Accounting for Horror: Post-Genocide Debates in Rwanda

Nigel Eltringham

Published by Pluto Press, 2004
ISBN 10: 0745320007 / ISBN 13: 9780745320007
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Synopsis: The 1994 Rwandan genocide was a monumental atrocity in which at least 500,000 Tutsi and tens of thousands of Hutu were murdered in less than four months. Since 1994, members of the Rwandan political class who recognise those events as genocide have struggled to account for it and bring coherence to what is often perceived as irrational, primordial savagery.Most people agree on the factors that contributed to the genocide -- colonialism, ethnicity, the struggle to control the state. However, many still disagree over the way these factors evolved, and the relationship between them. This continuing disagreemnt raises questions about how we come to understand historical events -- understandings that underpin the possibility of sustainable peace.Drawing on extensive research among Rwandese in Rwanda and Europe, and on his work with a conflict resolution NGO in post-genocide Rwanda, Nigel Eltringham argues that conventional modes of historical representation are inadequate in a case like Rwanda. Single, absolutist narratives and representations of genocide actually reinforce the modes of thinking that fuelled the genocide in the first place. Eltringham maintains that if we are to understand the genocide, we must explore the relationship between multiple explanations of what happened and interrogate how -- and why -- different groups within Rwandan society talk about the genocide in different ways.

About the Author: Nigel Eltringham is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sussex. He worked for three years with a conflict resolution NGO in Rwanda before conducting doctoral research in Rwanda and among the Rwandan Diaspora in Europe. He has extensively published on post-genocide Rwanda.

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Title: Accounting for Horror: Post-Genocide Debates...
Publisher: Pluto Press
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: New
Edition: First Printing - may be Reissue.

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