Beyond Ethnic Politics and Fear: Hutu, Tutsi, and Ethnicity in Rwanda


     Fifteen years after the small nation of Rwanda experienced one of the worst tragedies of the modern history, the core problems remain unresolved. While most people, including Great Lakes Region experts, humanitarian and human rights organizations, diplomats, intelligence services, and Great Lakes region nationals agree on the social roots of the problems, they disagree on the solutions.
     The agreement that ethnic politics constitute the root of the problem remains widespread. Ethnic politics have set the stage for the tragedy to happen and have continued to profoundly shape the political landscape. Several propositions to resolve the conflict have been put forward. Unfortunately, these proposed solutions appear not based on clear specific, measurable, achievable, pragmatic and time-bound objectives. Without such clearly defined objectives, the roads to durable solutions in the Great Lakes region, especially in Rwanda, may only lead nowhere. 
    This lack of clear vision has lead to the multiple invasions of the DRC by Rwanda and Uganda, the recent invasion of the DRC by Rwanda through proxy forces, and the combined military operations by the Rwandan Army, Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) and the congolese army, FARDC, against congolese militias, rwandan rebels, and rwandan refugees. 
    The world has been experimenting with Henry Kissinger’s theory that “If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there” and the Roman Empire narcissistic approach that “all roads lead to Rome”. The result of the chaotic approach to solving the problems of the Great Lakes region has been more chaos, massive losses of life, missed economic opportunities, and making the problem even more complex. 
    This memorandum goes from lessons learned from my own personal tragedy and attempts to propose an approach and find solutions to reach durable peace in the Great Lakes region. The memorandum proposes to look at the ways of the past without following the roads that led to failure. 

    As the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho said: “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.” The experience of our predecessors can teach us what made them fail despite their honest vision. They sought a peaceful and prosperous region, where ethnic groups will live harmoniously, while individuals would thrive, and the region would live in an economic integration. 
       For that purpose, our Rwandan predecessors tried ethnic politics and failed: from the seeds of ethnic politics, Rwandans harvested unbearable suffering. It is the task for the current Rwandan leaders and the future generations to follow the legitimate aspirations of their predecessors, but track a different road: a road beyond ethnic politics and fear. The memorandum describes the road as envisioned. 
        The proposition in the memorandum maps four critical phases: 
  • Recognize the fallacies behind the denial of ethnic identities; 
  • Mobilize the Rwandan people for consensual democracy; 
  • Aim for the full democracy, where platforms of ideas will transcend ethnic identities; 
  • Openness to the World, beginning with good neighborhood and regional integration.
For more visit AfroAmerica Network here: Beyond Ethnic Politics and Fear: Hutu, Tutsi, and Ethnicity in Rwanda

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Amazon Summary

Long ago, the people of Rwanda suffered through a terrible famine. The rains did not come to help the crops grow, the grass withered, and the soil became so dry that it cracked. The people looked to their village chiefs for guidance, but the chiefs could not help. They looked to the king, but he could not bring the rain. Only the magical tail of a mystical creature could save the kingdom. Maguru is Rwanda’s best hunter, even better than the king—and certainly better than his jealous village chief. He’s hunted the buffalo, the antelope, and the leopard, but he has never hunted the deadly imparambwe. To save his people, Maguru must now learn to outrun the wind and outwit a creature that can change shape in the wink of an eye. If he succeeds, he’ll be a hero. If he fails, his people will die of starvation. Maguru is determined not to fail.

Legs of Tornado

Legs of Tornado
Legs of Tornado - The Human Who Outran the Wind

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