Rwanda: Life after Death, 1/2, 2/26/98

Rwanda: Life after Death, 1/2, 2/26/98

Rwanda: Life after Death, 1
Date distributed (ymd): 980226
Document reposted by APIC

+++++++++++++++++++++Document Profile+++++++++++++++++++++

Region: Central Africa
Issue Areas: +economy/development+ +security/peace+
Summary Contents:
This posting contains part 1 of selected excerpts from an extensive report on the current situation in Rwanda from the U.S. Committee for Refugees.

+++++++++++++++++end profile++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The following is excerpted from the U.S. Committee for Refugees' newly published issue paper:


February 1998, by Jeff Drumtra, Africa Policy Analyst.

U.S. Committee for Refugees, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW #701 Washington, DC 20036 USA Phone: (202) 347-3507; Fax: (202) 347-3418; E-mail for information:

Please note that this posting is not the full report. For copies of the report in full, please send an e-mail message to: or call Raci Say at: (202) 347-3507


Table of Contents

Key Points


Attitudes & Psychology

* "Problems Among Us"
* Mutual Victimization
* Group Guilt
* Insurgency Poisons Attitudes
* Social Interaction


* Killings in Northwest
* The "Walking Dead"
* RPA Tactics
* Living With Insecurity in Northwest

Land & Housing

* Can Housing Help Reconciliation?
* Housing Boom
* Housing Quality Mixed
* Land and Housing Disputes

Other Challenges

* Governance
* Tensions Between Government and Aid Agencies
* Flexible Aid Strategy
* Economy
* Food and Agriculture
* Vulnerable Groups
* Health
* Reeducation Camps
* Demographics



(NB: Only a selection of the contents are excerpted here)



* Post Genocide -- Rwanda is a post-genocide society. The psychology of the country's nearly 8 million people is complex. Members of both ethnic groups believe they have been victimized. Rwandans are still sorting out how they will live with each other.

* Extreme Flux -- Rwandan society is in a state of extreme flux. About half of the population has been killed, wounded, uprooted, or returned from long-term exile during the past four years. For the first time in nearly 40 years, the overwhelming majority of Rwandan refugees, Hutu and Tutsi, have repatriated. Many Rwandans are living together for the first time since national independence in 1962.

* Stifled Dialogue -- Rwandan society has not yet found a constructive way to discuss ethnic tensions. Government efforts to pretend that ethnic differences do not exist are perhaps well-intentioned but lack credibility among the country's people and tend to stifle useful dialogue.

* Social Problems -- The reintegration of 1.3 million returnees who repatriated in late 1996 and 1997 has proceeded well in some respects but has brought other social problems to the surface, such as the country's shortage of housing and agricultural land, competition for jobs and school placements, security concerns, and suspicion among neighbors.

* Government Credibility -- Opinions about the Rwandan government vary enormously among Rwandans and international observers. Some regard the government as serious-minded and fair. Others view it as a regime determined to impose minority Tutsi control. These opposing views strongly color interpretations of events.

* Security Issues -- The majority of Rwanda appears calm and relatively secure at this time. Sustained insecurity is largely confined at this time to the northwest corner of the country, where genocidaires continue an insurgency in their home area. Isolated violent incidents occur in other pockets of the west as well. Insurgent attacks and counterinsurgency tactics by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) have reportedly left thousands dead in the northwest.

Violence in the northwest is not continual or pervasive, however. Farming, markets, and other activities of daily life continue at many locations.

* Insurgent Support -- The level of popular support in northwest Rwanda for the insurgency is uncertain. Civilians who provide insurgents with food, lodging, and other help may do so willingly, or because combatants coerce their cooperation. Insurgents' extended family members live in the northwest.

* Propaganda -- Hate propaganda has begun to circulate again in northwest Rwanda, spreading fear. Propaganda leaflets distributed by genocidaires vow revenge against Tutsi and retribution against Hutu moderates. USCR procured English translations of several propaganda tracts.

* Poisonous Insurgency -- The insurgency by genocidaires is geographically limited but exerts a powerful effect on Rwandans throughout the country by aggravating ethnic suspicion. The violent deaths of Tutsi and Hutu in the northwest fuel the worst fears of members of both ethnic groups nationwide at a time when Rwandan society is trying to make a new start.

* Policy Traps -- Some policies of the Rwandan government that are meant to heal tensions in the long term risk aggravating social tensions in the short term.

Government military efforts to defeat the genocidaire insurgency have contributed to deaths of civilians in the northwest. Poor implementation of a government program to "reeducate" former Hutu refugees about the principles of ethnic unity has effectively blocked many educated Hutu from jobs. Tentative plans to change land ownership laws in order to make land use more efficient can be expected to provoke controversy among Rwanda's overwhelmingly agricultural population.

* Economic Struggle -- Rwanda's economic conditions at the end of 1997 were difficult, despite overall economic growth. Food prices in some areas had doubled, and families in some regions had lost more than half their purchasing power compared to the start of the decade. Economic life for many Hutu and Tutsi returnees is more difficult in Rwanda than it was in asylum.

* Vulnerable Groups -- Rwanda's population includes large numbers of vulnerable people. One third of all households are headed by women. Some 80,000 households are headed by children. A quarter-million or more children are unaccompanied minors. Tens of thousands of genocide survivors, predominantly women and minors, need special assistance.

* Aid Agencies -- Relations between the Rwandan government and international humanitarian organizations are strained. Government officials monitor aid organizations closely. Many aid agencies lack full confidence in the government's agenda.

* Housing Shortage -- Rwandans have constructed or rehabilitated more than 100,000 homes with international assistance. Rwandan government officials estimate that 400,000 homes--about one fourth of the country's housing stock--eed construction or repair to accommodate returned Hutu and Tutsi refugees and genocide survivors.

* Villagization -- The "villagization" plan proposed by the Rwandan government could become a massive attempt at social engineering. The ambitious plan, if implemented, would group Rwanda's overwhelmingly rural population into new or existing villages.

Proponents contend the plan would improve land use, facilitate delivery of social services, and foster improved ethnic integration and security. Critics argue the plan is overly ambitious, poorly conceived, and is liable to produce forced relocations and new social tensions. The government's commitment to "villagization" remains unclear.

* Local Participation --The axiom that aid programs work best when they include local participation is particularly important in Rwanda, where residents of both ethnic groups need to feel personally invested in rebuilding the country together.



Rarely in human history has a society asked--insisted-that all its people live together again, side by side, in the aftermath of genocide. That is, however, the task at hand in Rwanda. The people of Rwanda are attempting to do what few societies in recorded history have ever done.

In response to the Armenian genocide in the early 20th Century, the international community carved out an independent nation for the Armenian people. After the Holocaust, the world created a sovereign Jewish state, Israel.

After the "killing fields" of Cambodia in the 1970s--a bloodletting often defined as genocide--hundreds of thousands of Cambodians permanently resettled in other countries. In modern-day Bosnia, ethnic killings bordering on genocide have produced de facto ethnic separation.

Post-genocide Rwanda, however, is charting a dramatically different course. The country and its people are seeking to endure as one. A society torn apart by an attempt to obliterate an entire group is attempting to reestablish the trust needed to carry on.

For the first time in Rwanda's 35 years of national independence, the overwhelming majority of Rwandan refugees, Hutu and Tutsi, have returned to their homeland. The genocide of 1994 in which up to a million Rwandans perished will, it is hoped, give way to "reconciliation."

The nearly two million Hutu refugees who fled in 1994--the fastest refugee exodus of its size the world has ever witnessed--are being asked to resume their former lives. It is hoped that the abrupt repatriation of most refugees in late 1996--a massive return of unprecedented suddenness--will produce "social reintegration."

The challenge is, arguably, unique in modern times. Rarely has any society of any age suffered such shattering upheavals, self-imposed, and emerged intact.

Genocide. Civil war. Refugee flight. Hate propaganda. A culture of impunity. Ongoing insurgency and atrocities. Deep physical and psychological scars likely to linger for decades. The question of the moment is whether the people of Rwanda can rewrite the basic social contract intrinsic to any functioning society. Can Rwandans overcome mutual suspicion and live as neighbors again?

It is a unique challenge as well for the international community as it struggles to give proper assistance. Rwanda "is a difficult place to work," international aid officials privately confide. Some 80 international relief and development organizations operate in the country. Although much of Rwanda is outwardly calm, aid workers realize that "there is a lot going on under the surface."

Several issues in Rwanda are never far from the surface: Security and Insurgency Deep concern about personal safety is now ingrained in Rwandans after their recent ordeals. An armed insurgency by genocidaires (people who implemented the genocide) persists in northwest Rwanda, costing lives and poisoning attitudes even in areas of the country currently beyond the reach of insurgent attacks.

Many Tutsi view the insurgency as proof that the campaign of genocide continues against them, that they are still preyed upon in their own country. Many Hutu, especially those who survived the refugee ordeal in Congo/Zaire, fear that they might be victimized by revenge killings, detention, or other abuses now that they are home.

A resurgence of hate propaganda in recent months by Hutu extremists aggravates ethnic scars that have barely begun to heal. "You will not survive," one propaganda tract recently warned Tutsi. Another hate pamphlet warned that Hutu who befriend Tutsi neighbors will be "eliminated."

Government Legitimacy and Competence

Attitudes toward the Rwandan government vary enormously inside the country and internationally.

Some regard the government as a multi-ethnic, multiparty collection of serious-minded leaders who are pursuing political and social reforms based on justice and ethnic pluralism.

"They [government officials] really do believe Rwanda has got to come together, and that Rwandans can overcome this and live together in harmony, in a viable Rwanda," a U.S. aid official in the country stated.

Others view the Rwandan government and its motives with deep suspicion, as a regime determined to impose minority Tutsi control at home and Tutsi hegemony throughout Central Africa.

"This country scares me every day. It is hard to know what's going on. I'm scared that I might wake up five years from now and find out I worked for five years [with] a repressive regime," confided one expatriate with close connections to government officials.

Most observers agree that the Rwandan government--whatever its agenda--contains a fascinating mixture of steely resolve, inexperience, and limited resources. The result is an ambitious government stretched beyond its capacities in a country with enormous needs.

Reintegration and Social Attitudes

Only time can heal some emotional wounds.

Attempts to "reconcile" Rwandans with each other are underway through the work of local churches, indigenous women's organizations, and some international aid agencies. Mere mention of the word "reconciliation" is, however, a sensitive topic among those who continue to grieve and seek justice for the loss of loved ones.

"Anybody wanting to intervene to make sure it [wholesale ethnic massacre] never happens again has to understand the attitudes.... You cannot just talk to the adult generation about 'loving each other,'" explained an aid official engaged in reconciliation work.

Rwanda's leaders have attempted to improve social solidarity by eliminating ethnic references on identity cards and purging direct mention of ethnicity in most public discourse.

The government requires returned Hutu refugees to attend "solidarity camps" lasting one to two weeks, ostensibly to educate Hutu returnees about the country's goal of ethnic unity. The idea may backfire in practice, however. Many Hutu complain that the reeducation camps deliberately intimidate them and are used to restrict employment opportunities.

Justice System

Rwanda's overwhelmed justice system has received extensive international attention.

Some 120,000 persons remain imprisoned for alleged participation in the genocide. Although thousands awaiting trial may be innocent, it is an important human rights achievement that tens of thousands of guilty prisoners have not been executed without trial. The pace of trials has been excruciatingly slow because the government has required four years to rebuild its cadre of judges and prosecutors in the aftermath of the genocide and massive population displacement.

Some 2,000 prisoners are children, accused of being genocidaires. Their dilemma illustrates that no easy solutions exist in post-genocide Rwanda. The government recently announced plans to free the imprisoned children--a step long advocated by the world community. Some of the minors, however, will probably be killed in revenge attacks if they are released without trial, aid workers warn privately.

The situation of child prisoners indicates that, because of the country's tensions, even progressive humanitarian policies can lead to death.

Housing and Land

An ambitious housing program is underway in Rwanda, the most densely populated country in Africa.

Local officials say 400,000 homes must be repaired or constructed nationwide for returned refugees and survivors of the genocide. Entire new villages have materialized in recent months, some without proper planning for water and farm land needed to sustain the families scheduled to move there.

Rwandan officials have proposed a controversial "villagization" policy to relocate most Rwandans into towns and villages for better services and security. The policy, if pursued aggressively, would rank as one of the most sweeping attempts at social engineering in recent memory. Critics fear the program would remove residents from their current homes by force.

In addition, the government has signaled its intention to pursue fundamental land reform. It is a sensitive issue in a largely agrarian society where small agricultural plots are the sole source of survival for impoverished families.

Basic Development

The upheavals that have befallen Rwanda during the past four years would devastate any country. Rwanda, however, was already one of the world's poorest nations prior to 1994.

By 1997, it had become the second least developed country on earth, according to UN measurements. "It can be difficult to find a commune that is not in dire need," one UN agency reported in Rwanda. Such severe deprivation tends to incubate social tensions and complicates efforts to rebuild trust.

Rwanda lacks adequate schools and health care. The country's overwhelmingly rural settlement pattern--it ranks with Burundi as the least urbanized country in Africa--makes delivery of improved social services difficult and expensive. Events have crippled the country's tea and coffee industry and erased a nascent tourism industry that was based on international interest in the mountain gorillas of northwest Rwanda.

The country's ordeals have imposed added development burdens that no amount of aid money can eliminate: up to 120,000 children are orphaned; as many as 85,000 households are headed by children; and an enormous percentage of the country's accumulated skills and knowledge lay buried with the dead, or hidden in exile.
(continued in part 2)


Rwanda: Life after Death, 2
Date distributed (ymd): 980226
Document reposted by APIC

+++++++++++++++++++++Document Profile+++++++++++++++++++++

Region: Central Africa
Issue Areas: +economy/development+ +security/peace+
Summary Contents:
This posting contains part 2 of selected excerpts from an extensive report on the current situation in Rwanda from the U.S. Committee for Refugees.

+++++++++++++++++end profile++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The following is excerpted from the U.S. Committee for Refugees' newly published issue paper:


February 1998, by Jeff Drumtra, Africa Policy Analyst.

U.S. Committee for Refugees, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW #701 Washington, DC 20036 USA Phone: (202) 347-3507; Fax: (202) 347-3418; E-mail for information:

Please note that this posting is not the full report. For copies of the report in full, please send an e-mail message to: or call Raci Say at: (202) 347-3507


(continued from part 1)

Demographic Pressures

Perhaps one demographic finding provides the sharpest illustration of the confounding nature of Rwanda: despite the genocide and massive population movements, Rwanda's estimated current population of 7.9 million is believed to be larger than before the genocide.

One of the world's highest birth rates, as well as the repatriation of some 800,000 Tutsi refugees after four decades of exile, have recreated the country's relentless population pressures. At current rates, experts expect the population will double within 25 years.

The country's demographics reveal deep scars. A recent UN study concluded that "feminization" of the population is "one of the direct consequences of the genocide and massacres." Only 84 males exist per 100 females, UN studies suggest. As few as 67 males survive for every 100 females in the age 24-29 cohort. More than a third of all households are headed by women.

"Resettlement is not simply about having a plot of land. It's about livelihood, and many of these people are women," a Rwandan official explained. The country's recent traumas, he concluded, have "imposed more burden on women than any other section of the population."

* * *

In large measure, current-day Rwanda is a leap of faith.

Perhaps Rwanda is a lost cause, a society that cannot--or should not--piece itself back together after abusing itself with so much bloodshed and suspicion.

"This place is definitely a powderkeg disguising itself as a pillar of stability," a UN worker with extensive experience in Rwanda said. "[It is] tense, volatile, and very fragile.... The government, the unraveling of Rwandan society, and the general antipathy and sometimes outright hostility [of Rwandan officials] toward the international community are all very worrisome developments.... It's really a shame."

The opposite view, more hopeful, is that Rwandans and their leaders are seriously trying to remake their society by creating a homeland in which all groups feel safe and empowered--an environment where most of the population has demonstrated remarkable restraint despite powerful emotions ranging from grief to outrage.

"We cannot afford to lose the gains of the past three years, because the population [is] beginning to absorb the resurgency of Rwanda," a government official said. "There are lots of people who are willing to rebuild."

It is likely that average Rwandans would regard speculation about their country's probability of success to be beside the point. In their view, they have no alternative except to try to make their country function without seizures of blood.

"I want to live here because I cannot be anywhere else but here," one ragged farmer explained to USCR.

He and others in post-genocide Rwanda have no place else to go. Their daily reality of life is to grind out a living, cope with their neighbors as best they can, and deal with whatever challenges life brings them.

And, more than ever, they remain vigilant.

The people of Rwanda have found that life after death is not an easy gift.



1. Rwandan authorities should deal more openly with ethnic issues.

The government has sought to downplay ethnic divisions in its public pronouncements, by removing ethnic references from identity cards, and by eschewing discussions of ethnic quotas. These laudable steps should continue. However, by seeking to eliminate virtually all public discussion of ethnic divisions, the government damages its own domestic credibility by denying the reality of ethnic tensions that every Rwandan knows to exist. By making mention of ethnicity "politically incorrect," the government inadvertently impedes constructive national dialogue on an issue that has cost extraordinary death and suffering under previous governments during the past 40 years. Authorities should seek opportunities to acknowledge the existence of sensitive ethnic problems in an open and constructive manner. The government can more effectively defuse the ethnicity issue by helping society discuss it, rather than by denying its existence.

2. The international community should make more resources and better expertise available to Rwandans to facilitate individual counseling and national social dialogue.

Rwandans have been through a national nightmare that almost defies comprehension. Theirs is a post-genocide society that has also experienced civil war, massive refugee displacement, a ruthless insurgency, and economic ruin so extensive that it is now one of the two least developed countries in the world. Rwandans' trauma on a personal and societal level is enormous. A special kind of assistance is needed from the international community--assistance that addresses the people's psychological needs as well as their material needs. The international community should provide specialized training and financial support to increase the skills and number of Rwandan social workers who are capable of offering the one-on-one and group counseling that so many Rwandans desperately need. Rwandan society has to rediscover how to talk with itself. The international community should help Rwanda establish a "post-genocide reconciliation foundation," perhaps pattered after the Holocaust Memorial Council Research Institute in the United States, to help individuals and Rwandan society as a whole discover innovative ways to overcome their recent history. USCR respectfully encourages the Holocaust Research Institute and other qualified institutions to participate in such an undertaking.

3. The international community should be prepared to accept a degree of voluntary social segregation in some areas of Rwanda.

Rwanda was an ethnically integrated society before 1994, and largely remains so today. Daily interaction is usually the best way to dissolve mistrust and build cohesion. Rwandan authorities and international aid should seek to nurture integration in housing, employment, schools, markets, and other facets of daily life. Laws and public policy should be scrupulously neutral in regard to ethnicity. Some Rwandans, however, may be psychologically unprepared to return so quickly to previous living arrangements. The genocide or other traumatic events might have rendered some Rwandans psychologically incapable of living among neighbors of different ethnicity at this time. Pockets of Butare prefecture in the south, for example, contain a disproportionate Tutsi population; many communes in northwest Rwanda contain an overwhelmingly Hutu population. Sometimes groups within a larger society are, sadly, not ready to live together again. Unlike victims in other parts of the world, Rwandans do not have the option of national partition or wholesale resettlement in a newly created state. A limited amount of voluntary social segregation inside Rwanda is a predictable response to Rwanda's recent history.

4. The Rwandan government should increase ethnic integration in the Rwandan Patriotic Army.

The government's Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) is overwhelmingly Tutsi but is believed to contain several thousand Hutu soldiers and officers. The government should continue to increase integration in the RPA. The 1993 Arusha peace accord provided that the national army should contain nearly equal numbers of both ethnic groups. The government should maintain this goal.

Violence in neighboring Burundi in recent years has demonstrated the ability of a poorly integrated military to subvert democratic principles. Rwanda should not repeat the mistake.

5. The Rwandan government should aggressively prosecute abuses by government soldiers, particularly in the northwest.

More than 1,000 troops are in detention for alleged crimes, according to government officials. That is a useful first step, but more should be done. The government should press ahead with investigations and prosecutions to demonstrate that abuses by soldiers will not be tolerated, even during security operations in the northwest. Results of investigations by military courts should be made public.

6. International donors should continue to provide aid to Rwanda that is flexibly tailored to the needs of different areas.

Rwanda's needs are diverse, despite its small size. Aid for reintegration and long-term development should be flexible-- different communes require different aid packages. Some areas have housing shortages, other areas have adequate housing but lack water systems or need agricultural assistance.

Donors should not allow violence in the northwest to curtail aid programs in other parts of the country. Much of Rwanda is safe and accessible, and aid projects should continue or expand. Development organizations should devote particular attention to Kibungo prefecture, a heavy resettlement area in southeast Rwanda with a diverse population of ethnically mixed returnees. The prefecture is extremely underdeveloped.

Aid donors should continue providing assistance to the northwest, despite insecurity there. A handful of humanitarian organizations have managed to maintain useful aid programs in the northwest, proving that operations there are possible. The dearth of assistance to the northwest has left many residents there feeling abandoned. Donors should provide more resources to improve the government's administrative capacity. Donor policies until now have short-changed the government by channeling monies primarily to private agencies, leaving government ministries with a weakened ability to function.

Funding for qualified indigenous organizations, particularly women's groups, should remain a priority throughout the country.

7. Rwandan authorities should redouble efforts to return property to rightful owners.

Rwandan law clearly entitles landowners to regain possession of their land, and government officials have taken measures to implement the rule. Yet many Hutu landowners and business proprietors reportedly remain afraid to reclaim their properties. Government officials should ensure that private intimidation is not being used to circumvent public laws pertaining to ownership.

8. Rwandan officials should ensure that landowners are not moved from their land involuntarily.

There is no proof that forcible relocations have occurred, but the potential exists as the government pursues ambitious housing and land policies. National authorities should take steps to ensure that local officials understand and abide by the government's stated policy that landowners will not be forced to move into new villages.

9. Authorities should conduct thorough assessments of resettlement sites to ensure that chosen sites can adequately support new populations.

Large numbers of returnees to Rwanda, many lacking their own property, are settling into designated resettlement sites, particularly in the eastern half of the country. Some sites are poorly planned and may not be viable, potentially leading to new hardships, population migrations, and wasted aid dollars. Authorities should work with UN technicians to monitor the success or failure of newly built housing sites and to conduct sophisticated analyses of proposed housing projects.

10. Rwandan officials should restructure reeducation camps to make them more effective and less divisive.

Reeducation seminars sponsored by the government are a potentially useful method to facilitate ethnic unity and counteract extremist propaganda. The reeducation program conducted during 1997, however, appeared to be poorly organized and created resentment among many Hutu.

The government should ensure that participation in reeducation camps is not a litmus test for employment of Hutu. If authorities choose to make reeducation camps a prerequisite for employment, the government should make reeducation programs more widely available.

The government should improve the quality of its reeducation program by providing skilled moderators. The government should consider restructuring its reeducation program so that sessions target Hutu and Tutsi employees on an ongoing basis in their work places, rather than prior to employment.

11. UNHCR and the UN human rights program should establish a stronger ongoing presence in northwest Rwanda.

During most of 1997, UNHCR maintained a small professional staff in Gisenyi with limited mobility. HRFOR stationed no staff in the northwest and conducted short, infrequent assessment visits that were incapable of in-depth reporting about human rights conditions.

Legitimate expatriate security concerns exist in parts of Rwanda, as killings of expatriates in early 1997 made tragically clear. Nonetheless, UNHCR and HRFOR should seek to bolster their ongoing presence in the northwest and should attempt to conduct assessment trips more frequently into rural northwest areas, using military escorts for safety if necessary. Although military escorts are cumbersome and their presence often hampers human rights documentation and protection work, more assessment trips are worth undertaking to inform the international community about events in the northwest. The world community and Rwandans themselves need help in sorting out facts from rumors in an area rife with disinformation. The government has challenged international human rights workers to conduct first-hand documentation trips in the area--the challenge should be accepted.

12. International aid organizations should assign only their most mature and experienced expatriate staff to work in Rwanda.

Rwanda is an extremely difficult social environment in which to work. The ingrained cultural reticence of many Rwandans, coupled with the trauma and suspicion that linger from the tragic events of recent years, require a high degree of stability and maturity on the part of expatriates working in the country. Aid organizations should ensure that expatriate staff receive a full orientation prior to assignment, and a full debriefing and counseling, if necessary, at termination of assignment. Working in Rwanda is not "business as usual."

13. International organizations should ensure that local staffs are ethnically mixed.

International organizations are in a difficult bind: they do not wish to know or place importance on the ethnicity of their local staff members, yet it is important to ensure that staffs are ethnically mixed. To compound the difficulty, some aid organizations employ predominantly Tutsi staff because Tutsi were often the primary available job candidates during 1995-96, when large numbers of Hutu professionals were outside the country. A stringent quota system is inappropriate. But aid agencies should take steps to ensure that their staff composition, and their work in general, are fair and balanced in fact as well as in appearance.

14. Rwanda's neighboring countries should honor basic humanitarian norms.

Tanzania has expelled Rwandan Tutsi who lived in Tanzania for 30 years. Congo/Zaire in recent months has summarily expelled Rwandan Hutu asylum seekers with no attempt to determine the legitimacy of their refugee claims

Rwanda's neighbors are understandably concerned that problems in Rwanda could again spill across their borders, but this should not lead countries to ignore international humanitarian standards. Tanzania should allow settled Tutsi families to remain. Congo/Zaire should attempt to screen asylum seekers.

15. Rwandan authorities should ensure that all Congolese refugees are moved out of northwest Rwanda.

Two attacks by genocidaire insurgents on Mudende refugee camp, north of Gisenyi town, have killed hundreds of Tutsi Congolese refugees. Some reports suggest that more than 1,000 died in the attacks. Rwandan officials have belatedly allowed the refugees to move to safer areas outside the country's troubled northwest. Authorities should continue this overdue relocation of the refugees and should ensure that the refugee population is properly protected in the new locations.
--end of excerpt--


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 10:35:59 -0500
Subject: Rwanda: Life after Death, 2

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Country Specific