Is Reconciliation Possible

Is Reconciliation Possible - Is Reconcination Possible...

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Is Reconcination Possible After Genocide?: The Case of Rwanda MARK R. AMSTUTZ From April to July 1994, Rwanda experienced one of the most destructive mass atrocities in history, resulting in the death of some 800,000 persons. The genocide began on 6 April and continued until the Hutu regime had been toppled in mid-July.' During this period of approximately 100 days, the government and Hutu extremists carried out a planned campaign of mass extermination of Tutsi and moderate Hutu. Although the genocide was planned at the national and regional levels, it was implemented Iocally by political, military and civic leaders and trained militia (interahamwe). As one observer has noteý, the Rwandan genocide claimed more lives in less time than any other mass atrocity in recorded history.2 The killing came to a halt only when the Tutsi rebel force-thie Rwandan Patriotic Front, or IRPF-had defeated Hutu extremists. This essay explores the nature and role of the political reconciliation in reckoning with widespread regime atrocities. The role of truth is then examined in healing deeply divided societies. Because truth telling is regarded as conducive to the restoration of relationships, transitional justice scholars have claimed that the disclosure and public acknowledgment of *MARK R. AMSTUTZ (M.A., Ph.D., American University) is professor of politics and international relations at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. His most recent books are The Healing of Nations: The Promise and Limits of Political Forgiveness and International Ethics: Concepts, Theories and Cases in Global Politics, 2 "d ed. His articles have appeared in Books and Culture, Christian Scholar's Review, and Missiology. An International Review. Interests include U.S. foreign policy and ethics and foreign affairs. This article was based in part on many interviews with church leaders, government officials, and victims from the genocide. Professor Amstutz is grateful for the financial support from Wheaton College's Aldeen Fund, which provided financial support to carry out field research in Rwanda and Tanzania. He is also grateful for the research support from his teaching assistants Stephen Rhoads and Natalie Murray. 1. The genocide began after Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana was killed when missles downed his jet as it was landing in Kigali. 2. David Rieff, "The Age of Genocide," The New Republic, 26 January 1996, 31.
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JOURNAL OF CHURCH AND STATE regime offenses contributes to political reconciliation. Since reconciliation is not an inevitable byproduct of truth telling, the prudential quest to balance truth wig peace and national unity is explored. The third and fourth sections assess thePursuit of justice. Although
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Is Reconciliation Possible - Is Reconcination Possible...

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