The Impact of 1994 Rwandan Genocide in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
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This Thesis is an analytical investigation of the i mpact of the 1994 Rwandan genocide in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. It focuses on the vio lent conflicts and instability that marked the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), particularl y the eastern DRC region since 1996- 2006. The DRC hosted about 1.25 million Rwandan Hut u refugees (including the ex-Forces Armeés Rwandaises and Hutu militiamen) following the hundred atrocio us days of the 1994 genocide under Hutu-led government in Rwanda. This study assesses rigorously the role of the 1994 Rwandan Hutu refugees in the eastern DRC c onflicts. The theoretical framework of this research is the E rvin Staub’s Basic Needs perspective. This theoretical model provides an analytical tool to ex amine a myriad of factors underlying mass violence and genocide. Factors such as difficult li fe conditions, group cultural history, social psychological factors and context create an enhance d potential for movement along a path of violent conflicts with hallmarks including moral ex clusion, stigmatization, dehumanization and impunity. The tool of qualitative textual analy sis of relevant scholarly and non-scholarly documents in the subject area is used. A whole rang e of issues comprising the conflicts in Rwanda, Burundi and DRC before and after the 1994 R wanda genocide is assessed: ethnicity, ideologies, refugees, rebel groups in DRC conflicts , socio-economical contexts. In analyzing the data I have employed content analysis. The results of this study point out that, factors s uch as difficult life conditions, ideologies of hatred, economical and political crises that marked the Great Lakes Region of Africa have created a climate conducive to conflicts. Furthermo re, the research shows that the 1994 Rwandan Hutu refugees, particularly the ex-FAR and Hutu militiamen, contributed in the escalation of violent conflicts in eastern DRC. Thi s corroborates the scholars finding that refugees are not only the unfortunate victims of co nflict and the by-product of war; they are also important political actors who can play an act ive role in conflict dynamics and instability (Salehyan 2007: 127; Collier in Furley 2006:2). The study ends with recommendations for peace and sustainable stability and development in the Great Lakes Region of Africa: comprehending and addressing thoroughly the roots c auses of conflicts, promoting and implementing policies and mechanisms for good gover nance, economic development, respect of human rights and justice, addressing effectively the issue of refugees and reconciliation.