- Rwanda Since the 1994 Genocide
Rwanda Since the 1994 Genocide


The reconciliation process

By jeanpierre on February 3, 2013

Watching the movie clips in class over the last two weeks has given me a clearer perspective on the Rwandan genocide in general. While President Paul Kagame is seen as the hero who helped end the genocide in 1994 when the RPF took control in mid-July, he is regarded by many as an authoritative figure, who does not tolerate any form of freedom of speech which would speak against the policies which FPR-Inkotanyi (the ruling party) exercises in the name of serving justice and bringing reconciliation among Rwandans.

Overtime I have found movies like Hotel Rwanda and Sometimes In April to be good learning tools but there is more to that. One regime (Habyarimana’s regime) used all of it’s power to facilitate hatred and division among Rwandans, and now another regime (Kagame’s) is doing the opposite, bringing unity among Rwandans. To many Rwandans, the current government has done about enough to bring about reconciliation focusing on the reconstruction of the Rwandan identiy. Different steps have been taken towards achieving that goal with numerous laws and changes to the constitution. Such laws are what has brought about the changes we’ve seen whereby perpetrators literally work along victims of the genocide in the name of doing good for the country. One of the major reasons this has worked is because Kagame’s regime has been able to build modern institutions on traditional values, and that, has seen his government gain popular vote and trust among Rwandans.


  • Professor Thomson said:

    Did you screen both Hotel Rwanda and Sometimes in April? What are the key lessons that you think people should take away from those productions? Why are they good “learning tools”?

    Also, you seem to say that reconciliation is happening and that the many rules of the RPF are the reason. Do you have a source to back up your claim, or are you stating your personal opinion?

  • jeanpierre said:

    Yes, on a number of occasions I’ve screened both Hotel Rwanda and Sometimes in April. The hatred between Hutus and Tutsis did not just erupt in 1994. There had been fights going on before that (as we discussed in class) which led to hatred. The movie Hotel Rwanda picks up at a time when the Hutu were in charge and depicts the brave actions of Paul Rusesabagina (a Hutu hotel manager). I think Paul’s brave act of saving thousands of Tutsis lives by providing food, shelter and protection to the victims clearly shows that this was not a genocide whereby every Hutu hated every Tutsi, as some people tend to put it. Paul was a Hutu. He could have participated in the genocide too; with the excuse of trying to stay alive. But he risked his life by housing the many people (who were mostly, if not entirely, Tutsi). I think that both films show to what extent the leaders were willing to go and accomplish their mission to exterminate the Tutsi. In regards to the RPF accomplishments in bringing a calm, but not necessarily democratic environment across the nation, I stated a personal opinion. If we look at the country in the late 90’s and early 2000’s and compare that to today, we see that things have changed for the good economically, socially and politically although the means taken to achieve those changes are definitely not the best ones.

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