New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 2001.
"When we captured Kigali, we thought we would face criminals in the state; instead, we faced a criminal population." So a political commissar in the Rwanda Patriotic Front reflected after the 1994 massacre of as many as one million Tutsis in Rwanda. Underlying his statement is the realization that, though ordered by a minority of state functionaries, the slaughter was performed by hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, including even judges, human rights activists, and doctors, nurses, priests, friends, and spouses of the victims. Indeed, it is its very popularity that makes the Rwandan genocide so unthinkable. This book makes it thinkable. Rejecting easy explanations of the genocide as a mysterious evil force that was bizarrely unleashed, one of Africa's best-known intellectuals situates the tragedy in its proper context. He coaxes to the surface the historical, geographical, and political forces that made it possible for so many Hutu to turn so brutally on their neighbors.He finds answers in the nature of political identities generated during colonialism, in the failures of the nationalist revolution to transcend these identities, and in regional demographic and political currents that reach well beyond Rwanda. In so doing, Mahmood Mamdani usefully broadens understandings of citizenship and political identity in postcolonial Africa. There have been few attempts to explain the Rwandan horror, and none has succeeded so well as this one. Mamdani's analysis provides a solid foundation for future studies of the massacre. Even more important, his answers point a way out of crisis: a direction for reforming political identity in central Africa and preventing future tragedies.
List of Abbreviations ix Preface and Acknowledgments xi IntroductionThinking about Genocide 3 1. Defining the Crisis of Postcolonial Citizenship: Settler and Native as Political Identities 19 2. The Origins of Hutu and Tutsi 41 3. The Racialization of the Hutu/Tutsi Difference under Colonialism 76 4. The "Social Revolution" of 1959 103 5. The Second Republic: Redefining Tutsi from Race to Ethnicity 132 6. The Politics of Indigeneity in Uganda: Background to the RPF Invasion 159 7. The Civil War and the Genocide 185 8. Tutsi Power in Rwanda and the Citizenship Crisis in Eastern Congo 234 Conclusion: Political Reform after Genocide 264 Notes 283 Bibliography 343 Index 357