It is the 15th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide this month and Great Lakes expert Gerard Prunier unabashedly avows:
The perpetrators have also imposed their ethnic logic on the new regime – described by some as a dictatorship – where any mention of the word “Tutsi” or “Hutu” is strictly forbidden by law.
This means that any lucid examination of the relationship between Tutsi and Hutu before, during and after the genocide is now impossible.
It is like discussing an infectious disease without being allowed to use the words “germ” or “contagion”.
Prunier’s article goes on to explore how the current Rwandan administration has created a political environment in which, an “artificial substitute” for justice, “factual manipulation” of history, and authoritative environment has stopped Rwanda from burying its ghosts. And:
The result has been predictable. Governments from London to Washington have rallied to the new regime of President Paul Kagame without looking too closely at its behaviour.
Prunier’s commentary is needed. It portrays a post-genocidal reality that must be addressed to move Great Lakes politics forward. A reality in which Rwanda’s memorialization of genocide has not only masked internal politics, but served as a justification for their foreign aggression. A reality that must be challenged by donors, experts, international agencies, local media and NGOs, and Rwandans so that the country can truly bury their ghosts.