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From War to Genocide
Criminal Politics in Rwanda, 1990–1994

Critical Human Rights
Steve J. Stern and Scott Straus, Series Editors

“A landmark in the historiography of the Rwandan genocide. No serious scholar writing about the genocide can afford to ignore this trailblazing contribution.”
—René Lemarchand, author of The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa

In April 1994 Rwanda exploded in violence, with political, social, and economic divisions most visible along ethnic lines of the Hutu and Tutsi factions. The ensuing killings resulted in the deaths of as much as 20 percent of Rwanda’s population. André Guichaoua, who was present as the genocide began, unfolds a complex story with multiple actors, including three major political parties that each encompassed a spectrum of positions, all reacting to and influencing a rapidly evolving situation. Economic polarities, famine-fueled privation, clientelism, corruption, north-south rivalries, and events in the neighboring nations of Burundi and Uganda all deepened ethnic tensions, allowing extremists to prevail over moderates.

Guichaoua draws on years of meticulous research to describe and analyze this history. He emphasizes that the same virulent controversies that fueled the conflict have often influenced judicial, political, and diplomatic responses to it, reproducing the partisan cleavages between the former belligerents and implicating state actors, international institutions, academics, and the media. Guichaoua insists upon the imperative of absolute intellectual independence in pursuing the truth about some of the gravest human rights violations of the twentieth century.



Author. Photo credit, Name André Guichaoua is a professor of sociology, specializing in the African Great Lakes region, at the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. He served as an expert witness on the Rwandan genocide before several courts and judicial bodies, including the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda of the United Nations.


Don E. Webster is a former senior legal counsel and prosecutor for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.




Additional Resources

For extensive supplementary information, visit these websites:
http://genevaconference-tpir.univ -paris1.fr/




“Seminal. . . . A meticulously detailed account that challenges both the Tutsi-controlled Rwandan government’s official narrative about the causes, events and consequences of the genocide as well as elements of the international community’s consensus narrative and the denialist accounts of Hutu extremists who still seek to enact their hateful ideology from abroad.”
Washington Post

“Dispels myth after myth about the Rwandan genocide and Rwandan history.”
Washington Post

“Magisterial. . . . Makes a compelling case that the scaling up of violence to genocidal levels was progressive and tied at least in part to the escalation of the civil war and the timid and ineffectual international response to the initial violence.”
Foreign Affairs

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Of Related Interest

Remaking Rwanda

Remaking Rwanda
State Building and Human Rights after Mass Violence
Edited by Scott Straus and Lars Waldorf

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New in Paperback!
June 2017
LC: 2015010239 DT
478 pp.   6 x 9
4 maps, 2 tables

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Cloth $79.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-29820-3
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Paper $26.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-29824-1
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• Original French edition: Éditions La Découverte, 2010