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Tue Apr 29, 2014, 10:41 AM

Rwanda Twenty Years Later -

Rwanda: Between Memory Work and the Desire to Live

http://www.humaniteinenglish.com/ (about the source: L'Humanité (pronounced: [lymaniˈte], French for "Humanity", formerly the daily newspaper linked to the French Communist Party (PCF), was founded in 1904 by Jean Jaurès, a leader of the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO). The paper is now independent, although it maintains close links to the PCF.)

Translated Tuesday 29 April 2014, by Henry Crapo

Rwanda is learning how to live with its ghosts. The nation commemorates the 20th anniversary of the genocide of the Tutsi. The French authorities are absent, fleeing their responsibilities.

Rwanda is rising from the terrible ordeal of the genocide. In two decades, reconstruction has changed the face of this landlocked country in the heart of the Great Lakes. The youth dreams of a country in which hatred between the communities and "ethnocentric" divisions, inherited from colonialism, will be banished.

Rwanda, by 
Special Envoy

The ochre waters of the Nyabarongo river tear away at the sumptuous green landscape dominated by the hills of Kigali. This river, one of the sources of the Nile, still carries the history of atrocities committed during the genocide of Tutsis started April 7, 1994 by Hutu extremists in the aftermath of the attack against the airplane of President Juvenal Habyarimana. This is the bridge spanning the river, a few kilometers east of the capital, from which were thrown mutilated bodies or heads of victims of the racist outburst. By their instructions to throw the bodies into the water, the ideologues of genocide meant to convey the message to "Send the Tutsi back to Abyssinia," the land that the sorcerer’s apprentices of the colonial era and of the racist regime had invented as the Tutsi land of origin.

Twenty years after the "Apocalypse", as most survivors call it, Rwanda wants to offer, despite the ghosts of the past, the face of a new country in which the ’ethnocentric’ distinctions and ideas of hatred and division would be banished. Like so many warnings, the stigmata of the last genocide of the twentieth century are everywhere. At the heart of this memory work undertaken by the country, the genocide memorial in Kigali reflects the many years of hate-mongering that led to the worst. A word chanted during the visit, which slaps as the symbol of a business-like extermination, methodically planned: ’Inyenzis!’ cockroaches in the Kinyarwanda language. In this way the theorists of ’Hutu Power’ referred to Tutsi. We remember here that moment when ’the world backed away’, the passivity of the international community, the complicity of France, which armed the genocidal regime, trained killers, and covered their escape. Outside, among the rose gardens, the vast gray mass of graves barring the hill reminds us of the scale of the massacres: 268,000 victims in Kigali, nearly a million across the country. The Tutsi, many children, but also Hutu Democrats opposed to unbridled hatred. "Periods of commemoration always revive injuries. All survivors retain psychological sequelae. In fact, the entire Rwandan society is affected: the survivors, witnesses, children of executioners. Even those who were born after the genocide are still traumatized because of family stories or what remains unspoken. We live with the weight of this story and all its consequences. This is very heavy", says Naphtal Ahishakiye of the association Ibuka, which brings together the associations of genocide survivors.

Economic success

From this terrible ordeal, however, the Rwanda is rising. In two decades, the reconstruction is adorned with insolent success. This small landlocked country in the heart of the African Great Lakes shows a growth rate of 8% on average over the past ten years. Momentum barely hampered by the suspension of financial aid decided by donor countries after the publication of the report by experts of the UN accusing Kigali of supporting the rebellion of M23 in the eastern neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

These economic successes, combined with a resolute fight against corruption, have helped to change the lives of people with unprecedented investments in the areas of health, education, and infrastructure. Birthplace of Kigali, Nyarungenge Hill, bristles with towers and gleaming buildings that give the Rwandan capital of false air of Johannesburg. The new class of consumers presses upon Union Trade Center, the commercial center with shops, supermarket and trendy café ...

Much more here: http://www.humaniteinenglish.com/spip.php?article2465

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Reply Rwanda Twenty Years Later - (Original post)
TBF Apr 2014 OP
WhiteTara Apr 2014 #1
yallerdawg Apr 2014 #2
Jackpine Radical Apr 2014 #3
WhiteTara Apr 2014 #4
Jackpine Radical Apr 2014 #5
TBF Apr 2014 #6

Response to TBF (Original post)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 11:43 AM

1. Because most of the men were killed the government

is now in the hands of women and their priorities are much different.

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 12:47 PM

2. Interesting!

The loss of life is a tragedy (that haunts Bill Clinton today).

But, this idea is Shakespearean: "First, kill all the men!"

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 02:04 PM

3. The "No Asshole Rule" (Sapolsky, Share & the Baboons):

This is the first thing that sprang to mind upon reading your comment--


Biologists Robert Sapolsky and Lisa Share have followed a troop of wild baboons in Kenya for over 20 years, starting in 1978. Sapolsky and Share called them “The Garbage Dump Troop” because they got much of their food from a garbage pit at a tourist lodge. But not every baboon was allowed to eat from the pit in the early 1980s: The aggressive, high status males in the troop refused to allow lower status males, or any females, to eat the garbage. Between 1983 and 1986, infected meat from the dump led to the deaths of 46% of the adult males in the troop. The biggest and meanest males died off. As in other baboon troops studied, before they died, these top-ranking males routinely bit, bullied, and chased males of similar and lower status, and occasionally directed their aggression at females.

But when the top ranking males died-off in the mid-1980s, aggression by the (new) top baboons dropped dramatically, with most aggression occurring between baboons of similar rank, and little of it directed toward lower-status males, and none at all directed at females. Troop members also spent a larger percentage of the time grooming, sat closer together than in the past, and hormone samples indicated that the lowest status males experienced less stress than underlings in other baboon troops. Most interestingly, these effects persisted at least through the late 1990’s, well after all the original “kinder” males had died-off. Not only that, when adolescent males who grew up in other troops joined the “Garbage Dump Troop,” they too engaged in less aggressive behavior than in other baboon troops. As Sapolsky put it “We don’t understand the mechanism of transmission… but the jerky new guys are obviously learning: We don’t do things like that around here.” So, at least by baboon standards, the garbage dump troop developed and enforced what I would call a “no asshole rule.”

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 02:22 PM

4. But it seems it takes a sudden die off and not just natural

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 04:18 PM

5. …or some sort of massive change in values.

You could do it in a generation or 2 if you could educate the kids.

The way I might see it happening in the context of a conceivable human future is if things get so hard that nobody can survive on their own, so that only those with a cooperative ethic remain in the gene pool. I see 2 paths for "survivalism:" The first is to hoard food & weapons, a fortress-under-siege mentality, ad the other is a cooperative approach in which people take care of each other & help each other across difficult times. I think the fortress model is doomed to failure, and the only model that will work is the cooperative one.

I think, for example, of the value system of the Ojibwa Indians, who lived in the harsh climate around Lake Superior. Hoarding food was one of the greatest sins; the modal pattern was for everyone to share what they had. If someone got lucky & got a moose or something in the dead of winter, the whole group shared in the hunter's good fortune. This was the model that permitted them to survive for millenia in an environment thatoften placed them at risk of starvation. If you take care of others when they need it, they will be there when you're the one who needs the help.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #5)

Wed Apr 30, 2014, 12:22 PM

6. If you take care of others when they need it -

they will be there when you're the one who needs the help.

Such a simple concept and so hard for capitalists to grasp.

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