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Rwanda 1994 pp 130–159Cite as

Palgrave Macmillan

The Myth of the Akazu Genocide Conspiracy

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Part of the Rethinking Political Violence Series book series (RPV)

Abstract

This genocide resulted from the deliberate choice of a modern elite to foster hatred and fear to keep itself in power. This small, privileged group first set the majority against the minority to counter a growing political opposition within Rwanda. Then, faced with RPF success on the battlefield and at the negotiating table, these few powerholders transformed the strategy of ethnic division into genocide. They believed that the extermination campaign would restore the solidarity of the Hutu under their leadership and help them win the war, or at least improve their chances of negotiating a favourable peace. They seized control of the state and used its machinery and its authority to carry out the slaughter.1

This is how the Rwandan genocide is explained by Human Rights Watch. The ‘modern elite’ are generally referred to as the Akazu, a clandestine group of individuals close to President Habyarimana.

Keywords

  • Prime Minister
  • Expert Witness
  • Rwandan Genocide
  • Genocide Intent
  • Official Narrative

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Notes

  1. Human Rights Watch (1999) Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda (New York: Human Rights Watch) 1, 2.

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  2. Adelman, H. (2000) ‘Rwanda revisited: In search for lessons’. Journal of Genocide Research 2 (3) 432. Human Rights Watch (1999) 181.

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  3. Montali, J.-M. (19 January 2007) ‘Rwanda: Kagame a préparé et a exécuté le genocide’. Le Figaro. Author’s translation.

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  4. Adama Dieng, Registrar of the ICTR, writing in West Africa. ‘Rwanda Tribunal leads the way’. Issue No. 4289, 20–26 August 2001.

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  5. Temple-Raston, D. (2005) Justice on the Grass: Three Rwandan Journalists, Their Trial for War Crimes, and a Nation’s Quest for Redemption (New York: Free Press) 230.

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  6. Erlinder, C. P. (2013) The Accidental Genocide (St Paul, MN: International Humanitarian Law Institute) 152.

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  7. Jason Burke et al., ‘British firm sold machetes to Hutu killers’. Sunday Times (London) 24 November 1996, cited in Human Rights Watch (1999) 127–128.

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  8. Rwanda. Court document K0336512-K0336549. 24. Del Ponte, C. and Sudetic, C. (2009) Madame Prosecutor: Confrontations with Humanity’s Worst Criminals and the Culture of Impunity (New York: The Other Press).

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  9. Dallaire, R. (2003) Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda (Toronto: Random House Canada) 378.

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  10. Deme, A. (2010) Rwanda 1994 and the Failure of the United Nations (Bloomington, IN: Xlibris) 157, cited in Erlinder, C. P. (2013) 31–2.

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© 2014 Barrie Collins

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Collins, B. (2014). The Myth of the Akazu Genocide Conspiracy. In: Rwanda 1994. Rethinking Political Violence Series. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137022325_5

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