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Rwandan Genocide, 20 Years Later

Unreconciled Rwanda

20 years after genocide devastated Rwanda, the country is still coming to grips with its past. 

The one-sided nature of the government’s genocide narrative is making it difficult for many to bury the past, analysts say. There is no official recognition of Hutu who were killed either during the genocide or in revenge massacres by the RPF, in which up to 30,000 Hutu died, according to a leaked United Nations report.

“Hutu see that those who are commemorated are Tutsi victims … but they themselves are not allowed to commemorate their victims,” said Filip Reyntjens, a political scientist at the University of Antwerp. “It increases rather than decreases ethnic polarization in Rwanda.”

He said this polarization was reinforced by the justice meted out in the wake of the genocide when village courts, known as gacaca, were established to clear a backlog of genocide cases that had overwhelmed Rwanda’s judicial system.

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