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The Road to Genocide: A History of the Rwandan Struggle for Liberation

Kegel, John Burton (2019) The Road to Genocide: A History of the Rwandan Struggle for Liberation. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:81338)

Language: English
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There is a significant gap in the otherwise sprawling literature on the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. While much has been written about the social and political dimensions of the Rwandan Genocide, its immediate context - the four-year Struggle for Liberation which predated it and ushered it in - has remained almost wholly unexplored. Writing in 2000, Rwanda experts David and Catharine Newbury pointed to the urgent need to reverse recent accounts of the Genocide. "Instead of seeing history exclusively through the genocide ... one can only understand the genocide through an understanding of Rwanda's history."1 The Newburys' plea to historians remains valid 19 years later. By taking up their call, this project seeks to pave the way for a fuller understanding of the Genocide, a catastrophe whose extensive ramifications will continue to shape central African (and world) politics for several generations to come. The second overarching aim of the project is to make a contribution to the study of armed conflicts in modern Africa, a field which remains altogether underdeveloped. This dissertation's contention is that there is no reason why Africa's modern wars should not be approached from the perspective of military historical analysis - one which takes into account the wider political, economic and social contexts of a given conflict.

Using interviews with protagonists of the Struggle for Liberation (1990-1994) and newly discovered archival material, this dissertation explores a broad sweep of Rwandan history. It begins with the antecedents of the conflict - the Social Revolution (1959-1964) - and the ensuing politicisation and militarisation of Rwandan refugees in Uganda. It then turns to the war between the Rwandan Patriotic Front and its military wing, the Rwandan Patriotic Army, on the one side, and the government of Rwanda and its armed forces, the Forces armées rwandaises, on the other. The tactics, strategies and internal politics of both organisations are explored, alongside the results of their actions on the Rwandan domestic scene. As "war is the continuation of politics by other means," the interplay between the two receives ample attention. Important political developments analysed in the dissertation include the many failed attempts at peace and the rise of a strong internal opposition. The thesis ends with a history of the Campaign Against Genocide. Launched by the Rwandan Patriotic Army, this 100-day campaign consisted of the military actions which defeated the Forces armées rwandaises and their genocidal allies following the start of the Genocide.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Macola, Giacomo
Thesis advisor: Cohen, Andrew
Uncontrolled keywords: Rwanda Genocide Civil War
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Funders: Organisations -1 not found.
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 26 May 2020 12:18 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Kegel, John Burton.

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