National reconciliation is a vague and 'messy' process. In post-genocide Rwanda, it presents special difficulties that stem from the particular nature of the Rwandan crisis and the popular participation that characterized the Rwandan atrocities. This article outlines the main approaches being used in Rwanda to achieve reconciliation, highlighting some of the major obstacles faced by these institutions. It then goes on to argue that certain 'Silences' are being imposed on the reconciliation process, including the failure to prosecute alleged RPA crimes, the lack of debate on, and the instrumentalization of, Rwanda's 'histories', the collective stigmatization of all Hutu as génocidaires, and the papering over of societal cleavages through the 'outlawing' of 'divisionism'. The role economic development can play in the reconciliation process is also discussed. Given the Government of Rwanda's central role in the reconciliation process and its progressive drift towards authoritarianism, the article ends with a reflection on the worrisome parallels between the pre and post-genocide socio-political contexts.
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