- Rwanda Since the 1994 Genocide
Rwanda Since the 1994 Genocide


“Rwanda now” talk by Professor Thomson

By caitlin on February 8, 2013

This talk was very useful for filling in some of the gaps that I had in regard to Rwanda’s involvement in the DRC and what they are doing now to try to prevent future uprisings. One interesting point that was brought up was that the Rwandan government is taking refugees back onto the land, even though Kagame has stated that there is a land shortage. The reason he is doing this is to prevent those who were prevented from coming back to Rwanda from forming opposition groups outside of the country. This makes sense, and I can see how people who return would feel less resistance toward the government because they are now allowed in their country. However, as Professor Thomson noted, this creates deeper tensions between citizens who were already on the land and those returning. Yes, there is a land shortage and when people are forced onto others’ land, tensions arise. I don’t know the exact solution for this, but perhaps it could be to invest more in urban jobs.


  • ST said:

    Great observations, Caitlin. As it happens, the government has as a pillar of postgenocide economic growth the creation of a knowledge and service economy. The policy is called Vision2020 if you want to investigate further. Land policies and politics are another area of government concern and action. You might think about land policy and its implications for rural Rwandans for your IRB assignment….

  • caitlin said:

    I was reading about the Vision2020 plan in our upcoming class reading, “The National Policy of Unity and Reconciliation” and the goals of the plan struck me as difficult to achieve by 2020 (to take the discussion in a different direction from land, briefly). One of their goals was to have complete reconciliation among all Rwandans. The document describes how the principles of reconciliation include fighting genocide and its ideology, promoting Rwandanness, and never forgetting so that genocide will not happen again. It is hard for me to accept this when we have seen in our readings that oftentimes Hutsi are not considered survivors, even though many Hutsi were killed during the genocide. How will these people be able to reconcile their past? Does this get into what Erin Jesse was describing when she said that Western ideas of reconciliation are not at all in line with Rwandan ideas?

    In regard to land and refugees being allowed back into Rwanda, part of the Vision2020 states that it will seek “to mobilize organizations and the private sector into investing their capital in rural areas.” The plan also states that they want to create jobs in rural areas to help empower the population. I think that generally this may be a good idea, however, this may require more education for those rural Rwandans who do not have the skills for these new jobs. Also, because the refugees are being put in rural areas, this may create tension over who gets these new jobs.

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