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Amnesty reintegration, and reconciliation in Rwanda.

Powell, Jeffrey H.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Military Review. 88(5):84-91.

Amnesty, reintegration, and reconciliation are conceptual tools for clearing centuries of moral debris from the Rwandan societal landscape. One of the RPF’s failures was its inability to forgive the Hutus and grant them amnesty. Because of the genocide’s ferocity and the ensuing civil war, the RPF had to begin reconciliation in 2002 without granting amnesty. The RPF also has not acknowledged facts pointing to the illegal actions of some members of the RPA during the conflict and the possible need to grant amnesty to them as well.

The failure to grant amnesty has mired the reconciliation process. Despite the international tribunals, the gacaca courts, and the ingando camps, an undercurrent of hatred still exists between Hutus and Tutsis. This hatred, coupled with the semi-authoritarian regime, could lead to another humanitarian crisis in Rwanda. The policies of the current regime neither include nor forgive Hutus. They do not recognize that throughout the civil war both sides committed atrocities against each other, and one way to overcome the cyclic legacy of those crimes is to forgive the perpetrators and grant them amnesty. Rwandans have taken great strides in the last five years, but they still have a long way to go to complete reintegration and reconciliation.

Throughout its history, Rwanda has been divided. Only a true AR2 process can pull Rwanda out of a downward spiral and make it a viable member of the international community. For that to happen, Rwanda must have an amnesty that all members of society accept. that all members of society accept. A government policy of amnesty is only half the solution. The people of Rwanda must embrace that policy. From amnesty, the roots of reconciliation and reintegration can grow, beginning the stabilization of Rwanda for future generations. (excerpt)


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