National unity and reconciliation in Rwanda: A flawed approach?

  • Clark J
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This article examines the Rwandan government’s national unity and reconcilia- tion policy and one of its key elements, the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC). It contends that while the NURC potentially represents an innovative model that other post-conflict societies could adapt and use, the central premise on which both the commission and the government’s broader national unity and reconciliation policy are based is critically flawed. The unity that they are endeavouring to achieve, as a vehicle for reconciliation, relies upon a negation of ethnicity  a core component of the 1994 genocide  and hence does not allow for an open and honest engagement with the past. The problem is further compounded by the government’s attitude towards the prosecution of crimes committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which not only demonstrates that ethnicity remains highly significant but also underscores the incomplete and partial way in which the past is being addressed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Ethnicity
  • Identity
  • NURC
  • RPF
  • Reconciliation
  • Rwanda

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  • Janine Natalya Clark

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