Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 4-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-17

The Great Lakes region matters. It matters because of its vast territorial expanse and the many borders it shares with neighboring states, and the ever-present danger of violence spilling across boundaries. It matters because the Congo’s huge mineral wealth translates into auniquely favorable potential for economic development. While claim-...

PART I: THE REGIONAL CONTEXT

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pp. 1-19

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Chapter 1 The Geopolitics of the Great Lakes Region

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pp. 3-29

In common usage the Great Lakes region refers to Central Africa’s Great Rift valley, stretching on a north-south axis along the Congo-Nilecrest, from Lake Tanganyika in the south to Lake Edward and the legendary Mountains of the Moon in the north. But where exactly does it begin, and where does it end? Should it include western Tanzania and...

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Chapter 2 The Road to Hell

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pp. 30-46

If the fate of the African continent evokes hopelessness, nowhere is this sense of despair more evident than in former Belgian Africa. No other region has experienced a more deadly combination of external aggression, foreign-linked factionalism, interstate violence, factional strife, and ethnic rivalries. Nowhere else in Africa has genocide exacted a more hor-...

PART II: RWANDA AND BURUNDI: THE GENOCIDAL TWINS

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pp. 47-65

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Chapter 3 Ethnicity as Myth

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pp. 49-68

Ethnicity is never what it seems. What some see as ancestral atavism, others see as a typically modern phenomenon, anchored in colonial rule. Where neo-Marxists detect class interests parading in traditional garb,mainstream scholars unveil imagined communities. And whereas many see ethnicity as the bane of the African continent, others think that it...

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Chapter 4 Genocide in the Great Lakes: Which Genocide? Whose Genocide?

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pp. 69-76

The title of this chapter is deliberately provocative. Can there be any doubt about the responsibility of the government of the late President Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda for what has been described as the biggest genocide of the end of the century? Can one seriously question the active involvement of high-ranking officials, the presidential guard,...

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Chapter 5 The Rationality of Genocide

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pp. 79-87

The image of Rwanda conveyed by the media is that of a society gone amok. How else to explain the collective insanity that led to the butchering of half a million civilians: men, women, and children? As much as the scale of the killings, the visual impact of the atrocities numbs the mind and makes the quest for rational motives singularly irrelevant....

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Chapter 6 Hate Crimes

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pp. 88-98

The tale hardly bears retelling: in Rwanda an estimated one million people died in a frenzy of genocidal killings that was one of the most ap-palling bloodbaths of the twentieth century. Most of the victims weremembers of the country’s Tutsi minority. Few were lucky enough to beshot; the majority were hacked to pieces, drowned, speared, or beaten to...

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Chapter 7 The Politics of Memory

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pp. 99-108

...“Never again! Plus jamais!” The message—so often heard, so seldom heeded—was delivered loud and clear to those present in the Amahoro stadium in Kigali on April 7, 2004, on the tenth anniversary of one of the most monstrous bloodbaths of the last century. Relayed through public speeches, survivors’ reminiscences, and multiple banderoles;...

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Chapter 8 Rwanda and the Holocaust Reconsidered

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pp. 109-128

The Holocaust and the Rwanda genocide are two of the most terrifying and complex catastrophes of the twentieth century. Whether measured by the scale of the atrocities committed against Jews and Tutsi, the distinctiveness of their collective identities, or the deliberate, purposeful manner of their annihilation, there are compelling reasons for seeing in the Rwanda carnage a tropical version of the Shoah. Little wonder that time and again the better...

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Chapter 9 Burundi 1972: A Forgotten Genocide

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pp. 129-140

Thirty-five years ago Burundi was the scene of a horrific bloodletting when from late April to September 1972 anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 Hutu were massacred by a Tutsi-dominated army. When the slaughter stopped, most of the educated adult Hutu males were either dead or in exile. From this appalling surgery emerged a state entirely dominated by Tutsi elements from the south, the so-called Tutsi-Hima. For the next seventeen years, Tutsi hegemony remained unchallenged.1 Outside a small circle of Africanists...

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Chapter 10 Burundi at the Crossroads

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pp. 141-157

Burundi has many claims to fame, none to be envied. Despite wide-spread assumptions to the contrary, it has the sad distinction of havingexperienced the first genocide recorded in Central Africa. Althoughovershadowed in public attention by the far more extensive carnage inRwanda, to this day the killing of an estimated quarter of a million Hutu...

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Chapter 11 Burundi’s Endangered Transition

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pp. 158-188

Few other states in the continent can claim to have emerged from a ten year civil war under more promising circumstances than Burundi. The transition process, however long and painful, has been exemplary. Beginning with the Arusha agreement of 2000, a constitutional formula was finally worked out whereby the rights of the Tutsi minority could be reconciled with the demands...

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Part III The Democratic Republic of the Congo: From Failed State to Fragile Transition

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pp. 189-207

Map 5. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Map no. 4007, rev. 8, United Nations, January 2004. Reproduced bypermission of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Cartographic Section....

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Chapter 12 A Blocked Transition: Zaire in 1993

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pp. 191-204

Zaire is the only country in the world to claim two prime ministers, two governments, two parliaments, two constitutions, and two transitional constitutional acts. The phenomenon—euphemistically referred to in Zaire as dédoublement—bears testimony to the total impasse currently...

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Chapter 13 Ethnic Violence, Public Policies, and Social Capital in North Kivu

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pp. 205-215

Few works of political science have received a more universal acclaimthan Robert Putnam’s trailblazing inquest into the roots of democracy incontemporary Italy, appropriately titled Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Judging from the theme of this conference, the impact of his contribution is not limited to the American academic com-...

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Chapter 14 The DRC: From Failure to Potential Reconstruction

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pp. 216-248

The African continent is littered with the wreckage of imploded polities.Kinshasa, and from Sierra Leone to Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire, failed or failing states confront us with an all too familiar litany of scourges—civil societies shot to bits by ethno regional violence, massive flows of hapless refugees across national boundaries, widespread environmental disas-...

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Chapter 15 The Tunnel at the End of the Light

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pp. 249-259

For those of us old enough to remember what in the 1960s was known as “the Congo crisis”—soon to become the “endless crisis”—the tragic singularity of the present conjuncture is perhaps less apparent than who lived through the agonies of the Congo’s improvised leap into independence—followed by the swift collapse of the successor state and...

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Chapter 16 From Kabila to Kabila: What Else Is New?

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pp. 260-280

Reflecting on the merits of electoral democracy in the Congo, one of the least memorable characters in John Le Carré’s novel The Mission Song makes his point with characteristic bluntness: “Elections won’t bring democracy, they’ll bring chaos. The winners will scoop the pool and tell the losers to go fuck themselves. The losers will say the game...

Notes

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pp. 281-312

Index

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pp. 313-324

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 325-344

My immediate purpose in putting together this volume is to make readily accessible to interested scholars a selection of my recent (and not so recent) writing on former Belgian Africa. Although most of these appeared in professional journals and edited volumes, none was a source of high visibility. The themes explored in this book have incubated in a...