ASCL Seminar: 25 years after the Rwandan Genocide
- Thursday 9 May 2019
2511 DP The Hague
In less than a hundred days, more than 800,000 Rwandese people were murdered in a deliberate and well-organized act of genocide, orchestrated by then-members of the Rwandan government.
The genocidal regime targeted the Tutsi population and moderate Hutu who opposed the killings. Many Hutu and Twa also lost their lives as the genocide unfolded in the context of a civil war between the Hutu-dominated government and a Tutsi-dominated rebel movement, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).
The killings started on the 6th of April, following a rocket attack that caused a plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi to crash. Despite the presence of a considerable UN peacekeeping force at the outbreak of the violence, the international community failed to intervene, pulling most of their forces out and ignoring any pleas for help. This failure to act allowed the killings to continue until the 4th of July, when Rwandan Patriotic Front forces, then led by the current president Paul Kagame, were able to take control of the country, ousting those responsible for the genocide from the country.
How did the Rwandan Genocide come to be and why did it happen? Could it have been prevented if the international community had done more? If so, how does humanity as a whole prevent such events from happening in the future? This seminar will address these and other questions.
Discussant: Margot Leegwater.
Bert Ingelaere is assistant Professor (lecturer) at the Institute of Development Policy, University of Antwerp. His research focuses on the legacy of mass violence, mobility and the process of knowledge construction. He has undertaken over 40 months of fieldwork in Africa's Great Lakes region. He was advisor or expert for international NGOs, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The World Bank, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and a postdoctoral fellow at the Fund for Scientific Research - Flanders and the Program on Order, Conflict and Violence, Yale University.
Filip Reyntjens is an independent researcher with a particular focus on the Great Lakes Region in Africa. Although trained as a constitutional lawyer, his primary focus came to lie with the study of politics. His past research focused mainly on the relationship between power and law in Rwanda (Pouvoir et droit au Rwanda. Droit public et évolution politique, 1916-1973), and the Great African War (The Great African War. Congo and regional geopolitics). Before his retirement he worked at the University of Antwerp.