger, 1970), p. 239.
10. Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, p. 260.
11. Ibid., pp. 258–259.
12. The reconstruction of events is from Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1973–74, p. B237; Jean-Pierre Chrétien, “Hutu et Tutsi au Rwanda et au Burundi,” in Amselle and M’bokolo, eds., Au coeur de l’ethnie, p. 159, cited in Newbury and Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” p. 14, fn. 15; Tor Sellstom and Lennart Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience, Study 1, Historical Perspective: Some Explanatory Factors(Uppsala, Sweden: The Nordic Africa Institute, 1997), p. 29.
13. Prunier says the number killed were “officially only six, but probably two dozen or more” (The Rwanda Crisis, p. 61). Africa Contemporary Record, 1973–74 estimated those killed at between 300 and 500!
14. “At the 5 July 1979 celebrations of the Second Republic, Habyarimana decorated Rwandans who had contributed to the ‘National’ Revolution of 1959 and to the ‘Moral’ Revolution of 1973.” Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1979–80, p. B283. The designations for the 1959 Revolution and the 1973 coup d’état were several. At a state banquet during his 1978 visit to the People’s Republic of China, President Habyarimana returned to the earlier designation of 1959 as the “social” revolution and 1973 as a corrective action “in face of elements bent on a policy of hatred, division and intrigue,” a reference to those determined to keep any Tutsi presence out of the political arena. See “Speech by Rwandan President,” Xinhua General Overseas News Service, 9 June 1978.
15. Gatwa writes: “Father Muvala was named coadjutor bishop of the Catholic diocese of Butare. An announcement regarding his ‘resignation’ was made a few days only before the date of the ordination. The official explanation given in the announcement about the incident was ‘for personal reasons’ but everyone in Rwanda knew that it was an ethnic plot organised by the regime with the full co-operation of (the) Archbishop.” The Archbishop also “insisted that some Catholic orders including the Benebikira Sisters’ Congregation should practise the politics of ethnic balance in naming a Hutu Superior.” Gatwa, “The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises (1900–1994),” p. 166.
16. Africa Contemporary Record, 1985–86, ed. Legum, p. B381.
17. Wm. Cyrus Reed, “The Rwandan Patriotic Front: Politics and Development in Rwanda,” Issue: A Journal of Opinion 33, no. 2 (1995): 51, African Studies Association of USA.
18. Thus, the southern Tutsi, though they comprise the vast majority of the Tutsi within the country, would have access to only 4 percent of the posts, whereas their counterparts in the north, a much smaller group, would have access to 6 percent of the posts. The 10 percent figure was said to reflect the relative size of the Tutsi/Twa population in the country. Whereas the 1956 census counted the Tutsi at 16 percent, the count in the 1978 census was down to slightly less than 10 percent. J.-P. Chrétien, “La crise politique rwandaise,” Genève Afrique 30(2): 121–141
19. F. Reyntjens, “Démocratisation et conflits ethniques au Rwanda et au Burundi,” Cahiers Africains—Afrika Studies 4–5: 209–227; cited in Scott Grosse, “The Roots of Conflict and State Failure in Rwanda,” School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, mimeo, 15 November 1994, p. 8; also L. Uwezeyimana, “L’équilibre ethnique et régional dans l’emploi,” Dialogue 146 (May–June 1989): 15–31; cited in Grosse, “The Roots of Conflict and State Failure in Rwanda,” p. 8.
20. Africa Contemporary Record, 1977–78, ed. Legum, p. B350.
21. Vidal, “Situations ethniques au Rwanda,” cited in Grosse, “The Roots of Conflict and State Failure in Rwanda,” p. 9.
22. “Rwanda,” in Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1973–74, p. B236.
23. Ibid., p. B254.
24. Ibid., p. B239.
25. René Lemarchand, “Recent History,” in section on “Rwanda,” in Africa South of the Sahara, 1974 (London: Europa Publications Ltd., 1975), p. 660.
26. Philippe Decraene, Le Monde (Paris), 31 March 1974; cited in “Rwanda,” in Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1974–75, p. B255.
27. Ethnic relations were said to be “tense” in 1978. On the one hand, “the Tutsi minority continued to complain that government hiring quotas were handled incorrectly and were prejudicial to their community”; at the same time, “a number of Tutsi left the country and others in government or state agencies complained of harassment.” On the other hand, the anti-Tutsi sentiment was identified with potential rivals of Habyarimana: following the discovery of the Kalinga drum in April 1978 and its being placed in the national museum, there were “veiled threats against the Tutsi community—despite official assurances that the government continued to seek national reconciliation and unity as its basic principles.” Close journalistic observers of the local scene concluded: “The President’s re-election may well put an end to this tension, as he stands for ethnic reconciliation.” See “Rwanda,” in Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1978–79, p. B354.
28. See ibid., p. B281. Théonaste Lizinde later joined the RPF and by 1995 was “a key RPF personality.” René Lemarchand, “Rwanda: The Rationality of Genocide,” Issue 23, no. 2 (1995): 9, African Studies Association of USA.
29. René Lemarchand, private communication, August 23, 2000.
30. Lemarchand, “Recent History,” in section on “Rwanda,” in Africa South of the Sahara, 1982–83, p. 821.
31. Catherine Watson, “Exile from Rwanda: Background to an Invasion,” prepared for the U.S. Committee for Refugees, Washington, D.C., February 1991, p. 6.
32. Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 75.
33. J.-P. Chrétien, “Pluralisme démocratique, ethnismes et stratégies politiques,” in Conac, ed., L’Afrique en transition vers le pluralisme politique, pp. 139–147, as cited in Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 31.
34. Prunier, however, says this of both the First and the Second Republics. In my view, he underestimates and underplays the difference between them. Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 84.
35. See Timothy Longman, “Anarchy and the State in Africa: Power, Democratization and the Rwandan Catastrophe,” mimeo, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, no date, p. 8.
36. Lemarchand, “Recent History,” in “Rwanda,” Africa South of the Sahara, 1982–83, p. 691; also see Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi, pp. 280–282.
37. “Rwanda,” in Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1977–78, p. B349.
38. Ibid., p. B353.
39. Ibid., p. B309. A slightly different version of the reorganization is given by Reyntjens, writing in 1985. According to this version, the country was divided into ten prefectures and 143 communes, with 4–5 secteurs per commune. Each secteur was in turn divided into ten cells, and each cell comprised ten households of some eighty people. This would make the 1960 reform a far more literal reproduction of the Tanzanian model, also known as the ten-cell system. See F. Reyntjens, Pouvoir et droit au Rwanda (A Tervuren: Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale); cited in Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 25.
40. The figures are compiled in Filip Reyntjens, L’Afrique des Grands Lacs en crise: Rwanda, Burundi, 1988–1994 (Brussels, 1995), pp. 31–32; and Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, pp. 78–79. Prunier concludes with the benefit of hindsight: “Revisited, like a poisonous snake still unborn inside its egg, the Habyarimana regime till 1988 was in general one of the least bad in Africa if one considers only its actions and not its intellectual underpinnings” (p. 83). I have already pointed out that Prunier tends to underplay the shift in the institutional underpinning of the post-1959 state from the First to the Second Republic, just as he underplays the shift following Habyarimana’s death.
41. “Rwanda,” in Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1975–76, p. B292.
42. Harrison (1987), cited in Scott Grosse, “More People, More Trouble: Population Growth and Agricultural Change in Rwanda,” School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, manuscript, prepared for the Africa Bureau, U.S. Agency for International Development, revised draft, 16 November 1994, p. 17.
43. Peter Uvin, “Tragedy in Rwanda: The Political Ecology of Conflict,” Environment, April 1996, p. 10.
44. Nzisabira, Accumulation du peuplement rural et ajustements agro-pastoraux au Rwanda, Cahiers du CIDEP, no. 1 (Louvain-la-Neuve: CIDEP, 1989); L. Cambrezy, Le Surpeuplement en question: Organisation spatiale et écologie des migrations au Rwanda. Collection Travaux et Documents, no. 182 (Paris: Ed. ORSTOM, 1984); both cited in Scott Grosse, “More People, More Trouble: Population Growth and Agricultural Change in Rwanda,” School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, manuscript, prepared for the Africa Bureau, U.S. Agency for International Development, revised draft, 16 November 1994, pp. 18–19.
45. An additional factor making for the increase in crop was the colonization of higher-elevation forests.
46. World Bank, World Development Report 1992 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), cited in Grosse, “More People, More Trouble,” pp. 20–21.
47. Uvin, “Tragedy in Rwanda,” p. 10. It is from the national parks that the postgenocide RPF government would carve out land to settle some of the returning Tutsi refugees.
48. “Rwanda,” in Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1975–76, p. B289.
49. Philippe Decraene in Le Monde (Paris), 31 March 1974; cited in “Rwanda,” in Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1974–75, p. B254.
50. Shao Tung, “Rwanda Takes on New Look,” Xinhua General Overseas News Service, 8 June 1978, item no. 060728, p. 222.
51. See, for example, Longman, “Anarchy and the State in Africa,” p. 8.
52. Shao Tung, “Rwanda Takes on New Look,” p. 223.
53. Olson (1994), cited in Grosse, “The Roots of Conflict and State Failure in Rwanda,” pp. 14–15.
54. Grosse, “The Roots of Conflict and State Failure in Rwanda,” p. 15.
55. U.S. Department of State, “Rwanda Human Rights Practices, 1993,” in 1993 Human Rights Report, 31 January 1994, p. 17.
56. Newbury and Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” pp. 16–17.
57. Uvin, “Tragedy in Rwanda,” p. 11.
58. For information on SAP and its consequence, see Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, pp. 34–36. The report cites S. Marysse, T. de Herdt, and E. Ndayambaje, Rwanda: Appauvrissement et ajustement structurel(Brussels: CEDAF/L’Harmattan, 1994).
59. Economist Intelligence Unit Country Report, no. 1, 1994, cited in Africa Direct, Submission to the United Nations Tribunal on Rwanda, Appendix 1: “The Making of War” (London, 1996), p. 7. The Africa Direct submission summed up more elaborate articles appearing in Living Marxism, March 1996, London.
60. Economist Intelligence Unit (1995), cited in Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 15.
61. “The myth of an ‘egalitarian republic’ had evaporated: a quaternary bourgeoisie (military, administrative, business and technocratic) embezzles for its own benefit an important part of the national income.” F. Bézy, Rwanda: Bilan Socioéconomique d’un régime, 1962–1989 (Louvain: Institut d’étude des Pays en Développement, University of Louvain-la-Neuve, 1990); cited in Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 30.
62. “Trafipro’s regional bias, corruption, and the climate of terror it supported led to determined opposition.” Pottier (1993, p. 11), cited in Rachel Yeld, “Repatriation of Rwandan Refugees,” Refugee Studies Programme, Oxford University, 4 December 1995, p. 7.
63. See, for example, A. Hannsen, Le désenchantement de la cooperation (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1989), p. 128; cited in Scott Grosse, e-mail, 22 November 1995.
64. Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 30 (citing Reyntjens, 1994). For further details, see Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1976–77, p. B309; Lemarchand, “Rwanda: Recent History,” Africa South of the Sahara 1980–81, p. 804.
For example, Colin Legum wrote in 1985:
Senior government staff apointments announced on 18 January created a feeling of discontent amongst southerners, as most positions were filled by individuals from the north. In 12 of the 15 ministries, either the Minister or the Secretary-General is from one of the three northern prefectures. Three ministry heads are from Gisenyi, three from Ruhengeri, and one from Byumba. The reduction in the total number of ministries resulted in a net loss of two southerners from the cabinet. Of nine new Secretary-Generals appointed, eight are northerners—four from Gisenyi, three from Ruhengeri, and one from Byumba. Three of the six services at the Presidency (Economy and Finances, Security and the Secretariat) are led by northerners. Of five new parastatal directors appointed, three are from Gisenyi. This favouratism has occurred at the expense of southerners and, in particular, those from the once influential Butare prefecture. The effort to reduce Butare’s importance was also reflected in the decentralization of Rwanda’s national university by adding a campus at Ruhengeri to the original one at Butare.
See Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1984–85, p. B320.
65. The 1978 census gave the following figures:
The principal towns, with their population figures in parantheses, were Kigali (117,749), Butare (21,691), Ruhengeri (16,025), and Gisenyi (12,436). See Reyntjens, “Rwanda: Economy,” Africa South of the Sahara, 1991, p. 824.
66. F. Reyntjens, “Démocratisation et conflits ethniques au Rwanda et au Burundi,” Cahiers Africains—Afrika Studies 4–5 (1993): 209–227.
67. “The long-standing traditional antagonism which had existed between the two districts came to the fore in the ‘Lizinde affair’ in April 1980 when Théonaste Lizinde, a former security chief and a Mugoyi, was arrested, with about 30 other people, for allegedly planning a coup. At his trial, eventually held in late 1981, Lizinde was sentenced to death, but later reprieved. He was, however, re-tried in 1985, charged on this occasion with the murder in the mid-1970s of a number of politicians of the first republic. Lizinde, together with five others, was convicted and condemned to death.” Reyntjens, “Rwanda: Recent History,” Africa South of the Sahara, 1989, p. 827.
68. The information in the following two paragraphs is culled from Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 37; and Reyntjens, “Rwanda: Recent History,” Africa South of the Sahara, 1992, pp. 679–680.
69. Peter Uvin, Aiding Violence (West Hartford: Kumarian Press, 1998), p. 48.
70. My summary description of the four parties relies on Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, pp. 122–126.
71. Landwald Ndasingwa, one of the PL leaders, was fond of saying: “I am a Tutsi, my wife is a white Canadian, several members of my family are married to Hutu, in fact we are all tired of this ethnic business.” Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 125.
THE POLITICS OF INDIGENEITY IN UGANDA
1. Catherine Watson, “Exile from Rwanda: Background to an Invasion,” prepared for the U.S. Committee for Refugees, Washington, D.C., February 1991, p. 5.
2. Writing toward the end of 1990, Catherine Watson estimated the total number of Banyarwanda refugees at “probably about half a million, not one to two million, as is often said.” Filip Reyntjens cited Guichaoua’s estimate that “a total of 600,000” Tutsi refugees had left Rwanda between 1959 and 1990. Catharine Newbury and David Newbury estimated the number as “between 400,000 and 600,000.” Kagabo and Vidal estimated that there were “over 600,000” Tutsi in exile by 1992, constituting 9 percent of the population of Rwanda at the time. Chrétien estimated that the Tutsi who fled into neighboring countries after 1959 may have multiplied to 600,000 by the early 1990s. In 1994, Human Rights Watch estimated the number of “those who fled Rwanda as well as their descendents” at “between 400,000 and 500,000.”
Catherine Watson, “Exile from Rwanda,” p. 6. Filip Reyntjens, L’Afrique des Grands Lacs en crise: Rwanda, Burundi: 1988–1994 (Brussels, 1995), p. 13. Catharine Newbury and David Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” mimeo, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, no date, p. 19. J. Kagabo and C. Vidal, “L’extermination des Rwandais Tutsi,” Cahiers d’études Africaines 34, np. 4 (1994): 538; cited in Jibrin Ibrahim, “The Narcissism of Minor Difference and the Rise of Genocidal Tendencies in Africa: Lessons from Rwanda and Burundi,” paper presented to CODESRIA 8th General Assembly, 26 June–2 July 1995, p. 13. J.-P Chrétien, “La crise politique rwandaise,” Jeune Afrique 30, no. 2 (1992): 121–141. Human Rights Watch Arms Project, “Arming Rwanda: The Arms Trade and Human Rights Abuses in the Rwandan War,” Washington, D.C., January 1994, p. 8.
3. Prunier’s estimates were strongly criticized by Scott Grosse on Rwandanet:
Prunier repeatedly contradicts his own numbers. Regarding the population of Rwanda, in footnote 15 on page 51 he says it was “about 2.7 million” in late 1963. He says in footnote 19 on page 53 that “In 1961 the total population in Rwanda was about 2,800,000.”
Similarly, Prunier gives conflicting estimates of the size of the Tutsi population in Rwanda before the ethnic purges. In footnote 19 on page 53, he states, based on a population estimate of 2,800,000 in 1961, “as 15% of the population, the Tutsi numbered about 420,000. Of these, about 120,000 went into exile.” On page 62, he says that the Tutsi population in 1959 was “about 500,000” without any explanation of the inconsistency. The 500,000 figure would imply that the Tutsi fraction was close to 20% of the roughly 2.6 million population of Rwanda as of 1959….
Finally, Prunier gives wildly conflicting estimates of the number of Tutsi refugees from Rwanda. As noted above, on page 53 he indicates that only 120,000 of 420,000 left Rwanda, which implies that the vast majority of Rwandan Tutsis remained in Rwanda…. Yet, on pages 62–63, Prunier contends that the Tutsi refugee population as of 1964 totalled 400,000. Given his reasoned estimate of a Tutsi population of 420,000 as of 1961, this implies that virtually the entire Tutsi population of Rwanda had fled the country by 1964. Prunier cannot have his cake and eat it too. That is, he cannot double-count the same people as having left Rwanda and joining the refugee diaspora and as remaining in Rwanda.
Scott Grosse, communication on Rwandanet, 22 January 1996.
4. Captain Eugene M. Haguma, “The Rwandese Crisis: The Political Economy of Genocide,” unpublished manuscript, Kigali, February 1995, p. 5.
5. Take, for example, these conflicting reports on how many Rwandese refugees were registered with UNHCR in Uganda. Both accounts come from what are considered to be credible sources of annual reports on African countries. Thus, Africa Contemporary Record reported in its 1986–87 publication that UNHCR “recognized” 30,000 Rwandan refugees in Uganda. Africa South of the Sahara reported in its 1988 publication: “In 1986 the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that there were about 110,000 registered Rwandan refugees living in Uganda, while an even greater number of refugees were believed to have settled in Uganda without registering with the UNHCR.” Catherine Watson reported the number registered with UNHCR in Uganda in early 1991 at “about 81,000.” See “Rwanda,” in Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1986–87, p. B385. Réne Lemarchand, “Recent History” in “Rwanda,” in Africa South of the Sahara, 1988 (London: Europa Publications Ltd.), p. 803. Watson, “Exile from Rwanda,” p. 6.
6. Here is Watson’s account:
The total number of Banyarwanda refugees today is probably about half a million, not one to two as is often said. This lower figure can be derived from the following calculation. Rwanda’s population in 1959, before the present exodus, was 2.6 million. An estimated 14% were Tutsi, making the number of Rwandese Tutsi about 364,000. About 20,000 were murdered, leaving 344,000. Since then, populations in East Africa have roughly tripled. This means that the Tutsi today number slightly more than a million, in and outside the country. Figures suggest that between 40 and 70% of Rwanda’s Tutsi fled between 1959 and 1964. That would put between 400,000 and 700,000 Tutsi outside the country. In Rwanda, according to the 1978 census, 9.64% of the population was Tutsi. Some sources allege, however, that this figure is smaller than it should be, either due to Tutsi identifying themselves as Hutu out of fear of discrimination, or deliberate tempering by the Hutu-controlled Rwanda government.
See Watson, “Exile from Rwanda,” p. 6.
7. A report by Guichaoua, as cited in Filip Reyntjens, L’Afrique des Grands Lacs en crise, p. 139.
8. Watson, “Exile from Rwanda,” p. 5.
9. Ibid., p. 6.
10. Audrey Richards, “The Travel Routes and the Travellers,” in Economic Development and Tribal Change: A Study of Immigrant Labour in Buganda (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1956), p. 70.
11. Augustine Ruzindana, interview, Kampala, 31 August 1995.
12. J. M. Fortt, “The Distribution of the Immigrant and the Ganda Population within Buganda,” pp. 77–118, and Cynthia Postan, “Changes in the Immigrant Population in Buganda, 1948–59,” appendix F, table 8, p. 307; both cited in Richards, Economic Development and Tribal Change.
13. Archie Mafeje, “The Agrarian Revolution and the Land Question in Uganda,” in Roger Leys, ed., Dualism and Rural Development in East Africa (Copenhagen: Institute of Development Research, 1973), p. 145. Also see Archie Mafeje and A. I. Richards, “The Commercial Farmer and His Labour Supply,” in A. I. Richards, Ford Sturrock, and Jean M. Fortt, eds., Subsistence to Commercial Farming in Present-day Buganda (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973).
14. Dramatic instances as that of the RPF’s second-in-command, Lt. Col. Adam Wasswa, who was considered a Muganda even by close colleagues in the NRA, must be considered an exception, however notable.
15. Watson, “Exile from Rwanda,” p. 6.
16. Martin R. Doornbos and Michael F. Lofchie, “Ranching and Scheming: A Case Study of the Ankole Ranching Scheme,” in Michael F. Lofchie, ed., The State of the Nations: Constraints on Development in Independent Africa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971), p. 186; Nyangabyaki Bazaara, “Ugandan Politics and the Crisis of Rwandese Refugees and Immigrants,” paper presented to the 10th All-African Student Conference, Temple University, Philadelphia, 16–18 May 1997.
17. As the memory of UNAR got dim and the mystique of return to Rwanda faded, a variety of social clubs and cultural associations mushroomed in Canada, Germany, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Lomé, Bujumbura, Brazaville, Nairobi, and Kampala. It is in Kampala that the Rwandese Refugee Welfare Foundation (RRWF) was created in 1979 to help victims of political repression after the fall of Idi Amin. The following year, RRWF changed its name to RANU. My information is primarily based on interviews with Patrick Mazimpaka, a leader of RANU and a minister in the present Rwanda government. The interview took place in Kigali in 1995. Also see Gérard Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide (London: Hurst & Co., 1995), pp. 64–67.
18. Charles David Smith, “The Geopolitics of Rwandan Settlement: Uganda and Tanzania,” Issue 23, no. 2 (1995): 54, African Studies Association, USA.
19. Watson, “Exile from Rwanda,” pp. 9–10.
20. Odonga Ori Amaza, “Rwanda and Uganda: Post-War Prospects for Regional Peace and Security,” paper presented at CODESRIA conference on Academic Freedom, Social Research and Conflict Resolution in the Countries of the Great Lakes, 4–7 September 1995, Arusha, Tanzania, pp. 21–22.
21. This paragraph is based on my own experience and also on ibid., p. 22.
22. Leon Dash, “Many Rwandan Refugees Moving North in Uganda to Escape Attacks,” Washington Post, 2 December 1983, final edition.
23. Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1982–83, p. B245; also see idem, Africa Contemporary Record, 1983–84, p. B230.
24. Watson, “Exile from Rwanda,” p. 10.
25. Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1984–85, p. B325.
26. Lemarchand, “Recent History: Rwanda,” in Africa South of the Sahara, 1983–84, p. 669; also see Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1986–87, pp. B383–384.
27. Watson, “Exile from Rwanda,” p. 10.
28. Lemarchand, “Recent History: Rwanda,” p. 771.
29. Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1985–86, p. B380; also see idem, Africa Contemporary Record, 1986–87, p. B387.
30. I chaired this Commission of Inquiry for its duration of two years (1986–88), which took the commission to each district around the country. See National Commission of Inquiry into Local Government, “Report,” Entebbe, Uganda, 1986.
31. Rwigyema went to Mozambique in 1976 as part of a small band under the leadership of Museveni. Kagame joined Museveni’s anti-Amin forces in Uganda in 1979. See Catherine Watson, “War and Waiting,” Africa Report, November–December 1992, p. 54.
32. Catherine Watson, personal communication, September 1995.
33. “There is no evidence to suggest that the Rwandese Banyarwanda who joined the NRA during its early days did so with the aim of preparing to invade their country to facilitate their return home. The majority of them, like most of their Ugandan comrades, were forced to join by getting caught up in the fray or simply fled to the bush to save their lives. However, beginning around 1984, several fairly well-educated Rwandese Banyarwanda began to stream into NRA from recruiting bases in Nairobi. There is reason to believe these later Rwandese Banyarwanda joined NRA with a definite political agenda with regard to their mother country, and it might have been around this time that the conspiracy to desert from the NRA as a prelude to the invasion of Rwanda began to be hatched. The most important of the 1984 group of educated Rwandese Banyarwanda was Dr. Peter Baingana.” Amaza, “Rwanda and Uganda: Post-War Prospects for Regional Peace and Security,” p. 23. At the time of writing, Amaza was a major in the NRA.
Scott Grosse cites Barbara Harrell-Bond, the director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University who toured Rwandan refugee camps in Uganda in 1986, as saying that “at that time the RPF was openly conducting military training and making preparations for its eventual invasion of Rwanda.” Scott Grosse, “Summary and Comments on ‘Exile from Rwanda: Background to an Invasion,’ by Catherine Watson, U.S. Committee on Refugees, 1991,” Ann Arbor, Michigan, 26 June 1995, p. 6.
34. Cited in William Cyrus Reed, “The Rwandan Patriotic Front: Politics and Development in Rwanda,” Issue 23, no. 2 (1995): p. 49.
35. Legum, ed., Africa Contemporary Record, 1983–84, p. B234.
36. Lemarchand, “Recent History: Rwanda,” in Africa South of the Sahara, 1988, p. 803.
37. Previously, the most serious attempt at mass naturalization of Banyarwanda refugees had been in Tanzania, though it had floundered at the implementation stage. In Uganda of the late 1980s, however, the political environment was considered far more favorable to mass naturalization. See Charles P. Gasarasi, “The Mass Naturalization and Further Integration of Rwandese Refugees in Tanzania: Process, Problems and Prospects,” Journal of Refugee Studies (Oxford) 3, no. 2 (1990): 90–95.
38. Catherine Watson writes that Banyarwanda numbered “an estimated 2,000–3,000” of 14,000 when the NRA entered Kampala on 26 January 1986. Faced with a civil war in the northern and eastern districts in 1987, when it faced “about 45,000 rebels,” NRA “embarked on massive recruitment.” In this context, “probably between 1,000 and 2,000 additional Banyarwanda joined.” The figure of 4,000 officers and men at the time of the RPF invasion comes from the letter by Uganda’s ambassador to the U.S. to Human Rights Watch, 26 August 1993. See Watson, “Exile from Rwanda,” pp. 11, 13; Human Rights Watch Arms Project, Arming Rwanda: The Arms Trade and Human Rights Abuses in the Rwandan War 6, issue 1 (January 1994), appendix.
39. Prunier is mistaken when he states that Rwigyema was by then army commander-in-chief and minister of defense. See Gérard Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 73.
40. Interview, Kigali, 1995.
41. RANU began preparations for its transformation into a mass-based activist organization at its 1985 congress, which empowered its political bureau to form a task force to develop a strategy to guide its expansion, keeping in mind the existence in Uganda of a cadre with experience in fighting a guerrilla war. William Cyrus Reed, “Exile, Reform and the Rise of the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” in The Journal of Modern African Studies 34, no. 3 (1996): 485.
42. Some of the grasslands in the county had become infested with the tsetse fly in the 1950s. In 1962, a combined USAID/International Development Agency (World Bank) program financed tsetse eradication on this grazing land, with a pledge from the Uganda government that the land reclaimed would be allocated for commercial ranching to entrepreneurs with a background in cattle keeping. A total of 59 ranches, each measuring up to 5 square kilometers, were allocated in two phases, 17 between 1962 and 1968, and the remaining 42 after 1971 when the Ranch Selection Board had become inoperative and ranch allocation had become the prerogative of leading politicians. For background to the ranching schemes and subsequent developments, see Commission of Inquiry into Government Ranching Schemes, “Report to the Government of Uganda,” Entebbe, December 1988.
43. Minister for Animal Industries and Fisheries, National Resistance Council, Wednesday, 22 August 1990, in Parliament of Uganda, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), Official Report, 4th sess., 2nd meeting, issue no. 14, 28 June–23 August 1990, Kampala, p. 377.
44. Expedit Ddungu, “The Other Side of Land Issues in Buganda: Pastoral Crisis and the Squatter Movement in Sembabule Sub-District,” mimeo, Centre for Basic Research, Kampala, no date, pp. 2–3; Frank Emmanuel Muhereza, “The Struggles for Land Rights and 1990 Squatter Uprisings in the Former Government Ranching Schemes of Uganda,” mimeo, Centre for Basic Research, Kampala, March 1998, pp. 4–5.
45. Mr. A. Okullu quoted from a memo submitted by Mawogola ranchers to the president. It identified three groups as “the source of squatters”: “a small fraction” being pastoralists “moving from place to place,” the second being Ugandan migrants “who came during the Liberation wars from Ankole, Luwero and Mtukula areas,” and finally the Banyarwanda, described as “victims of Rwakasisi’s evacuation of non-citizens from Mbarara and Bushenyi.” No numbers were given, except for a hint in the contribution by the minister of state for defense. Maj.-Gen. Tinyefuza gave two sets of figures: a figure of “about 120,000 or more” when speaking of “Ugandan human beings who were displaced from their lands some twenty years or so in their sixties” (“Ugandans who have a right to bury their dead”), and 200,000 when referring to the total number of “homeless.” The implication was that the refugee squatters numbered in the vicinity of 80,000.
46. For a detailed discussion of the evolution of rental relations, see Ddungu, “The Other Side of Land Issues in Buganda,” pp. 4–8.
47. The total of 112 ranches were to be found in five different parts of the country. See Commission of Inquiry into Government Ranching Schemes, “Report to the Government of Uganda,” pp. 81–82 and annexes 3 and 8.
48. Muhereza, “The Struggles for Land Rights,” p. 11.
49. “Ranches Fight to Retain Land,” New Vision, 9 February 1990. This paragraph is constructed on the basis of Ddungu, “The Other Side of Land Issues in Buganda,” p. 18.
50. When the RC III chairperson of Mijwala tried to intervene, he was temporarily arrested and charged with helping ranchers to deny squatters access to water. “Telephone Ranchers Stand to Lose Most,” and “Ranchers Policy Was Child of Injustice,” Weekly Topic, 24–31 August, 1990; “NRC Holds Special Session on Ranches,” New Vision, 23 August 1990; both cited in Muhereza, “The Struggles for Land Rights and 1990 Squatter Uprisings in the Former Government Ranching Schemes of Uganda,” pp. 8–9. Ddungu, “The Other Side of Land Issues in Buganda,” p. 21. President Museveni claimed in Parliament that “the resistance” to squatter demands “was in the technocracy; in the Ministry of Lands, in the Ministry of Veterinary Services.” Chairman (president of Uganda), National Resistance Council, Wednesday, 22nd August 1990, in Parliament of Uganda,Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), Official Report, 4th sess., 2nd meeting, issue no. 14, 28 June–23 August 1990, Kampala, p. 416. The information in the rest of the paragraph is from pp. 427–428 and 431 of the parliamentary proceedings.
51. The first attack took place on 5 August 1990. By 13 August Lyatonde police station reported twelve different clashes on ranches, leaving cows, goats, sheep, and buildings destroyed. “Ministers Visit Troubled Ranches,” New Vision, 17 August 1990; cited in Ddungu, “The Other Side of Land Issues in Buganda,” p. 13.
52. “The Other Side of Land Issues in Buganda,” p. 13.
53. “Mr. Chairman, I come to another group—the instigators. Here, I can see the instigators apparently are combined together with some squatters against the ranchers and the issue here is to remove the ranchers forcefully.” Mr. A. Okulu, National Resistance Council, Wednesday, 22nd August 1990, in Parliament of Uganda, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), Official Report, 4th sess., 2nd meeting, issue no. 14, 28 June–23 August 1990, Kampala, p. 452.
“Mr. Chairman, if we let people get things of the mighty they have used, the saying will be confirmed. My mighty is my right instead of right is mighty. We shall be saying, mighty is right—my strength, I mean strength…. These people are really well armed. Some have spears and they dress in rags but those who dress in rags are really looking gentlemanly and they are not really real squatters. So, these people are really supported by those who disguise to be squatters and if you let this continue, the situation will be explosive.” Mr. Kajubi, in ibid., p. 413.
54. Why else, they asked, were nineteen ranches from Buganda (Masaka) targeted for repossession, but only three from Ankole? In his remarks in Parliament, the minister acknowledged both the force and impact of this argument: “Now, people went around saying that the government was repossessing all the ranches in Buganda and they had left alone the ranches in Ankole. People said this and still they say it now…. So, we went back to cabinet and said we are being accused of being sectarian and the innuendoes are very clear as to why people are saying that Ankole ranches were being left alone…. They said, why do you not go across the board and reduce all the ranches? The cabinet accepted our recommendation.” The Minister for Animal Industry and Fisheries (Prof. G. Kagonyera), in ibid., p. 378.
55. Mr. Gasatura said: “What we discuss today, Mr. Chairman, is nothing but a class struggle in which those who have are refusing to allow a little bit to those who have little or none.” In support, Mr. Rwakakooko contributed: “I think we are trying right now to answer a problem of social injustice where the government in the past dispossessed people in those areas and gave to people, some of them have developed, some of them have not.” Mr. Gasatura’s contribution is on p. 383, and that of Mr. Rwakakooko is on p. 401 of ibid.
56. See Mrs. Matembe (Women, Mbarara) in ibid., pp. 396–397, 397–399; Mr. Muruli Mukasa (Nakasongola County, Luwero), pp. 416–417; Prof. Kagonyera, p. 429; Mr. Kasaija (Kampala), p. 426.
The question of military training assumed a greater significance after the RPF invasion of October 1990. The minister of state for defense at first flatly denied the allegations—“there is no such training”—and concluded: “That is rumour-mongering again centred on heaping up the Banyarwanda issue.” When pressed further, however, he conceded that Local Defence Unit personnel were indeed being trained in the county. “These are local defence units being trained like anywhere in the country and they are being trained there, and some of those who passed out actually come from the area of the Hon. Member himself—Hon. Kasaija—in Matete. So these are not bandits. They are being trained to keep law and order.” Maj. Gen. Tinyefuza, ibid., pp. 425–426.
Based on extensive local research, Ddungu had this to say about military training of squatters:
It is alleged by many local people that some light training went on prior to the actual uprising. This training is claimed to have taken place in some centres such as Kasasa area near Rwemiyaga (in Ranch no. 20). This training is said to have been arranged to coincide with the training of the official local defence personnel. As a characteristic that has remained more or less a permanent legacy of the uprising, a large section of squatters still carry guns disguised as local defence personnel. This way there is a local defence personnel in almost every homestead. Some district officials interviewed over the matter sounded resigned whereas others did not see any problem in it. Squatters/local defence personnel move with their guns during the day in their numbers and without any security problem. In other areas of the country there are usually three to four local defense personnel. The guns are usually kept in a nearby barracks and they are collected every evening for night duty.
Ddungu, “The Other Side of Land Issues in Buganda,” p. 16.
Significantly, government did not deny that military training was taking place on ranches. It only pointed out that the people being trained were Local Defence Forces. “Minister Accused of Manipulating President,” The Star, 24 August 1990; “Ranches: Tinyefuza Defends Army,” New Vision, 24 August 1990 cited in Muhereza, “The Struggles for Land Rights,” p. 14.
57. Maj. Gen. Tinyefuza on p. 420 and Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda on p. 421, The National Resistance Council, Wednesday, 22 August 1990, in Parliament of Uganda, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard).
58. See Mrs. Matembe, ibid., p. 423.
59. Mr. Mwandha said, “Mr. Chairman, the question of citizenship goes hand in hand with the question of land. Although, Mr. Chairman, you said that this is not a major problem, I think it is a problem because even this afternoon and this morning, I have observed that some of the Members of this House who hardly contribute in this House, when the question came to that of citizenship, they contributed and very strongly, and they showed that there is a lot of strong feelings about the question of citizenship…. Do we have a system, Mr. Chairman, when we come to implementing government policy to ensure that only citizens of this country will be the people to benefit from what has been improvised by government in this resolution. Do we have that system of making sure that we are actually catering for the citizens of this country? This to me is a very important question.” See ibid., p. 450.
60. The president elaborated: “Now, on this issue of ranches, another campaign which was going on underground; after talking about Museveni wants to get land for Banyarwanda, then they talk about Banyankole that this move is in order to get land for Banyankole from other groups, from other Ugandans. Now, do you see the opportunists are really wizards.” See ibid., p. 407.
61. Maj.-Gen. Tinyefuza, in ibid., p. 425. He was supported by Mr. Pulkol: “These people now, the squatters, are no longer where they used to be,” pointed out Mr. Pulkol in Parliament, “you know, some of them have been fighters even in this revolution, they are there now! They are now more enlightened with the RC system; they are now qualified to demand for what they were denied. So, actually, whether you would wait for somebody to instigate you or not, it is just a question of time. If we do not move with speed, we might still experience even a bigger one because as we speak today, these squatters are holding these ranches, they are there physically. Therefore, we must come to terms with this.” Mr. Pulkol in ibid., p. 412.
62. The president was forthright when it came to pinning the chairman; see ibid., p. 395.
63. The chairman, in ibid., p. 427.
64. Ibid., p. 406.
65. After discussing the case of non-Africans, those usually referred to as “foreign investors,” the president continued (ibid., p. 407): “Then there is the question of the Africans from Africa but who are not Ugandans, from the neighbouring territories especially, Sudan, Rwanda, Kenya and Zaire. What do we do about these? I think that one should be discussed because these are more, they are also peasants unlike the other ones who are industrialists…. The question of the property rights of non-Ugandan Africans here in Uganda, it should be discussed.” Later on in the debate, Maj. Gen. Tumwine pointed out that the law does not really distinguish between indigenous and non-indigenous Africans (p. 475): “The information that I have according to our present Law, the Chapter 202 of the Land Transfer Act, 1969, Section 13, it says, ‘any African can get a lease or buy completely….’ ” Whereupon Miss Kadaga intervened to point out (p. 475) that the Hon. Member was misleading the House “about the interpretation of the Land Transfer Act when it clearly defines an African there as an indigenous person born here.”
66. The distinction was made by the representative from Mufumbira, Dr. Mateke, who carefully distanced himself as one of the Ugandan Banyarwanda from Rwandese refugees: “I was informing the speaker on the Floor that in South Western Uganda, we have got a very big population called Banyarwanda and I am one of them. We have got very many Ugandans about four millions in Uganda who are Banyarwanda and I am one of them. We have got very many Ugandans about four millions in Uganda who are Banyarwanda and are Uganda citizens.” Ibid., p. 417.
67. Dr. Kanyeihamba in ibid., p. 489.
68. The chairman in ibid., pp. 489–490.
69. Mr. Kandole in ibid., p. 490; the chairman, pp. 490–491; and Prof. Kanyeihamba, p. 491.
70. Amaza, “Rwanda and Uganda: Post-War Prospects for Regional Peace and Security,” p. 24. Uganda’s ambassador to the United States stated in his letter to Human Rights Watch: “Major General Fred Rwigyema was no longer on active duty with the NRA at the time of the invasion in October 1990. Because he opted to remain a Rwandese national, he and many other Rwandese in this category were removed from the NRA by a decision of the National Resistance Council (Parliament).” Human Rights Watch Arms Project, Arming Rwanda: The Arms Trade and Human Rights Abuses in the Rwandan War 6, issue 1 (January 1994), appendix.
71. Though none of them grasp the significance of the squatter uprising and its consequences, a number of commentators have understood that the RPF invasion was not a response to developments internal to Rwanda. Yet, without an understanding of the social dynamics shaping refugee options within Uganda, and with an exclusive focus on the individual dilemmas of leading personalities in the RPF, such accounts tend to present the invasion as no more than an initiative (or conspiracy, depending on the point of view of the author) of individuals.
Thus the RPF attack of 1990 can be seen as having resulted from the convergence of multiple interests. Many refugees (both elites and non-elites, though for different reasons) may have felt that this provided an escape from the burden of discrimination they felt in Uganda. At the same time Museveni may have found it expedient to divest his government of an increasing liability within the Ugandan political arena. The timing of the invasion, however, may have been more affected by initiatives within Rwanda, as the Habyarimana regime moved—very cautiously—towards a more open political system and a new position on refugee issues. Both policies—the move to “political liberalization” and the move to address the “refugee problem”—undercut RPF claims to moral superiority. So the RPF attack on October 1, 1990 carries the appearance of an attempt to preempt two issues on which the Rwanda government had indicated a willingness to act; by attacking when they did, the RPF seemed intent on maintaining the moral “high ground.”
Catharine Newbury and David Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” mimeo, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, pp. 20–21. The authors then cite, in a footnote, support from Reyntjens, L’Afrique des Grands Lacs en crise, p. 180: “As Reyntjens points out, pressures from within Uganda also probably influenced the timing of the attack. There had been threats of a renewed round of hostility against Rwandans living in Uganda, and two key RPF leaders (Fred Rwigyema and Paul Kagame) had recently been removed from their high positions in the Uganda military.”
Filip Reyntjens (p. 181), in turn, quotes Prunier to the effect that the RPF attacked in October 1990 because they were afraid that if they waited, the two main elements of their propaganda, the right of refugees to return and democracy in Rwanda, might be realized peacefully. The Prunier article is “Eléments pour une histoire du Front Patriotique Rwandais,” Politique Africaine 51 (October 1993): 121–138.
“Some observers question the wisdom of the RPF in taking military action at that particular time (Prunier, 1993). The invasion occurred only two months after the 30-month talks supervised by UNHCR and OAU on the refugee problem had led to a (third) ministerial agreement between Rwanda and Uganda that might have led to concrete results, and during a gradually developing political liberalization process within Rwanda. Although it seems as if the negotiations might have led to a breakthrough, the RPF, however, was not prepared to wait any more; it was apparently tired of the continued stalling by the Rwandese government. It is, however, argued that RPF attacked at that time because a possible breakthrough in the areas of democratization, human rights and refugee repatriation would have diminished the legitimacy of an attack. (Reyntjens, 1994).” Cited in Tor Sellstom and Lennart Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience, Study 1, Historical Perspective: Some Explanatory Factors (Uppsala, Sweden: The Nordic Africa Institute, 1997), pp. 32–33.
A very similar argument is given by William Cyrus Reed in two related articles. “By legalising political activities domestically and softening its stand on the right of return of refugees, the regime in Kigali was taking a major initiative on the two central demands of the RPF, without their participation.” And then: “With their careers blocked, growing pressure to remove them from the military, and plenty of time on their hands, the RPF leaders organised a mass desertion from the NA and focused on preparing an invasion into Rwanda.” The first quote is from Reed, “Exile, Reform and the Rise of the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” in Journal of Modern African Studies 34, no. 3 (1996): 486; the source of the second quote is Reed, “The Rwandan Patriotic Front: Politics and Development in Rwanda,” Issue 23, no. 2 (1995): 50.
72. The letter was dated 26 August 1993. For details, see Human Rights Watch Arms Project, Arming Rwanda.
73. William Cyrus Reed cites Filip Reyntjens as the authority for the following statement: “The success of the withdrawal stemmed from the fact that within the NRA a parallel command structure, headed by Rwigyema, existed in the form of the Rwandan Patriotic Army—code-named ‘Inkotanyi,’ a Kinyarwanda word meaning tough fighters.” He then adds in a footnote: “ ‘Inkotanyi’ was also the name of the élite fighters in the ancient Rwandan monarchy, though it is unclear that the RPA was aware of the historical reference.” The Reyntjens reference is to L’Afrique des Grands Lacs en crise, p. 91, fn. 7; cited in Reed, “Exile, Reform and the Rise of the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” p. 488.
74. “RPF Is the Uganda Army, Says Expert,” Economist Intelligence Review, 19 August 1994.
75. Statement by H. E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, president of the Republic of Uganda, in “The Background to the Situation in the Great Lakes,” 9 August 1998, Harare/Zimbabwe; excerpted in East African Alternatives, March/April 1999, Nairobi, Kenya, p. 39.
THE CIVIL WAR AND THE GENOCIDE
1. Charles Onyango-Obbo, “Inside Rebel-Controlled Rwanda,” Africa News Service, 26 April 1993.
2. Gérard Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide (London: Hurst & Co., 1995), pp. 135–136.
3. Tor Sellstom and Lennart Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience, Study 1, Historical Perspective: Some Explanatory Factors (Uppsala, Sweden: The Nordic Africa Institute, 1997), pp. 39, 45.
4. Catherine Watson, “Rwanda: War and Waiting,” Africa Report, November/December 1992, p. 55.
5. Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 175, fn. 33.
6. Onyango-Obbo, “Inside Rebel-Controlled Rwanda.”
7. Catharine Newbury and David Newbury, “Identity, Genocide and Reconstruction in Rwanda,” paper presented at the conference “Les racines de la violence dans la région des Grands-Lacs,” European Parliament, Brussels, 12–13 January 1995, p. 17.
8. Amy Waldman, “Is It Too Late for Rwanda?” Houston Chronicle, 12 June 1994. Waldman quotes another RPF leader: “You cannot have democracy where you have an ignorant population.” And then another,“Democracy is rule by the majority for those who are conscious of what they are doing.”
9. Human Rights Watch Arms Project, Arming Rwanda: The Arms Trade and Human Rights Abuses in the Rwandan War, vol. 4, issue 1, January 1994, p. 13. This section quotes extensively from the report of the January 1993 investigation of human rights abuses in Rwanda carried out by an international commission comprising Africa Watch, the International Federation of Human Rights (Paris), the Inter-African Union of Human Rights (Ouagadougou), and the International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Montreal). See “Report of The International Commission of Investigation on Human Rights Violations in Rwanda since October 1, 1990,” March 1993.
10. “They continued to avoid establishing administrative structures in the territory they conquered. Rather, they sought to increase the political costs of the war for the Habyarimana regime by displacing the local population and halting production…. Because of the massive displacement of the local population during the war, the RPF did not effectively expand its base through the political activities which normally accompany guerrilla warfare.” William Cyrus Reed, “The Rwandan Patriotic Front: Politics and Development in Rwanda,” Issue 23, no. 2 (1995): 50.
11. “The perceptions that the RPF leaders had of themselves—that of liberators, dedicated to the overthrow of a thoroughly corrupt and oppressive dictatorship—turned out to be sadly out of sync with the image that a great many Hutu had of their would-be ‘liberators.’ ” René Lemarchand, “Rwanda: The rationality of Genocide,” Issue 23, no. 2 (1995): p. 8.
12. William Cyrus Reed, “Exile, Reform and the Rise of the Rwanda Patriotic Front,” Journal of Modern African Studies 34, no. 3 (1996): 492.
13. Todd Shields, “Invasion Stirs Tribal Tension in Rwanda,” Washington Post, 13 October 1990.
14. African Rights, Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance, rev. ed., (London, 1995), pp. 42–43.
15. Robert M. Press, “Escape from Kigali: Odyssey of a Hutu Family,” Christian Science Monitor, 14 November 1994, p. 9.
16. Bill Berkeley, “Sounds of Violence,” New Republic, 22 August 1994, p. 18.
17. David Lamb, “Rwanda Tragedy May Reflect Larger Africa Problem,” The Dallas Morning News, 12 June 1994, p. 21A.
18. Human Rights Watch/Africa, Genocide in Rwanda, April/May 1994, vol. 6, no. 4 (May 1994), p. 7.
19. René Lemarchand has summed up these events in a short postgenocide reflection. See Lemarchand, “Rwanda: The Rationality of Genocide,” Issue 23, no. 2 (1995): 9–10.
20. Catharine Newbury and David Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” mimeo, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, p. 22.
21. U.S. State Department, 1990 Human Rights Report, 1991.
22. Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 168.
23. Unlike, for example in Uganda under Idi Amin, where it was the central state apparatus that organized the expulsion of residents of Asian origin and appropriated and redistributed their property.
24. Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, pp. 142, 137–138.
25. Timothy Longman, “Democratization and Disorder: Political Transformation and Social Deterioration in Rwanda,” Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, mimeo, no date, p. 8. Longman was one of the few scholars to carry out local interviews soon after the genocide.
26. Human Rights Watch/Africa, Rwanda: A New Catastrophe?, vol. 6, no. 12 (December 1994): 7.
27. Human Rights Watch reported in May 1994: “Although much of the violence is still controlled by authorities of the hardline parties, the rump government or the Rwandan army, random killing, especially in the course of banditry and pillage, is growing as well. As food becomes more difficult to obtain, violence linked to the struggle for survival will increase.” See Human Rights Watch/Africa, Genocide in Rwanda, April/May 1994, p. 6.
28. Press, “Escape from Kigali,” p. 9.
29. I have not found the complete text of Mugesera’s speech, but sections are widely quoted in different sources, including in communications on Rwandanet. For an earlier communication, see Dr. Peter L. Hall, Rwandanet, 5 February 1996; also Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, pp. 171–172.
30. Alison des Forges, “The Ideology of Genocide,” Issue 23, no. 23 (1995): 46.
31. Philip Gourevitch, “After the Genocide,” New Yorker, 18 December 1995, pp. 84–85; also see Gourevitch, We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families: Stories from Rwanda (New York: Picador, 1998), pp. 96–99.
32. D. C. Clay, “Fighting an Uphill Battle: Demographic Pressure, the Structure of Land Holding, and Land Degradation in Rwanda,” Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, mimeo, 1993; cited in Scott Grosse, “More People, More Trouble: Population Growth and Agricultural Change in Rwanda,” Department of Population Planning and International Health, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 16 November 1994, paper prepared for the Africa Bureau, U.S. Agency for International Development, work order no. 001 of Requirements Contract no. DHR-5555-Q-00187–00 by the Environmental and Natural Resources Policy and Training (EPAT/MUCIA) Project.
33. Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 14.
34. Grosse, “More People, More Trouble,” p. 41. Grosse cites two sources. See F. Bart, Montagnes d’Afrique, Terres Paysannes. Le cas du Rwanda (Bordeaux: Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux, 1993); L. A. Lewis, “Terracing and Accelerated Soil Loss on Rwandan Steeplands: A Preliminary Investigation of the Implications of Human Activities Affecting Soil Movement,” Land Degradation and Rehabilitation 3: (1992): 241–246.
35. D. Clay et al., “Promoting Food Security in Rwanda through Sustainable Agricultural Productivity: Meeting the Challenges of Population Pressure, Land Degradation and Poverty,” staff paper 95–08 for Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University, March 1995; cited in Peter Uvin, “Tragedy in Rwanda: The Political Economy of Conflict,” Environment, April 1996, p. 11.
36. Africa News Report, 12 September 1994; cited in Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 353. Others labeled the millions of Rwandese refugees in Zaire as “environmental refugees” and explained the conflict as the outcome of “demographic entrapment.” See J. Patterson, “Rwandan Refugees,”Nature 373, no. 6511 (19 January 1995): 185, and M. King, “Rwanda, Malthus and Medicus Mundi,” Medicus Mundi Bulletin, no. 54 (August 1994); both cited in Uvin, “Tragedy in Rwanda,” p. 7.
37. Michael R. Marrus, The Holocaust in History (New York: Meridian Penguin, 1987), pp. 10–11, 18, 46.
38. Final report, “International Conference on Genocide, Impunity and Accountability,” Kigali, 1–5 November 1995, mimeo, p. 3.
39. Uvin, “Tragedy in Rwanda,” Environment, April 1996, p. 13. In his more recent book, Peter Uvin combines state-society (“profound racism”) with state-centered (“elite manipulation”) explanations: “Without the profound racism, we would not find genocide but ‘ordinary’ communal violence, of which there is so much in Africa; without elite manipulation, structural violence would lead to more diffuse, anomic modes of violence such as petty criminality, sorcery, or domestic abuse—all of which are on the rise in most of Africa.” Peter Uvin, Aiding Violence: The Development Enterprise in Africa (West Hartford, Conn.: Kumarian Press, 1998), pp. 138–139.
40. Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, pp. 141–142.
41. I should add that Prunier does not always assume an opposition between two kinds of societies: those preliterate and thus prerational, and others literate and rational. If he did, the following comparison between pregenocide Rwanda and pre-Holocaust Prussia would make little sense: “As we saw in chapter 1, there had always been a strong tradition of unquestioning obedience to authority in the pre-colonial kingdom of Rwanda. This tradition was of course reinforced by both the German and the Belgian colonial administrations. And since independence the country had lived under a well-organised tightly-controlled state. When the highest authorities in that state told you to do something you did it, even if it included killing. There is some similarity here to the Prussian tradition of the German state and its ultimate perversion into the disciplined obedience to Nazi orders.” Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 245.
42. Gourevitch, “After the Genocide,” pp. 83–84; also see Gourevitch, We wish to inform you, pp. 22–23.
43. Gourevitch, “After the Genocide,” p. 91.
44. Uvin, Aiding Violence, p. 215.
45. He then adds: “There is of course one further added cause: overpopulation.” See Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 353.
46. Human Rights Watch Arms Project, Arming Rwanda: The Arms Trade and Human Rights Abuses in the Rwandan War, p. 4.
47. Des Forges, “The Ideology of Genocide,” p. 44.
48. Cited in Patrick McDowell, “342 Women Implicated in Genocide,” Rocky Mountain News, 26 September 1995, p. 30A.
49. Cited in Amy Waldman, “Is It Too Late for Rwanda?” Houston Chronicle, 12 June 1994, sec. A, p. 1.
50. See “Africa Direct, Submission to the UN Tribunal on Rwanda,” p. 5. This submission sums up several articles on Rwanda that appeared in the London-based periodical, Living Marxism, December 1995 and March 1996.
51. S. Marysse and T. de Herdt, L’ajustement structurel en Afrique: Les expériences du Mali et du Rwanda (Antwerp: UFSIA/Centre for Development Studies, 1993); cited in Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 34.
52. U.S. State Department, “Rwanda Human Rights Practices, 1993,” in 1993 Human Rights Report, February 1994.
53. Timothy Longman, “Democratization and Disorder,” p. 7.
54. United Nations Information Center, “United Nations Observer Mission Uganda-Rwanda,” Africa News Service, 23 August 1993. The Center also reported that, following the signing of the Kinihira Agreement of 30 May 1993, an estimated 500,000 displaced persons were allowed to return to the demilitarized zone in northern Rwanda. Their respite was, however, temporary since the war continued, and with it the numbers of the displaced. In May 1994, Human Rights Watch estimated the number of the displaced sheltering in RPF-controlled areas at 200,000. See Human Rights Watch/Africa, Genocide in Rwanda, April/May 1994, vol. 6, no. 4 (May 1994) p. 8.
55. Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 241.
56. Africa Rights, cited in Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 45.
57. U.S. Department of State, 1993 Human Rights Report, February 1994, section on Rwanda.
58. U.S. Department of State, 1990 Human Rights Report, February 1991, section on Rwanda. For UN estimates, see, Stephen Nisbet, “60,000 Frightened Refugees Give Burundi Little to Celebrate,” Reuters, AM cycle, 2 September 1988.
59. Human Rights Watch/Africa, Genocide in Rwanda, April/May 1994, vol. 6, no. 4 (May 1994), p. 8. Once again, as with every other estimate of victims of political violence in Rwanda, and I would add, in Africa generally, a researcher is usually faced with a wide range of estimates. The choice he or she makes usually provides a clue to his/her predilection. On the question of the Barundi refugees in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, I have seen three estimates, ranging from 200,000 at the outset and 80,000 two months later (Human Rights Watch) to constant estimates of 200,000 (René Lemarchand) to 400,000 (Catharine Newbury). I picked the first because it pays attention to the change in numbers as the situation deteriorated, and because the choice of the lowest available estimate from a credible source makes my point all the more forcefully and convincingly. See Lemarchand, “Rwanda: The Rationality of Genocide,” p. 10, and Newbury, “Background to Genocide: Rwanda,” p. 16; both in Issue 23, no. 2 (1995).
60. Letter of 18 November 1993 to Minister of External Affairs, cited in Africa Rights, Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance, p. 59, and in Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, pp. 246–247.
61. Newbury and Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” p. 21.
62. The lower estimate comes from René Lemarchand, the higher from Gérard Prunier. See Lemarchand, “Rwanda: The Rationality of Genocide,” p. 10; Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 243.
63. In Rwanda, it is the Force publique from neighboring Belgian-ruled Congo that was expected to take on the military function in the case of civil strife.
64. I am indebted to Nurrudin Farah for the insight on Somalia.
65. These events are narrated in Timothy Longman, “Anarchy and the State in Africa: Power, Democratization, and the Rwandan Catastrophe,” Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, pp. 13–14, and Newbury and Newbury, “Was the Genocide in Rwanda an Ethnic Struggle?” p. 23.
66. Christophe Mfizi, Le réseau zéro, open letter to the president of the MRND (Kigali: Editions Uruhimbi, July–August 1992); cited in Longman, “Anarchy and the State in Africa,” p. 15.
67. Sellstrom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, p. 40.
68. Bruce D. Jones, “Roots, Resolution and Reaction: Civil War, the Peace Process and Genocide in Rwanda,” in Ali Taisier et al., eds., mimeo, Toronto, 1999, p. 20.
69. Longman, “Democratization and Disorder,” p. 8.
70. Filip Reyntjens, “Recent History,” in Africa South of the Sahara, 1994 (London: Europa Publications) p. 699.
71. Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 163.
72. For an analysis of the agreement, see Bruce D. Jones, “Roots, Resolution and Reaction,” pp. 21–23.
73. That the agreement also stipulated that no refugee who had been ten years or so out of the country could reclaim property could be treated and dismissed as small print by this same media.
74. D. Jones, “Roots, Resolution and Reaction,” pp. 25, 45 (fn. 41).
75. Cited in Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 156.
76. Angeline Oyog, “Human Rights-Media: Voices of Hate Test Limits of Press Freedom,” Inter-Press Service, 5 April 1995.
77. African Rights, Rwanda, p. 30.
78. Lindsey Hilsum, “Hutu Warlord Defends Child Killings,” The Observer (London), 3 July 1994, p. 15.
79. Human Rights Watch, Genocide in Rwanda, April/May 1994, vol. 6, no. 4 (May 1994), p. 9.
80. More than a month into the genocide, on 11 May the Security Council finally authorized a force of 5,500 troops and enlarged its mandate “to protect displaced persons, refugees and civilians at risk.” But the force failed to take off since the United States insisted that only a small force of several hundred troops take off in the first instance. The rest would be deployed only after “progress towards a new ceasefire between the RPF and the Government, the availability of resources and further review and action by the Security Council.” See Human Rights Watch, Genocide in Rwanda, April/May 1994, vol. 6, no. 4 (May 1994), p. 10.
81. See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/evil/warning/cable.html, p. 2.
82. Baltimore Sun, 24 July 1994.
83. David Rieff, “Rwanda: The Big Risk,” New York Review, 31 October 1996.
84. On Burundi, see, René Lemarchand, Ethnic Conflict and Genocide (New York: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Columbia University Press, 1994).
85. “With the assassination of President Melchior Ndadaye of Burundi on 21 October 1993, genocide came to be seen increasingly by MNRD politicians as the only rational option, and compromise, along the lines of Arusha, as synonymous with political suicide. As the first Hutu president in the history of Burundi, Ndadaye’s election brought to a close twenty-eight years of Tutsi hegemony. His death at the hands of an all-Tutsi army had an immediate and powerful demonstration effect on the Hutu of Rwanda. As ethnic violence swept across the country, causing some 200,000 panic-stricken Hutu to seek refuge in Rwanda, the message conveyed by Ndadaye’s assassination came through clear and loud: ‘Never trust the Tutsi!’ ” Lemarchand, “Rwanda: The Rationality of Genocide,” p. 10.
86. Human Rights Watch and Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme, Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1999), pp. 55–56.
87. Robert Block, “The Tragedy of Rwanda,” New York Review, 20 October 1994, pp. 3–8; cited in Longman, “Anarchy and the State in Africa,” p. 17.
88. “With Ndadaye’s death vanished what few glimmers of hope remained that Arusha might provide a viable formula for a political compromise with the RPF. Though formally committed to implement the accords, Habyarimana was fast losing his grip on the situation.” Lemarchand, “Rwanda: The Rationality of Genocide,” p. 10.
90. Human Rights Watch and Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme, Leave None to Tell the Story, p. 6.
91. Ibid., p. 7.
92. This account is based on Monique Mujawamariya, “Report of a Visit to Rwanda: September 1–22, 1994,” Issue 23, no. 2 (1995), pp. 32–33; Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 244; see also African Rights, Death, Despair and Defiance, pp. 583–584.
In an account of massacres in two different communities in Kibuye Prefecture, Timothy Longman stresses the importance of outside force. In Buguhu, the violence was “initiated clearly from the outside”: “The burgomaster, who lived some distance from Biguhu, came with a mob and with several gendarmes and gathered a few local supporters to assist.” The case of Kirinda sheds more light on who these “local supporters” may be. More than a week after the killing began in Kigali, “the local Hutu elite, including the burgomaster and some church leaders, organized a mob to kill Kirinda’s Tutsi.” While “most local residents refused to participate in the slaughter of their neighbours,” the “unemployed youth and some other residents” responded enthusiastically. A lot of the violence, most observers agree, came from the youth. See Longman, “Genocide and Socio-Political Change: Massacres in Two Rwandan Villages,” Issue 23, no. 2 (1995), pp. 19–20.
93. Villia Jefremovas, “Acts of Human Kindness: Tutsi, Hutu and the Genocide,” Issue 23, no. 2 (1995), p. 28.
94. Human Rights Watch/Africa, Rwanda: A New Catastrophe?, vol. 6, no. 12 (December 1994), pp. 6–7.
95. Rev. Kodjo Ankrah, Church World Action, interview, Kigali, 19 July 1995.
96. François Nsamsuwera, interview, Arusha, 6 September 1995.
97. Faustin, interview, Kigali, 22 July 1995.
98. Professor Marie-Thérèse Kampire, interview, Butare, 21 July 1995.
99. Mectile Kantarama, interview, Kigali, 18 December 1995.
100. McDowell, “342 Women Implicated in Genocide.”
101. Calixte Karake, interview, Ntarama, 22 July 1995.
102. A. Inyumba, interview, Kigali, 20 July 1995.
103. Peter Maser, “Crimes of the Children,” The Gazette (Montreal), 23 September 1995.
104. Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, p. 244; see African Rights, p. 250. That the Church was a bystander is a view comfortably adopted by many of its responsible persons. Even those who have dared to face the role of the Church through individual cases of complicity and direct involvement, like Jean Carbonnarre, honorary president of the Paris-based NGO Survie, tend to take refuge in this notion when it comes to underlining the role of the Church: “The danger does not come just from those who commit evil, but from those who watch and say nothing. The Church in Rwanda mostly stood silent, watching.” The quote is cited in “Rwanda: Priests Who Failed Moral Test Face Another Kind of Trial,” Inter-Press Service, Paris, 17 May 1995.
105. Raymond Bonner, “Clergy in Rwanda Is Accused of Abetting Atrocities,” New York Times, 7 July 1995, sec. A, p. 3.
106. Alan Zarembo, “The Church’s Shameful Acts,” Houston Chronicle, 29 January 1995, p. 22.
107. Leslie Scrivener, “Rage and Religion: What Role Did the Churches Play in Rwanda’s Genocide?” Toronto Star, 5 August 1995.
108. Bonner, “Clergy in Rwanda Is Accused of Abetting Atrocities.”
109. Sellstom and Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide, pp. 49–50.
110. Cited in “Rwanda: Priests Who Failed Moral Test Face Another Kind of Trial.”
111. See African Rights, pp. 381–385; Bonner, “Clergy in Rwanda is Accused of Abetting Atrocities.”
112. See http://www.uimondo.org/AfricanRights/html/pope_en.html, p. 7.
113. “Human Rights Group Condemns UN in Rwanda,” British Medical Journal 309 (8 October 1994), p. 895.
114. African Rights, “Dr. Sosthene Munyemana, the Butcher of Tumba, at Liberty in France,” Witness to Genocide, issue 2, February 1996, pp. 3–4.
115. Patrick de Saint-Exupéry, “Rwanda: Les assassins racontent leurs massacres,” in François-Xavier Verschave, Complicité de génocide? La politique de la France au Rwanda (Paris: La Découverte, 1994); cited in Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, pp. 254–255.
116. African Rights, “Presumption of Innocence: The Case against Innocent Mazimpaka,” Witness to Genocide, issue 3, May 1996.
117. Rakiya Omaar, “Introduction,” in African Rights, “Burying the Truth in the Name of ‘Human Rights’: Antoine Sibomana and His Supporters,” Witness to Genocide, issue 7, May 1997, p. 2.
118. See, for example, African Rights, Death, Despair and Defiance, rev. ed. (London, 1995); Fergal Keene, Season of Blood: A Rwandan Journey (London: Viking, 1995).
119. Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).
TUTSI POWER IN RWANDA AND THE CITIZENSHIP CRISIS IN EASTERN CONGO
1. The interviews that I quote in this chapter were gathered by a two-person mission to North and South Kivu, Kisangani and Kinshasa, undertaken in September 1997. The mission was put together by the Dakar-based Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and comprised Professor Jacques Depelchin, then of Kinshasa, and myself. We met individuals from academic, civil society, and state organizations with a view to making sense of the rapidly expanding crisis in eastern Congo. Depelchin and I conducted most interviews together; the interpretation advanced here, though, is exclusively mine. I would like to make particular mention of Professor Arsène Kirhero (Bukavu), who gave generously of his time and knowledge in discussing the historical context of ethnic conflict in the region. The list of those interviewed can be found in the appendix.
2. Interview, Bukavu, September 1997.
3. This explanation was given to me by Professor Arsene Kirhero, Interview, Bukavu.
4. Bwisha in Ruchuru was a part of the precolonial Rwandan kingdom. It is said that a Tutsi chief governed it before colonial rule and paid homage to the Mwami in the Central Kingdom. When colonial frontiers were consolidated in 1918 and Bwisha was made a part of Congo, Belgian colonialism replaced the Tutsi chief with a Hutu, Daniel Ndeze. The point of conflict in Bwisha has been whether that authority should be Tutsi (as before 1918) or Hutu (as after 1918).
5. Mararo Bucyalimwe, “Land Conflicts in Masisi, Eastern Zaire: The Impact and Aftermath of Belgian Colonial Policy (1920–1989),” Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1990, pp. 61–64, 74–80, 101–102, 298.
6. The missionaries of Bobandana described the situation in 1916 as follows: “We pity sincerely our beloved people, overburdened with daily corvees and requisitions in food and men. Many of them emigrate to Ufamando, three or four days from here, on order to free the corvees. Thus, entire villages suddenly disappear. Yesterday, all seemed quiet; you went there for the weekly instruction; but, during the night, all the village has found it prudent to run away when informed that the chief received a new requisition for them. Thus, six villages are abandoned and already invaded by bush.” Cited in Bucyalimwe, “Land Conflicts in Masisi, Eastern Zaire,” pp. 127–128.
7. Ibid., pp. 135–136, 137.
8. Catharine Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989), pp. 143–144, 210–211.
9. Bucyalimwe, “Land Conflicts in Masisi, Eastern Zaire,” p. 150.
10. Ibid., p. 301.
11. Even though the 1936 immigrants were mainly Hutu, Belgium appointed a Mututsi as chief of Gishari.
12. Bucyalimwe, “Land Conflicts in Masisi, Eastern Zaire,” p. 6.
13. Ibid., pp. 218–219.
14. Koen Vlassenroot, “The Promise of Ethnic Conflict: Militarisation and Enclave-Formation in South Kivu,” in Didier Goyvaerts, ed., Conflict and Ethnicity in Central Africa (Toyko: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa), pp. 62, 67–68.
15. Ibid., p. 68.
16. Two examples from the city of Kisangani illustrate this tendency. The first relates to a sociocultural center formed in 1987 by a number of the city’s college-educated youth in response to the ruling party’s attempt to monopolize cultural activities for young people. The focal point of the center’s cultural activities was to “denounce injustice through theater.” But the center had found it difficult to work openly. This changed with the CNS. When the CNS was suspended in 1992, members of the center joined other youth in public protest. Many were arrested. That provided the impulse for further organization: members of the centre created Les Amis de Nelson Mandela as a human rights organization on 6 October 1992 and launched a publication, Liberté. “We felt in the National Conference we had found the medium of our emancipation,” concluded one of the youthful organizers of Les Amis.
Another group that followed in the wake of the CNS was Groupe Lotus, O.N.G. des Droits de l’Homme et du Développement. The president of the group explained the circumstances of its formation in April 1992:
Many of us used to meet from 1991 to discuss what was going on in the country. Then, we would meet at the parish meeting hall. The population of Kisangani and surrounding areas had very little idea of their rights. The other characteristic peculiar of Kisangani was a wait and see attitude, that problems will somehow be solved from the outside. This was reinforced by the fact that while people were following the Sovereign National Conference on television, few had any idea of what it was all about. This is how the Lotus Group was born. There were 12 of us and we decided to call ourselves LOTUS. We wanted to convey the idea of unity of diversity by reference to the flower lotus—since we came from many different environments. There was a biologist amongst us whose thesis supervisor was from India and who suggested that in Indian culture, whenever there is disagreement and difference, they bring out the lotus flower!
Like many other civil society organisations, the Lotus Group concentrated on recruiting from amongst the educated youth. They concentrated on recruiting those young people above the age of 21 with a secondary education at the minimum. Their activities were carried out in Kiswahili and Lingala. Once a member was accepted, they would go through a training workshop, focusing on both the objectives of the group and a social analysis of Congo, with a specific emphasis on human rights issues. The group had political scientists, medical doctors, and economists amongst its members, but not lawyers and jurists, who tended to gravitate to Les Amis. Their activities were concentrated around publications, lobbying, and concrete support to people whose rights had been violated. Anyone approaching the group with a rights violation would be assigned two individuals to accompany them through all legal and related procedures.
See Mahmood Mamdani, “Kivu, 1997: An Essay on Citizenship and the State Crises in Africa,” CODESRIA, 1998, mimeo.
17. Historically, the population in the collectivité has been Hutu but the chief a Mututsi. This changed in 1994, when Mobutu decided to play with the Hutu; he replaced the Mututsi chief with a Hutu chief.
18. Both explanations are given in Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, pp. 48–49, 59. Also see Jan Vansina, L’Evolution du royaume Rwanda des origines à 1900 (Brussels: Arsom, 1962), p. 90; Jacques J. Maquet, “Les pasteurs de l’Itombwe,” Science et Nature 8 (1955): 3–12.
19. Newbury, The Cohesion of Oppression, pp. 161–164.
20. Professor Arsène Kirhero, interview, Bukavu, September 1997.
21. Vlassenroot, “The Promise of Ethnic Conflict,” p. 73.
22. Senzeyi Ryamukuru, former president, UMOJA, interview, Goma, September 1997.
23. Arsène Kirhero (Bukavu) and Bakashi (Goma), interviews, September 1997.
24. Father Piere Cobambo, interview, Bukavu, September 1997.
25. Vlassenroot, “The Promise of Ethnic Conflict,” p. 79.
26. Arsene Kirhero, interview, Bukavu, September 1997.
27. Interview, Bukavu, September 1997.
28. Lt.-Col. James Kabarebe, interview, Kigali, 3 January 1996.
29. Crawford Young, ed., “Rebellion and the Congo,” in Robert Rotberg, Rebellion in Black Africa (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 225.
30. Vlassenroot, “The Promise of Ethnic Conflict,” p. 96.
31. Laurent Kabila, interview, Goma, 3 January 1996.
32. Maji (pronounced Mayi in Kivu) means water in Kiswahili, referring to the powers claimed for ritually blessed water to render all those on whom it is sprinkled immune to the life-destroying effect of bullets.
33. Laurent Kabila, interview, Goma, 3 January 1996.
34. Bakashi, interview, Goma, September 1997.
35. Interview, Kinshasa, September 1997.
36. James Kabarebe, interview, Kinshasa, September 1997.
POLITICAL REFORM AFTER GENOCIDE
1. The call for separate Hutu and Tutsi homelands was previously identified with extreme tendencies—such as Tutsi Power of President Bagaza in Burundi or Hutu Power of the Interahamwe in Rwanda—but seemed to get broader and more mainstream support after the Kibeho massacre in Rwanda. To take a few examples, President Moi of Kenya said, “One way of solving the problem would be for all the Hutus to settle in Burundi and all the Tutsis in Rwanda, or vice versa.” Agence France Press, 29 April 1995. The same agency also reported Assistant Secretary of State George Moose of the United States confirming that the U.S. was indeed considering the possibility of a Hutuland and a Tutsiland.
2. I. Inyumba, interview, Kigali, 20 July 1995.
3. Patrick Mazimpaka, interview, Kigali, 11 July 1997; Philip Gourevitch cites several estimates, from a million (Vice-President Kagame) to three million (Dusaidi, aide to the vice-president). See Philip Gourevitch, We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families: Stories from Rwanda (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1998), p. 244.
4. Saskia Van Hoyweghen, “The Rwandan Villagisation Programme: Resettlement or Reconstruction?” in Didier Goyvaerts, Conflict and Ethnicity in Central Africa (Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 2000), p. 212.
6. Filip Reyntjens writes:
The tutsisation of the state machinery was further reaffirmed. Even while the government, the country’s international ‘business card’ has grosso modo equal representation (14 Hutu, 12 Tutsi, 1 unidentified), out of the 18 general secretaries identified, 14 are Tutsi from the RPF; with the exception of 2 ministers, all the non-RPF ministers are flanked by a general secretary from the RPF. While the National Assembly already has a Tutsi majority, it continues to be subject to purges…. Out of the twelve prefects, nine are Tutsi, two Hutu and one position is vacant. The number of Tutsi mayors is established to be over 80%. Eleven of the fourteen ambassadors are Tutsi, with nine coming from the ranks of the RPF. Among the fourteen officers comprising the high command of the army and gendarmerie, there is only one Hutu…. The tutsisation of the judiciary has been reinforced in a very pronounced manner after the suspension of six Hutu judges of the Cour de Cassation and the Council of State on March 24, 1998; they were later dismissed.
See Filip Reyntjens, Talking or Fighting? Political Evaluation in Rwanda and Burundi, 1998–99, Current African Issues, no. 21 (Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1999), pp. 5, 15.
7. “At the end of 1998, 125,028 persons remained officially detained, though the actual number is probably much higher. According to the Rwandan government, in 1998 several thousand detainees died as a result of AIDS, malnutrition, dysentery and typhus. During the month of November 1998, 400 prisoners died from typhus in the Rilima prison alone.” See ibid., p. 14.
8. This is the sense in which Abraham Lincoln used the term in the aftermath of the Civil War in the United States. Though dipped in religious terminology, he called for survivors to be born again, to reconcile. See Robert Meister, “Forgiving and Forgetting,” in Carla Hesse and Robert Post, eds., Human Rights in Political Transitions: Gettysburg to Bosnia (New York: Zone Books, 1999), pp. 135–176.
9. See Mahmood Mamdani, “The Truth According to the TRC,” in Ifi Amadiume and Abdullahi An-Nai’im, eds., The Politics of Memory: Truth, Healing and Social Justice (London: Zed Press, 2000).
10. This, indeed, is Basil Davidson’s solution to Africa’s political problems. See Davidson, The Black Man’s Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State (New York: Times Books, 1992).
11. See Mahmood Mamdani, Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).