Theory and Practice of Reconciliation in Rwanda
- During recent years, scholars working on the peacebuilding process in Rwanda have often tended to single out specific aspects, for instance judicial responses to the genocide. Little research has been done, however, on the diversity of approaches that constitute the “reconciliation landscape” in Rwanda today. Basing itself on data from field research in 2006, this paper seeks to shed some light on the many programmes carried out in Rwanda related to reconciliation work. Emphasis is put on two case studies. While establishing a theoretical framework of the reconciliation process in the first part of the paper, the following chapters attempt to explain how this relates to the practice of reconciliation in the Rwandan context. The data collected suggest that in the face of political constraints, the Rwandan government must in part rely on civil society actors for the achievement of their goals of “unity and reconciliation”. The multitude of initiatives from actors with a wide range of motivations and approaches should be seen as complementary, while some may have to make up for the shortcomings and constraints of others.