Maintaining Power by Manipulating Memory in Rwanda

Fordham International Law Journal, Aug 2018

Thomas Kelley

A PDF file should load here. If you do not see its contents the file may be temporarily unavailable at the journal website or you do not have a PDF plug-in installed and enabled in your browser.

Alternatively, you can download the file locally and open with any standalone PDF reader:

Maintaining Power by Manipulating Memory in Rwanda

Journal Maintaining Power by Manipulating Memory in Rwanda Rwanda - Copyright c by the authors. Fordham International Law Journal is produced by The Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress). Thomas Kelley* “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”1 IV. ENFORCING THE KAGAME REGIME’S FANCIFUL VERSION OF HISTORY ..............................................113 B. Laws and Extralegal Means for Controlling C. Using Reeducation Camps to Teach the Government’s Version of History ............................123 D. Diffusing the Kagame Regime’s Version of History by Tightly Controlling Public Remembrance...........................................................124 E. Other Means of Controlling History and Memory ....................................................................126 F. Summary of the Kagame Regime’s Methods and Description of the Results .................................128 V. CONCLUSION ....................................................................132 I. INTRODUCTION Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, is among the world’s most polarizing political figures.2 To some, he is a heroic military leader who stopped Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, then transformed himself into to a politician and guided his people toward peace and prosperity.3 To 2. See Jeffrey Gettleman, The Global Elite’s Favorite Strongman, N.Y. TIMES (Sep. 4, 2013), [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) ; see also infra notes 110-21 and accompanying text. 3. See PATRICIA CRISAFULLI & ANDREA REDMOND, RWANDA, INC.: HOW A DEVASTATED NATION BECAME AN ECONOMIC MODEL FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD 92 (2012) (arguing Paul Kagame has the attributes of a successful corporate CEO, that he runs Rwanda like a business, and that the country’s success is due to his leadership); see also STEPHEN KINZER, A THOUSAND HILLS: RWANDA’S REBIRTH AND THE MAN WHO DREAMED IT 337 (2008) (arguing that Kagame is the “man of the hour in modern Africa”); Philip Gourevitch, Letter from the Congo: Continental Shift, NEW YORKER (Aug. 4, 1997), at 42 (praising Kagame as a new type of African leader); infra notes 113-16 and accompanying text. 2017] others, he is a bloodthirsty dictator who deploys his army to pillage neighboring countries and his security forces to intimidate, imprison, or assassinate all who question his rule.4 This article will not resolve the question of whether Paul Kagame is a savior or a villain. It is possible, of course, that he is both. It will, however, confirm that the Kagame regime is engaged in a comprehensive, sophisticated effort to reprogram Rwandans’ collective memory and thereby legitimize its increasingly dictatorial rule. The US government and its people should care about what happens in Rwanda. The obligation is based partly on history. In 1994, US actions and inactions exacerbated a slaughter that killed an estimated 800,000 human beings.5 The US obligation is also based on contemporary geopolitics. At present, the United States gives Rwanda approximately US$200 million in aid every year, making us by far its largest bilateral donor.6 If our money is going to Rwanda, and if the Rwandan government is oppressing its own people, we are at least indirectly complicit. Legal scholars and human rights activists who have written about political oppression in contemporary Rwanda tend to focus on what Americans would consider “First Amendment” concerns, particularly the Kagame regime’s aggressive silencing of perceived political opponents.7 This paper argues that this “freedom of expression” lens is 4 . See Briefing, Paul Kagame, feted and feared, THE ECONOMIST (July 15, 2017), [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) ; see also Howard W. French, The Case Against Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, NEWSWEEK (Jan. 14, 2013), [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) (quoting the Rwanda scholar Filip Reyntjens as claiming President Kagame is “probably the worst war criminal in office today”); infra notes 119-26. 5. See infra notes 91-96 (discussing the US’s role in facilitating the Rwandan genocide; see also infra note 78 (discussing disagreement about the exact number of dead). 6 . See Compare your country: Aid statistics by donor, recipient and sector, ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (OECD), [] (last visited Oct. 26, 2017) (showing the US as Rwanda’s largest governmental donor at almost $200 million per year). 7. See, e.g., Jennifer M. Allen & George H. Norris, Is Genocide Different?: Dealing with Hate Speech in a Post-Genocide Society, 7 J. OF INT’L L. & INT’L REL. 146, 147 (2011); YakareOule (Nani) Jansen, Denying Genocide or Denying Free Speech? A Case Study of the Application of Rwanda’s Genocide Denial Laws, 12 NW. J. INT’L HUM. RTS. 191, 191 (2014); Joseph Sebarenzi, Justice and Human Rights for All Rwandans, in REMAKING RWANDA: STATE too narrow to understand fully what is taking place in Rwanda today. Instead, the paper borrows theoretical concepts from historiography and memory studies, and argues that Rwanda’s government is surpassing mere suppression of speech and instead is engaging in a tightly managed effort to establish and enforce a fanciful version of history that legitimizes the Kagame regime’s increasingly autocratic rule. The regime, to the extent it admits its actions, justifies them as necessary to maintain stability and avoid a repeat of the country’s horrific genocide. 8 But abundant evidence indicates that President Kagame is tailoring memory and history not to maintain stability, but to keep himself and his ruling coterie in power. The Rwandan government’s program of “memory entrepreneurship” 9 relies partly on law as a tool for political oppression, but understanding the full scope of the oppression requires explorations beyond the realm of law. Part II of the paper will begin with history, providing an overview of Rwanda that focuses particular attention on the years leading up to the 1994 genocide. Part III will introduce helpful theoretical concepts from historiography and memory studies, and then will deploy those concepts in examining competing versions of Rwanda’s history: the self-serving narrative insisted upon by the Kagame regime, and the narrative generally agreed upon by historians and other scholars. Part IV turns back to law, describing the legal (and in some cases, extralegal) methods Rwanda’s government uses to enforce its self-justifying, ahistorical narrative. Part V concludes by positing that the Rwandan government’s efforts to control history and memory are a symptom of creeping dictatorship. Even allowing for the fact that strong leadership is needed in a country that suffered a horrific genocide less than a generation ago, its actions BUILDING AND HUMAN RIGHTS AFTER MASS VIOLENCE 343-49 (Scott Straus & Lars Waldorf eds., 2011). 8 . See AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, RWANDA: JUSTICE IN JEOPARDY: THE FIRST INSTANCE TRIAL OF VICTOIRE INGABIRE 9 (2013); see also Allen & Norris, supra note 7, at 147 (arguing that the government restricts speech to avoid reigniting the conflict); Scott Straus & Lars Waldorf, Introduction: Seeing Like a Post-Conflict State, in REMAKING RWANDA, supra note 7, at 8 (arguing the regime’s central justification is that the prior social order produced the genocide, so radical social change is needed to prevent a future reoccurrence); Laura Seay, Is Rwanda’s Authoritarian State Sustainable?, WASHINGTON POST (June 3, 2016), [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) (similar). 9. See generally infra note 139 and accompanying text (explaining the term “memory entrepreneurship”). 2017] appear to be more geared toward maintaining power than maintaining peace. RWANDA, ITS GENOCIDE, AND THE RISE OF PRESIDENT PAUL KAGAME Most non-specialists know one thing about Rwanda, which is that in 1994 it experienced genocide. Later sections of this paper will closely analyze competing historical narratives about what caused the genocide and exactly what happened once it began. In the meantime, this section provides an overview relying on facts that are, at least for the most part, uncontested. Rwanda is a small, beautiful, hilly, landlocked, densely populated10 country in east Africa.11 Its economy relies on agricultural production and animal husbandry,12 though the government would like to shift over time toward an “information economy.”13 The country is populated by three “ethnic” groups: Hutu (85% of the population), Tutsi (14% of the population), and Twa (1% of the population). 14 10. See John W. Bruce, Return of Land in Post-Conflict Rwanda: International Standards, Improvisation, and the Role of International Humanitarian Organizations, in LAND AND POSTCONFLICT PEACEBUILDING 121, 122 (Jon Unruh & Rhodri C. Williams eds., 2013) (arguing Rwanda has one of the highest ratios of people to arable land in the world); Catharine Newbury, High Modernism at the Ground Level: The Imidugudu Policy in Rwanda, in REMAKING RWANDA, supra note 7, at 223-24 [hereinafter Newbury, High Modernism] (arguing Rwanda has one of the highest population densities and lowest rates of urbanization in Africa); David Newbury & Catharine Newbury, Bringing the Peasants Back in: Agrarian Themes in the Construction and Corrosion of Statist Historiography in Rwanda, 105 AM. HIST. REV. 832, 837 (2000) [hereinafter Newbury & Newbury, Bringing the Peasants Back In] (arguing Rwanda is a tiny, densely packed country of 10,000 square miles – about the size of Vermont – with a current population of 7.5 million compared to Vermont’s 600,000). 11. See Composition of Macro Geographical (Continental) Regions, Geographical SubRegions, and Selected Economic and Other Groupings, UNITED NATIONS, [] (last visited Oct. 26, 2017) . 12. See Newbury, High Modernism, supra note 10, at 223 (arguing most Rwandans rely on agricultural production for their survival). 13 . See generally KIGALI, REPUBLIC OF RWANDA MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC PLANNING, RWANDA VISION 2020 (July 2000); An Ansoms, Rwanda’s PostGenocide Economic Reconstruction: The Mismatch Between Elite Ambitions and Rural Realities, in REMAKING RWANDA, supra note 7, at 240 [hereinafter Ansoms, Reconstruction] (arguing Rwanda’s government plans to transform from a “low human development” country to medium, as defined by the United Nations Human Development Index). 14. See David Newbury, Understanding Genocide, 41 AFR. STUD. REV. 73, 78 (1998). David and Catharine Newbury argue the Twa, sometimes referred to as “pygmy,” are often overlooked in political analysis due to their low numbers and are “usually relegated to the status However, as discussed in Part III.B and C, there is controversy over whether those groups are indeed different ethnicities since they speak a single language, 15 Kinyarwanda, and historically lived together, frequently intermarried, and worshiped the same gods.16 Germany was Rwanda’s first colonial ruler but its influence on the country was limited and its tenure brief.17 After Germany’s loss in World War I, The League of Nations assigned Belgium as Rwanda’s European protector.18 Belgium settled in as a typical colonial ruler, imposing harsh policies similar to those implemented by other colonizing powers across Africa. They forced farmers to grow cash crops such as coffee, 19 which made those farmers vulnerable to of exotic appendages to Rwandan society.” Newbury & Newbury, Bringing the Peasants Back In, supra note 10, at 840. 15 . Language is an area of political contestation in Rwanda. French was Rwanda’s colonial language and until recently was the primary language of higher education and government. See Chris McGreal, Why Rwanda said adieu to French, THE GUARDIAN (Jan. 16, 2009), [https://] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) . But in 2009, the Kagame regime announced an abrupt switch to English. Its purported reason was that English would facilitate economic integration with Rwanda’s English-speaking East African neighbors. Id. Others saw politics in the switch: Rwanda holds France partly responsible for the 1994 genocide and has taken steps to distance itself, including moving away from the French language. Id.; see also infra notes 4849, 83-90 and accompanying text (discussing France’s role in facilitating the genocide). Also, Paul Kagame and his ruling coterie grew up in exile in English-speaking countries, see infra note 85 and accompanying text, and their command of French is limited. Id. The disruptive effect of the switch was mitigated by the fact that all Rwandans speak Kinyarwanda and government business is often conducted in that language. See PHILIP GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT TOMORROW WE WILL BE KILLED WITH OUR FAMILIES 55 (1998) [hereinafter GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU]. 16. See Newbury, Understanding Genocide, supra note 14, at 78. 17. The Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, which carved up Africa and awarded it to various European powers, assigned Rwanda and Burundi (then a single entity known as RuandaUrundi and part of German East Africa) to Germany. See GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 57. However, because present-day Rwanda was remote and inaccessible, Germans did not actually arrive on the scene until 1897. Id. at 54. In 1922, after Germany’s loss in World War I, a League of Nations mandate assigned the territory to Belgium, which ruled in various forms until independence in 1961. Id. at 54, 61; Jean-Marie Kamatali, State Building in Rwanda, in RECONSTRUCTING THE AUTHORITARIAN STATE IN AFRICA 162 (George Klay Kieh, Jr. & Pita Ogaba eds., 2014). 18. GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 54, 61. 19. See Newbury & Newbury, Bringing the Peasants Back In, supra note 10, at 862 (arguing that by the end of the 1950s coffee represented more than 70% of the export earnings of Ruanda-Urundi) ; see also Newbury, High Modernism, supra note 10, at 226 (arguing Belgian colonists pushed coffee production and generally “intruded in rural production”). 2017] famine. 20 They compelled their subjects to engage in burdensome forced labor, which placed further strain on household livelihoods.21 They implemented a typical divide and conquer strategy by which they selected a minority group – in this case the Tutsi people – and favored them with education and official government positions while using them to rule over the majority – in this case mostly Hutu people.22 Part III of this paper will discuss disagreements over whether the Tutsi and Hutu people are in fact distinct ethnic groups, but the Belgians assumed they were and they favored the Tutsi for reasons that strike modern ears as disturbingly racist. 23 The Tutsis, at least to Belgians eyes, were taller and had somewhat lighter skin, higher foreheads, thinner faces, and more aquiline noses.24 In other words, their features were closer to those of Europeans, which, the Belgians assumed, meant they had some northern blood running in their veins and, concomitantly, were superior to the supposedly darker, rounder, more compact Hutu.25 Beginning in the 1930s, the Belgians required 20. See Ansoms, Reconstruction, supra note 13, at 244 (arguing the Belgians imposed crops and that monocropping prevented farmers from diversifying to spread the risk of crop failure and uncontrollable market fluctuations); Thomas Kelley, Squeezing Parakeets Into Pigeon Holes: The Effects of Globalization and State Legal Reform in Niger on Indigenous Zarma Law, 34 N.Y.U. J. INT’L L. & POL. 635, 651, n.73 (2002) (arguing that French-imposed cash cropping schemes led to famine in times of drought). 21. GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 57 (arguing that the Belgians imposed forced labor, mostly on Hutu subjects). There is now a rich English-language literature chronicling the Rwandan genocide. Philip Gourevitch, who was among the first American journalists to write about the genocide and its aftermath, is criticized by some scholars for getting parts of the story – including parts of Rwanda’s history – wrong. See, e.g., Jens Meierhenrich, Topographies of Remembering and Forgetting: The Transformation of “Lieux de Memoire” in Rwanda, in REMAKING RWANDA, supra note 7, at 288 (arguing Gourevitch is a mere “casual observer of things Rwandan”). He also has been publicly chastised for glossing over allegations that the Kagame regime has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. See, e.g., Jason Stearns & Federico Borello, Bad Karma: Accountability for Rwandan Crimes in the Congo, in REMAKING RWANDA, supra note 7, at 155 [hereinafter Stearns & Borello, Bad Karma] (arguing Gourevitch’s later writings on Rwanda unfairly stereotype Hutu refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo as collectively guilty of genocide). Still, Gourevitch’s book is, to my mind, the most thoroughly descriptive and engaging journalistic account of the genocide. 22. See GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 51, 55-56. 23. Id. at 55-56 (describing the racial and racist nature of European hypotheses about the origins of Hutus and Tutsis). 24. Newbury & Newbury, Bringing the Peasants Back In, supra note 10, at 838-39. 25. See id. at 839 (arguing that Europeans incorrectly considered the Hutu to be “short, sturdy, and dark,” in comparison to Tutsi); see also David Newbury, Canonical Conventions in Rwanda: Four Myths of Recent Historiography in Central Africa, 39 HIST. IN AFR. 41, 50 (2012) [hereinafter Newbury, Canonical Conventions] (describing the racist “Hamitic all Rwandans to obtain identity cards that, among other things, specified their ethnicity.26 These cards were still in use when the 1994 genocide began and, tragically, helped make the slaughter more targeted and efficient.27 In the 1950s, winds of change28 blew across the African continent, including Rwanda. For political and social reasons too complicated to parse here, Rwanda’s Hutu majority began in the late 1940s demanding full representation in governance, and the Belgian colonial regime, along with the Catholic church that helped rule the country,29 switched allegiance and began backing Hutu aspirations.30 As Rwandan Hutus asserted control, the Tutsi minority suffered systematic violence and deprivation. 31 Between 1959 and 1961, on the eve of Rwandan independence, Hutus engaged in widespread attacks against Tutsi people that killed many and destroyed countless homes.32 As a result, an estimated 250,000 Tutsis fled into exile, mostly to neighboring countries.33 This Tutsi diaspora played an important role in more recent Rwandan history, partly because Paul Kagame’s family was among the many who sought refuge in neighboring Uganda.34 2017] After gaining independence in 1961, Rwanda settled into a sustained period of Hutu rule and Tutsi deprivation. In 1973, the army chief of staff, a Hutu named Juvenal Habyarimana, launched a successful coup d’état against the sitting president, also a Hutu, and ruled until April 6, 1994, the day the genocide began.35 Habyarimana began as a comparative moderate in the matter of Hutu/Tutsi relations, but over time his regime became increasingly dominated by a group of hardliners associated with his wife, Agethe Habyarimana, and her clan from Rwanda’s northwestern region.36 Those hardliners were known as the akuzu (“little house” in Kinyarwanda) 37 and it was they who resisted reconciliation and power sharing with the Tutsi and who meticulously planned the genocide.38 While Habyarimana was ruling Rwanda, Paul Kagame was gaining experience and influence in neighboring Uganda. 39 His professional and personal trajectory was fascinating and complicated, but for purposes of this overview it must suffice to say that he joined the Ugandan military, rose through the ranks, and eventually became its chief of military intelligence. 40 At the same time Kagame was serving the Ugandan army, he and a small group of Tutsi associates began laying plans to create their own army,41 one they planned to incubate from within the Ugandan army and then use to invade Rwanda, topple Habyarimana’s regime, make Rwanda safe for Tutsis, and permit the refugees’ return to their homeland. 42 This shadow military force eventually became associated with a Uganda-based political movement known as the Rwandan Patriotic Front (“RPF”).43 By the late 1980s, the RPF army was in the process of splitting off from the Ugandan military in preparation for invading Rwanda.44 In 1990, Kagame’s friend and RPF comrade in arms, Fred Rwigyema, led approximately 4,000 mostly Tutsi troops over the Ugandan border into northern Rwanda, marking the beginning of what some refer to as 35. Id. at 26. 36. Id. at 76-77. 37. Id. at 81. 38. Id. 39. Id. at 211, 213-14. 40. Id. 41. KINZER, supra note 3, at 47-52. 42. Id. at 48-50. 43. Id. at 50-51. 44. Id. at 55. the Rwandan Civil War.45 Rwigyema was killed soon after the start of the RPF advance 46 and his troops performed poorly. 47 Although Rwanda’s Hutu army, the Forces Armees Rwandaises (“FAR”), never enjoyed a reputation for battlefield prowess, 48 French troops 49 bolstered the FAR by directly engaging and repelling the advancing Tutsis.50 Upon Rwigyema’s death, Kagame took over control of the RPF army.51 He led its withdrawal into the remote and rugged Virunga Mountains in Rwanda’s extreme northwest and began a process of rigorous retraining and refitting.52 When the RPF army emerged from the mountains in early 1991 and began a series of hit and run attacks inside of Rwanda, it proved disciplined and fierce53 and made rapid progress against the FAR. By all accounts, Kagame was an extremely effective leader of his troops and a masterly military tactician and strategist.54 By the early 1990s, pressure was mounting on President Habyarimana to democratize Rwanda and to treat Tutsis – including 2017] diaspora Tutsis – fairly. Part of that pressure resulted from world events.55 The United States and its allies had recently won the Cold War and new rules of the international game dictated that countries receiving aid, including Rwanda, would have to move rapidly toward democratic governance. 56 Pressure also resulted from the fact that Kagame and the RPF continued to demonstrate prowess on the battlefield.57 In 1992, Kagame agreed to a ceasefire and committed to participating in negotiations to end the conflict.58 The talks took place primarily in Arusha, Tanzania, and resulted in a complicated power sharing agreement that became known as the Arusha Accords.59 For purposes of this overview, it must suffice to say that President Habyarimana reluctantly agreed to various compromises, but that he was consistently opposed and undermined by the akazu60 hardliners associated with his wife, Madam Agethe Habyarimana. 61 When it appeared that the Arusha process might actually succeed, they began planning62 their own final solution to what they viewed as Rwanda’s Tutsi problem.63 They stockpiled weapons64 and organized and trained local militias,65 including the infamous interahamwe, who were the most prominent of the militias that carried out a great deal of the killing. 66 They compiled lists of prominent Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus who would be the first to die.67 And they implemented a comprehensive media strategy, relying primarily on radio and newspapers, to dehumanize Tutsis and prepare Hutu civilians for the work of exterminating their neighbors.68 On April 6, 1994, a missile felled an airplane carrying President Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart, Cyprien Ntaryamira, as it was returning to Kigali after a round of consultations in Tanzania.69 Nobody has proved who shot down the plane.70 Many, including the present-day Rwandan government, claim that Hutu akazu hardliners ordered the downing knowing it would furnish an excuse to implement the final solution.71 Others blame Paul Kagame and the RPF.72 What no one disputes is that the genocide began within minutes of the plane’s impact.73 2017] The killing began in Kigali as the akazu and their collaborators hunted down and slaughtered the individuals on their carefully prepared lists.74 Among the first to die was Agathe Uwilingiyimana, the politically moderate Hutu prime minister75 who would have, had she lived, been sworn in as the head of state after Habyarimana’s death.76 The slaughter spread to the countryside, often organized and led by the interahamwe militias.77 Over a period of one hundred days, an estimated 800,000 78 Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu 79 were murdered. Much of the killing was retail: there was little reported use of machine guns or bombs; most victims were chopped or bludgeoned to death by neighbors and acquaintances.80 The slaughter stopped only primed to exploit [Habyarimana’s] death instantaneously”); KINZER, supra note 3, at 138 (arguing that interahamwe had established roadblocks within an hour after the plane crash). 74. See generally supra note 67 and accompanying text (describing the compilation of kill lists); see also Leslie Haskell & Lars Waldorf, The Impunity Gap of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda: Causes and Consequences, 34 HASTINGS INT’L & COMP. L. REV. 49, 49 (2011) [hereinafter Haskell & Waldorf, The Impunity Gap] (arguing the brutal killing was led by the akazu and carried out by the national army, local militia groups, and ordinary citizens urged to kill by the government). 75. See GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 114; Newbury, Understanding Genocide, supra note 14, at 80. 76. See KINZER, supra note 3, at 140; see also SUSAN THOMSON, WHISPERING TRUTH TO POWER: EVERYDAY RESISTANCE TO RECONCILIATION IN POSTGENOCIDE RWANDA 48 (2013) [hereinafter THOMSON, WHISPERING] (arguing the Hutu hardliners considered any Hutu who did not support the killing of Tutsis as “moderate”); Newbury, Understanding Genocide, supra note 13, at 80 (arguing the hardliners first targeted politically moderate Hutus). 77. See Newbury, Understanding Genocide, supra note 14, at 78, 81 (arguing the killing began in the capital and then “was directed throughout the country”). 78. The butcher’s bill has never been definitively settled. Most published estimates claim 800,000 deaths. See GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 133 (arguing 800,000 is the “best estimate”); Phil Clark & Zachary D. Kaufman, After Genocide, in AFTER A GENOCIDE, supra note 27, at xii (same). Some put the number of dead closer to 500,000. See Haskell & Waldorf, The Impunity Gap, supra note 74, at 49 (arguing the genocide killed “more than a half million people”). Still others claim the correct number is more than a million. See POWER, A PROBLEM FROM HELL, supra note 57, at 385 (quoting from a US official’s journal); Jeffrey Gettleman, In Africa, Benjamin Netanyahu Looks for Friends, and U.N. Votes, for Israel, N.Y. TIMES (July 6, 2016), /07/07/world/africa/israel-africanetanyahu-uganda-kenya-rwanda.html?emc=eta1 [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) . 79. See generally supra note 76 and accompanying text; see also Timothy Longman, The Undemocratic Nature of Transition in Rwanda, in REMAKING RWANDA, supra note 7, at 27 (arguing that the genocide perpetrators were worried about the moderating influence of civil society and so targeted Hutus and Tutsis associated with those organizations). 80 . See GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 115 (arguing neighbors killed neighbors, doctors killed patients, and schoolteachers killed pupils); KINZER, when the RPF army – led by Paul Kagame – defeated the Hutu regime and its army and either killed, captured or drove into exile the genocidaires.81 Later sections of this paper will discuss the fact that the international community gives Paul Kagame wide latitude, continuing to support his government in spite of strong evidence of its human rights abuses.82 Its blind support is rooted in its well-founded shame at abetting the genocide. Above all, the French were despicable. Fearing a general loss of influence in Africa 83 and more specifically the spread of AngloAmerican influence on the continent84 (Kagame and most members of the RPF had grown up in exile in Uganda and spoke English rather than French), 85 France armed, 86 funded and trained the genocidaires. 87 Worse yet, it continued to protect and support the Hutu rump regime supra note 3, at 164 (arguing soldiers and militiamen “cut” people they had known for years including neighbors and coworkers); POWER, A PROBLEM FROM HELL, supra note 57, at 334 (arguing that once the killing spread beyond Kigali it was carried out with knives, machetes, and clubs). 81. Timeline: 100 days of genocide, BBC NEWS, (last updated Apr. 6, 2004, 8:42 GMT), [] (last visited Oct. 26, 2017) . 82. See generally infra notes 127-143 and accompanying text. 83. See GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 90 (arguing France viewed francophone Africa as “a virtual extension of the motherland”); KINZER, supra note 3, at 94-96 (similar); KROSLAK, supra note 48, at 56 (arguing that France believed its influence in francophone Africa helped ensure its position on the world stage). 84. GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 90; KINZER, supra note 3, at 130; Linda Melvern, France and Genocide: The Murky Truth, THE TIMES (LONDON), Aug. 8, 2008, at 25 (arguing that “[o]nce Rwanda was ‘lost’ to Anglophone influence, [French leaders believed] French credibility in Africa would never recover.”). 85. GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 90 (arguing “the fact that the RPF had emerged out of Anglophone Uganda inspired the ancient French tribal phobia of the Anglo-Saxon menace”). 86. See KROSLAK, supra note 48, at 140-42; see also GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 104 (arguing France continued to deliver arms to the Hutu government in Kigali even after the Arusha Accords had declared Kigali a weapons-free zone); KINZER, supra note 3, at 94 (arguing France during the early 1990s sold the Rwandan government more than $20 million in arms and helped it buy five times that amount, including helicopters, tanks, and missiles, from dealers in Egypt and South Africa) . 87. See KROSLAK, supra note 48, at 99, 146-47 (arguing that the French government “stood full square behind the Habyarimana regime” by equipping and training the Hutu army, police, Presidential Guard and militias); see also BARNETT, supra note 67, at 88 (arguing France was closely tied to the Hutu hardliners and supported them with training and equipment); GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 155 (referring to France’s “blatant complicity in the preparation and implementation of the butchery”). 2017] long after it was apparent that it was perpetrating genocide. 88 Ultimately, many of the genocidaires who made it to the safety of French lines were escorted over the border into Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), some in ranks and carrying their weapons,89 where they wreaked havoc on Rwanda and the rest of the region for years to come.90 The French were not the only perfidious actors from the international community. Americans were almost as bad. The United States had recently experienced a military debacle in Mogadishu, Somalia, and President Clinton and his administration wanted nothing to do with chaotic African conflicts.91 Thus, not only did the US decline to use its military might to stop the slaughter, 92 it aggressively employed its political and economic power to prevent the United Nations and other international bodies from taking decisive action.93 88. See KINZER, supra note 3, at 165, 174 (arguing that three months into the genocide French President Mitterrand was still supplying weapons and field support to the Hutu army and was determined to prevent an RPF victory); see also GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 89 (arguing the French continued huge arms shipments to Rwanda right through the killings in 1994) . 89. See GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 161; KINZER, supra note 3, at 184; Newbury, Understanding Genocide, supra note 14, at 82. 90. See Allen & Norris, supra note 7, at 150; see also KINZER supra note 3, at 188 (describing the ex-FAR’s rearming in Zaire and laying plans retake Rwanda); Newbury, Understanding Genocide, supra note 14, at 83 (arguing that by permitting the FAR to escape to Zaire, the French “set the stage for further violence in the region”); Filip Reyntjens, Waging (Civil) War Abroad: Rwanda and the DRC, in REMAKING RWANDA supra note 7, at 133 (arguing the FAR who made it over the border into DRC planned to invade Rwanda and finish the genocide); Philip Gourevitch, The Life After: Fifteen Years After the Genocide the Reconciliation Defies Expectations, NEW YORKER (May 4, 2009), at ¶ 45 [hereinafter Gourevitch, The Life After] (describing the post-genocide “war of infiltration” the ex-FAR fought against Rwanda from its base in eastern Zaire). 91. See POWER, A PROBLEM FROM HELL, supra note 57, at 357 (arguing that policy makers in the Clinton administration drew an analogy to Somalia, not the Holocaust); Newbury & Newbury, A Catholic Mass, supra note 31, at 312; Power, Bystanders to Genocide, supra note 67, at 8. 92. Power, Bystanders to Genocide, supra note 67, at 8 (arguing that the US even refused to use its AWACS planes to jam the hate-spewing radio broadcasts on the ridiculous grounds that it would be too expensive and might violate international law). 93. See POWER, A PROBLEM FROM HELL, supra note 57, at 346, 359 (arguing the Clinton administration blocked the U.N. Security Council from using the term “genocide” and obfuscated the fact of genocide by promoting the notion that the conflict was caused by “ancient tribal hatreds”). France also did its part to discourage United Nations action, partly by advising the famously Francophile U.N. Secretary General, Boutros Boutros Ghali, to portray the conflict as typical African chaos. See BARNETT, supra note 67, at 121; KINZER, supra note 3, at 118 (arguing Ghali was Francophile and easily influenced by French diplomats). The Clinton administration’s embarrassing and intellectually dishonest94 reluctance to get involved was highlighted in an infamous news conference in which a State Department spokesperson, under orders not to admit that genocide was taking place in Rwanda95 (which might have obligated the United States to take action), declared absurdly that there was no proof of genocide but that “acts of genocide may have occurred.”96 When the genocide and the war finally ended, the RPF, with Paul Kagame at its head, took possession of a country in blood-soaked ruins. 97 Rwanda’s economy, infrastructure, and institutions were devastated.98 The judiciary, for example, could not function because its personnel were dead or in exile and because its facilities had been stripped right down to the light bulbs.99 The RPF got to work and over the following decades made extraordinary advances in rebuilding Rwanda. 100 Many of the new government’s policies have been controversial, including the use of neo-traditional gacaca courts to try genocide perpetrators and clear the enormous backlog of accused, and the forced resettlement of peasant farmers in accordance with the country’s imidugudu (“villagization”) 2017] policy, purportedly aimed at stimulating more efficient agricultural production.101 But the country’s overall economic and social progress has been exemplary 102 when measured by widely accepted development indicators such as those that make up the UN Development Index.103 Among many other improvements, Rwanda has vastly increased child and adult literacy, made education more widely available to girls and women, reduced infant and maternal mortality, improved access to health care and health insurance, made it easier to establish new businesses, significantly improved transportation and communication infrastructures, and expanded the economy at an impressive average of 9% per year over the past two decades.104 At the same time, Rwanda has made impressive strides in battling corruption.105 Not all of Rwanda’s development-related news is positive. Critics argue that much of the country’s economic growth has redounded to the benefit of an elite, urban, Anglophone, Tutsi community and that the government has made comparatively little progress fighting rural poverty. 106 Others accuse Rwanda of gaming the development 101. See generally infra notes 329-44 and accompanying text; HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, WORLD REPORT 2001: RWANDA (2001). 102. See THOMSON, WHISPERING, supra note 76, at 12 (listing the Kagame regime’s many achievements); Jansen, supra note 7, at 191 (arguing Rwanda’s previous ten years of GDP growth averaged 7.4%, nearly double the regional average). 103 See World Bank, Main Report, (2014), /curated/en/2014/06/19712279/rwanda-country-partnership-strategy-period-fy2014-18-vol-23-accelerating-economic-growth [] (last visited Oct. 26, 2017) ; see also Jansen, supra note 7, at 1 (arguing Rwanda was the only country in sub-Saharan Africa on pace to meet its Millennium Challenge Goals by 2015) . 104. See Gourevitch, The Life After, supra note 90, at 37 (arguing there have been vast improvements in access to health insurance, education, and more); United Nations Development Programme, Rwanda Final MDG Progress Report: 2013 (Dec. 2014), org/content/rwanda/en/home/library/mdg/-millenium-development-goals- rwanda-2015 -.html [ ] (last visited Oct. 26, 2017) . But see Ansoms, Reconstruction, supra note 13, at 241- 42 (arguing that Rwanda’s economic growth has not been accompanied by significant poverty reduction, and that much of the economic growth has benefitted only elites). 105. Marie Chêne, Help-Desk Answer: Anti-Corruption Progress in Georgia, Liberia, Rwanda, World Bank Grp., (2014), 19712279/rwanda-country-partnership-strategy-period-fy2014-18-vol-2-3-acceleratingeconomic-growth [] (last visited Oct. 26, 2017) . 106. See An Ansoms, Re-Engineering Rural Society: The Visions and Ambitions of the Rwandan Elite, 108 AFR. AFF. 289, 292 (2009) [hereinafter Ansoms, Re-Engineering Rural Society] (arguing Rwandan elite seek to artificially upgrade rural life, “while hiding the extent of poverty and inequality”); An Ansoms, Resurrection After Civil War and Genocide: Growth, numbers: reverse engineering how NGOs measure development progress and implementing programs to boost their numbers, not address real problems.107 Some even question Rwanda’s vaunted fight against corruption, pointing out that the regime sometimes uses corruption charges to punish political dissenters. 108 Still, Rwanda’s progress since the genocide has been impressive. All of this progress took place under Paul Kagame’s leadership. Although he initially assumed the role of vice president in Rwanda’s post-genocide government, ceding the presidency to a Hutu named Pasteur Bizimungu, no one ever doubted that Kagame was in charge.109 When Bizimungu broke with Kagame over what he perceived to be excessive suppression of political expression in the country, Kagame’s loyalists attacked him on grounds of corruption, leading to his resignation in 2000.110 Kagame ascended to the presidency, and, after winning two highly questionable elections along the way,111 has been in that office ever since. Although Rwanda’s constitution until recently limited the president to two consecutive seven-year terms, which would have meant the end of Kagame’s presidency in 2017, in 2015 he and his Poverty and Inequality in Post-Conflict Rwanda, 17 EUR. J. DEV. RES. 495, 500 (2005) (arguing there has been an “enormous shift of income from poor to rich”). 107. See Filip Reyntjens, Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics: Poverty Reduction RwandanStyle and How the Aid Community Loves It, AFRICAN ARGUMENTS (Nov. 3, 2015), /11/03/lies-damned-lies-and-statistics-poverty-reductionrwandan-style-and-how-the-aid-community-loves-it/ [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) (arguing Rwanda manipulates statistics to exaggerate its progress in alleviating poverty and thereby blunt criticism about its poor human rights record); see also Nicolas Germain, Rwanda Accused of Manipulating Poverty Statistics, FRANCE 24 (Nov. 2, 2015), [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) (similar). 108. See generally infra notes 110, 243 and accompanying text. 109. See Longman, supra note 79, at 32 (arguing that when Paul Kagame occupied the offices of vice president and minister of defense, he “maintained real control” of the government). 110. Chris McGreal, Tutsi Soldier to Lead Rwanda, THE GUARDIAN (Mar. 24, 2000), [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) (“Gen Kagame’s allies were quick to hit back at Mr Bizimungu by saying he had resigned because he too faced a corruption investigation.”). 111 . See Rachel Haymen, Funding Fraud? Donors and Democracy in Rwanda, in REMAKING RWANDA, supra note 7, at 118 (arguing that the RPF fraudulently fixes the results of Rwandan elections); see generally Longman, supra note 79, at 26-27 (arguing Rwanda has made the post-genocide transition under Kagame from one type of authoritarian regime to another). regime carefully stage-managed a public outcry demanding that he extend his leadership. 112 On cue, Rwanda’s people voted overwhelmingly in favor of a referendum to extend the president’s term. 113 Rwanda’s legislature in turn approved the constitutional amendment. 114 The change virtually guarantees that Kagame will remain president far into the future. Today, Paul Kagame is among the world’s most polarizing political figures.115 Some commentators celebrate him as a visionary leader who is brilliant, disciplined, acetic, incorruptible, and who demands efficiency and performance by everyone who works for him.116 He pals around with Fortune 500 CEOs, is supported by highprofile private foundations,117 and is a frequent and much sought-after participant in international think-fests such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.118 112. See Briefing, supra note 4; see also Phil Clark, Rwanda: Kagame Third Term Popular Support but a Wary Ruling Party, HUFFINGTON POST BLOG (Dec. 3, 2015), [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) (arguing the petition was “government-orchestrated” and that rural Rwandans reported being cajoled by local authorities to sign the pro-Kagame petition multiple times); Claudine Vidal, How Paul Kagame Made Himself Rwanda’s President for Life, RAND DAILY MAIL (Jan. 19, 2016), [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) (arguing the government’s “orderly and sophisticated” campaign to extend Kagame’s presidency “culminated with the production of a ‘spontaneous’ mass petition,” as the “final step of a meticulously prepared political process…”). 113 . RWANDA: Successful Referendum, 52 AFR. RES. BULL.: POL. SOC. CULTURAL SERIES 20815B–20816B (2016) [hereinafter Successful Referendum]. 114. Id. 115. See generally Jeffrey Gettleman, The Global Elite’s Favorite Strongman, N.Y. TIMES (Sept. 4, 2013) , mcubz=3 [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) . 116. See CRISAFULLI & REDMOND, supra note 3, at 92 (arguing Paul Kagame has the attributes of a successful corporate CEO, that he runs Rwanda like a business, and that the country’s success is due to his leadership); see also KINZER, supra note 3, at 337 (arguing that Kagame is the “man of the hour in modern Africa”); Gourevitch, Letter from the Congo, supra note 3, at 42 (praising Kagame as a new type of African leader). 117. See generally Eugenia Zorbas, Aid Dependence and Policy Independence: Explaining the Rwandan Paradox, in REMAKING RWANDA, supra note 7, at 108 (arguing that donors view Kagame as a trustworthy partner and the RPF as indispensable to Rwandan development). 118. Gourevitch, The Life After, supra note 90, at 47; Anjan Sundaram, Rwanda: The Darling Tyrant, POLITICO (March/Apr. 2014), /02/rwanda-paul-kagame-americas-darling-tyrant-103963 [] (archived Nov. 6, 2017) [hereinafter Sundaram, Darling Tyrant] (arguing Kagame is a dictator but “has a great many friends” including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and Bill Gates). IV. ENFORCING THE KAGAME REGIME’S FANCIFUL VERSION OF HISTORY The following section describes the Rwandan government’s multifaceted approach to inculcating and enforcing its versions of history and collective memory. As the discussion will reveal, President Kagame and his coterie employ the usual tools of repressive regimes: banning unwanted speech, stifling the press, and coopting and controlling civil society. But the government’s efforts also include more sophisticated means of ensuring that only its preferred history is remembered: controlling academic discourse, employing “reeducation camps,” and exercising tight control over public memorialization. Since taking control of Rwanda’s government, the RPF has used restrictions on speech, particularly speech related to the 1994 genocide, as a tool to squelch all unwanted expression. In recent years it has honed these legal tools and intensified their use. The first salvo was a 2001 law that proscribed acts of discrimination and “sectarianism” by prohibiting “the use of any speech, written statement or statement or action that divides people, that is likely to spark conflict among people, or that causes an uprising which might degenerate into strife among people based on discrimination.”232 Although the law did not explicitly say so, it was widely interpreted as criminalizing the use of the words “Hutu” and “Tutsi” except as narrowly approved by the government.233 Rw anda’s 2003 Constitution committed the country to “fighting the ideology of genocide in all its manifestations”234 and criminalized “[r]evisionism, negationism, and trivialization of the genocide.”235 As many commentators pointed out, this language was sweepingly broad and disturbingly vague.236 232. Law No 47/2001 Instituting Punishment for the Offences of Discrimination and Sectarianism, Official Gazette of Rwanda, Dec. 18, 2001. 233. Jansen, supra note 7, at 9. During my visits to Rwanda I have observed that most people are reluctant to utter the terms “Hutu” and “Tutsi,” even in private conversation. 234. CONSTITUTION May 26, 2003, art 9 (Rwanda). 235. Id., art. 13. 236. Waldorf, Instrumentalizing Genocide, supra note 70, at 51 see Jansen, supra note 7, at 11 (arguing that none of the key constitutional terms are defined). The 2003 Law Punishing Genocide attempted to clarify the constitutional language quoted in the previous paragraph, declaring that the proscriptions apply to “any person who will have publicly shown, by his or her words, writings, images, or by any other means, that he or she has negated the genocide, committed, rudely minimized it or attempted to justify or approve its grounds . . . .” 237 Those convicted under the 2003 law were subject to twenty years’ imprisonment.238 If any Rwandan prosecutors were squeamish about punishing citizens based on such vaguely defined laws,239 they did not show it.240 According to Human Rights Watch, in a single year between mid-2007 and mid-2008, 243 people were charged with revisionism and negation, often for merely diverging from the government’s approved history of the genocide.241 In more recent years, the government’s favored legal method for stifling unwanted expression has been to prosecute people – particularly Hutu people – with the even more vaporous charge of “genocide ideology.”242 (In contrast, Tutsi people who stray from fold are usually charged with corruption.)243 Charges of genocide ideology began emerging in 2003, even though nei ther the 2003 Constitution, nor the 2003 Law Punishing Genocide mentioned the concept.244 In 2004, with many charges of genocide ideology already pending, the government ordered a Senate commission to examine genocide ideology’s causes and cures. 245 In 2006, that commission issued its report and defined genocide ideology and revisionism in such 2017] broad terms that practically any mention of ethnicity or any criticism of the government falls within its ambit and may be punished.246 A follow-on parliamentary commission investigating genocide ideology uncovered evidence of the crime in twenty-six schools across the country, resulting in the firing of dozens of teachers.247 In 2007, the government began in earnest charging citizens with genocide ideology, even though the appropriate legislation still did not exist.248 It was not until 2008 that the government got around to passing a law defining and punishing genocide ideology.249 According to that law, genocide ideology may be found: in any behavior manifested by facts aimed at dehumanizing a person or a group of persons with the same characteristics in the following manner: 1) Threatening, intimidating, degrading through defamatory speeches, documents, or actions which aim at propounding wickedness or inciting hatred; 2) Marginalizing, laughing at one’s misfortune, defaming, mocking, boasting, despising, degrading, creating confusion aimed at negating the genocide which occurred, stirring up ill feelings, taking revenge, altering testimony or evidence for the genocide which occurred; 3) Killing, planning to kill, or attempting to kill someone for the purposes of furthering genocide ideology.250 As critics have pointed out, this law on genocide ideology is not only sweeping and vague, but is almost completely disconnected from the crime of genocide.251 It does not require proof that the accused intended to assist or facilitate genocide or possess knowledge that anyone else was planning genocide.252 To date, no one knows what these terms mean, except that virtually anyone may be prosecuted for saying anything the government disagrees with.253 Prison terms under the 2008 law range up to fifty years.254 An offense that involves “documents, speeches, pictures, media or any other means” – meaning, in effect, any genocide ideology communicated by any media or any politician – are punished by a minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment. 255 Children under the age of twelve can be held criminally responsible, and the children’s parents and teachers can also be prosecuted.256 Finally, the law makes clear that nongovernmental organizations may be charged, and that convictions can lead to dissolution, fines, and individual prosecutions.257 The government has made clear its intention to use its entire bureaucratic infrastructure, right down to the village level, to root out genocide ideology.258 Rwandan newspapers, all of which are controlled by the government,259 are replete with accounts of successful genocide ideology prosecutions and exhortations for citizens to be ever vigilant and report their suspicions of genocide ideology to government officials.260 As was true of the 2003 Genocide Law, prosecutors have pursued offenders with alacrity. According to a report by Amnesty International, in the two years after the passage of the 2008 Genocide Law, hundreds of people were prosecuted for genocide ideology or genocide revisionism.261 Many of these prosecutions, particularly since 2017] the run up to the 2010 election, were targeted at the government’s political opponents.262 In more recent years, the government has continued to tinker with its genocide laws but the revisions have shed little light on the meaning of the key terms and citizens continue to face prosecution for utterances that have nothing to do with genocide other than that they diverge from the regime’s preferred narrative.263 An update of the 2008 genocide law purportedly clarifies the crime of “negation” by adding that predicate acts must be public and deliberate.264 But “public acts” is defined as any act in “a place accessible” by two or more people, and “deliberate” is left undefined, which means little if anything has changed.265 In effect, the government uses the genocide ideology laws to target, punish, and silence anyone who diverges from the RPF’s carefully constructed, self-justifying narrative. 266 This includes prosecution and punishment for anyone who dares refer to ethnicity in public,267 in keeping with the RPF’s contention that ethnic difference was a pernicious colonial invention.268 The laws are also consistently invoked to pursue anyone who in any way criticizes the regime or its policies.269 After all, if the Kagame regime is, as it claims, the only a bulwark against the resumption of genocide, then any thoughts or words that oppose the regime can be assumed to promote genocide. Laws and Extralegal Means for Controlling Media, Civil Society, and Academic Inquiry As revealed by the preceding discussion, the Rwandan government restricts unwanted expression by everyone within the country; however, it focuses particular attention on those who might authoritatively contradict its self-justifying historical narrative: the press, civil society, and scholars. Partly by invoking the vague genocide denial laws described in the previous section, partly by applying other laws that restrict who is eligible to enter the field, and partly through extralegal bullying and intimidation, 270 the government strictly enforces its version of events.271 1. Control of Media Take for example Rwanda’s media. Until recently, any person or persons aspiring to open a media outlet had to demonstrate to the government, among other things, that they were in good standing in their home communities and that they had the financial resources in place to sustain the new venture.272 The government employed these seemingly innocuous bureaucratic strictures to control who may enter into public discourse through media.273 The government also uses extralegal means to prevent the media from spreading ideas of which it disapproves. Anjan Sundaram’s recently published book, Bad News: Last Journalists in a Dictatorship, claims the RPF tightly controls all of Rwanda’s newspapers274 and places strict limits on what journalists are permitted to say. 275 To 270. See Chris Huggins, Shades of Grey: Post-Conflict Land Policy Reform in the Great Lakes Region, in THE STRUGGLE OVER LAND IN AFRICA: CONFLICTS, POLITICS & CHANGE 39 (Ward Anseeuw & Chris Alden, eds.) (2010) (arguing The RPF has used cooptation, infiltration, and intimidation to control critical voices and has used legal action against the crime of “divisionism” to undermine the emergence of any credible opposition); see generally, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, SAFER TO STAY SILENT, supra note 261, at 26-29 (describing the government’s persistent efforts to “chill” the media and civil society). 271. See Longman, supra note 79, at 35-37 (arguing the RPF uses vague laws and threats to stifle Rwanda’s press). 272. ANJAN SUNDARAM, BAD NEWS: LAST JOURNALISTS IN A DICTATORSHIP 37 (2016) [hereinafter SUNDARAM, BAD NEWS]. 273. Id. at 29. 274. See id. at 176 (arguing that the government stifles the Rwandan press while claiming to have an open and vibrant media); see Freedom House, 2014 Rwanda Report, [] (last visited Oct. 26, 2017) (arguing the Rwandan government controls all aspects of the media despite reforms announced in 2013) ; Human Rights Watch, Rwanda 2014, [] (last visited Oct. 26, 2017) (arguing that in spite of recent reforms Rwanda’s government forces its views on print media and intimidates and threatens journalists who stray from approved stories); Donova, supra note 141 (arguing the Rwandan press is “run by the government”). 275. See SUNDARAM, BAD NEWS, supra note 272, at 1-2 (describing an instance where the government prevented journalists from reporting on a grenade explosion in Kigali). 2017] maintain the appearance of a vibrant press, the government cultivates its own cadre of fawning journalists, referred to by the Kinyarwanda term Intore, who happily restrict their reporting to governmentapproved topics and who consistently pose softball questions to President Kagame and other government officials. 276 Until recent years, foreign-funded media programs provided some independent voice within Rwanda, and were sometimes willing to critique the regime’s excesses, but those programs have been “shut down or become toothless under government pressure.”277 Under international pressure to ease restrictions on the media, the government took tentative steps in that direction starting in 2013.278 Among other things, it created a purportedly independent body to vet and, if deemed necessary, discipline media outlets. 279 But all indications are that these reforms are window dressing and that the government continues to discipline journalists who stray from approved themes by, among other things, acknowledging that Hutus died during the genocide or alluding to ethnicity or discrimination in contemporary Rwanda.280 When all else fails, the government resorts to violence to prevent media diffusion of information that strays from its approved narrative. Critics and human rights organizations have chronicled many instances in which journalists have been beaten, arrested, disappeared, or killed when they contradicted or critiqued the government. 281 As commentators have remarked, it does not require many beatings or killings before would-be independent voices within the media learn their lesson and begin to engage in strict self-censorship.282 2. Control of Civil Society The story is similar for Rwanda’s civil society sector. 283 The regime has suppressed, intimidated, or coopted organizations that might otherwise object to its official narrative.284 For example, in 2001, the government enacted legislation empowering itself to keep tabs on the management, finances, projects and outcomes of domestic and international NGOs that operate within the country.285 It uses these laws to control which civil society organizations exist and what they say.286 It often requires the organizations – particularly human rights organizations – to accept leadership that it has chosen.287 Those leaders then steer the organizations toward outcomes that the regime determines.288 It is also widely known that the government spies on and monitors the communication of civil society organizations, including international NGOs, and intervenes if it does not like what it hears.289 RWANDA, supra note 5 (arguing Rwanda’s government continues to intimidate and threaten members of the press); HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, WORLD REPORT 2011 : RWANDA (2011) (arguing the Rwandan government was responsible for killing and arresting journalists). Sundaram, Darling Tyrant, supra note 117 (arguing that Kagame has been responsible for assassinating, imprisoning, sending into exile, or torturing of more than a dozen political dissidents and in recent years many well-known journalists, investigators, and political opponents have been “found dead in mysterious circumstances”). 282. See THOMSON, WHISPERING, supra note 76, at 113. 283. See HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, RWANDA COUNTRY SUMMARY, supra note 278, at 1-2; see id. at 13 (arguing the RFP “strictly controls civil society organizations and other forms of associational life, including churches and mosques”). 284. Longman, supra note 79, at 27-28; see AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, SAFER TO STAY SILENT, supra note 261, at 26-28 (describing the Rwandan government’s efforts to coopt and silence human rights organizations). 285 . Paul Gready, Beyond “You’re with Us or against Us”: Civil Society and Policymaking in Post-Genocide Rwanda, in REMAKING RWANDA, supra note 7, at 89. 286. Id. at 89-90. 287. Longman, supra note 79, at 27-28. 288. See id. at 275 (arguing the RPF has turned the civil society sector “corporatist,” meaning NGOs receive and implement orders from the government); see Gready, supra note 285, at 90 (arguing the RPF has “thoroughly infiltrated the NGO sector in Rwanda and also has created “umbrella organizations” to keep tabs on NGOs activities). 289. See Thomson, Reeducation for Reconciliation, supra note 144, at 124 (arguing there is a dense network of government spies throughout Rwanda); SUNDARAM, BAD NEWS, supra note 172, at 159 (describing a journalist’s discovery that a friend and colleague was spying on him for the Rwandan government); HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, WORLD REPORT 2015: RWANDA 2017 ] Where bureaucratic control and cooptation have been ineffective, the government brings violence and the threat of violence to bear.290 As is true of journalists, it does not require many acts of violence before civil society leaders receive the message and begin to engage in strict self-censorship.291 In its efforts to restrict the press and civil society sector, the RPF has not limited itself to domestic organizations. Recently, it attacked the BBC, and barred it from broadcasting in Rwanda in Kinyarwanda after a documentary film repeated allegations concerning the RPF’s involvement in human rights violations during and after the genocide.292 Similarly, it accused international NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and CARE International of genocide ideology when they questioned aspects of the regime’s preferred historical narrative.293 (2015) (arguing that the Rwandan government subjects NGOs to infiltration and intimidation). During a six-week stay in Rwanda during the summer of 2015 , I had a tense and difficult exchange with Rwandan immigration officials. When I mentioned my experience to a European acquaintance who has worked for an international NGO in Rwanda for many years, he remarked that the government probably did not like what I was writing in my emails. When he saw my puzzled expression, he said he was surprised that I did not know that the government routinely monitors foreigners’ communications. He recounted two recent instances in which European NGO employees whom he knew had been spirited out of the country by their embassies after it became known that the Rwandan government was going to arrest them for objectionable communications in their private emails. He added that it was common knowledge in the NGO community that the Rwandan government plants spies to keep tabs on foreigners’ work. He casually mentioned that he and his co-workers knew that at least one Rwandan employee was reporting their activities to the government. 290. See Longman, supra note 79, at 30 (arguing the regime has assassinated or caused to disappear numerous civil society activists). 291. See THOMSON, WHISPERING, supra note 76, at 124. 292. See Dugald Baird, BBC Should Face Criminal Action Over Rwanda Documentary, Says Inquiry, THE GUARDIAN (Mar. 2, 2015), /mar /02/bbc-rwanda-documentary-inquiry [] (archived Nov. 6, 2017) (describing the government’s concerted attack – including charges of minimizing and denying the genocide – on the BBC for airing a documentary that questioned several tenets of Rwanda’s approved genocide history, including the claim that few Hutus were killed and repeating the claim that Kagame was responsible for the downing of the plane); see also Dugald Baird, Rwanda Places Indefinite Ban on BBC Broadcasts Over Genocide Documentary, THE GUARDIAN (June 1, 2015), [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) (describing the “unanimous” decision by a Rwandan regulatory board to place an indefinite ban on the BBC’s Kinyarwanda programming). 293. Straus & Waldorf, supra note 8, at 12-13. See Michele D. Wagner, All the Bourgmestre’s Men: Making Sense of Genocide in Rwanda, 45 AFR. TODAY 25, 26 (1998) (arguing the author, who eventually became a human rights investigator for Human Rights Watch, was labeled a “genocide accomplice” for criticizing RPF retaliation killings). Control of Academic Inquiry The Kagame regime carefully monitors and restricts what scholars say about the country. As is true of the media and civil society sectors, the RPF creates its own, sympathetic version of academic inquiry, maintaining a stable of scholars who produce “research” that supports the government’s historical narrative and legitimacy.294 Relatedly, the government requires all incoming university students to attend reeducation camps so that they can be thoroughly indoctrinated before their studies begin.295 The government also aggressively restricts academic inquiry that might contradict its version of events.296 Susan Thomson, a Canadian political scientist and lawyer who now teaches at Colgate University in the United States, has chronicled the RPF’s tight monitoring and control of her doctoral fieldwork in Rwanda.297 When her findings strayed from government-approved themes, her government-assigned minders presented her the choice of abandoning her research or attending an RPF-controlled reeducation camp.298 She chose the camp, a Kafkaesque experience that she later described in a harrowing book chapter.299 294. See THOMSON, WHISPERING, supra note 76, at 22, 118 (arguing the government trains a cadre of Rwandan academics, many employed by the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG), to disseminate the approved version of history and attack anyone who diverges); see also Newbury, Canonical Convention, supra note 25, at 67-72 (arguing the government requires historians to restrict themselves to politically approved narratives and the manipulation is “received uncritically” by the academic community within Rwanda). 295. See infra Part IV.C. 296. Hintjens, supra note 169, at 88-89; see Freedman, et. al., supra note 144, at 297-308 (describing the RPF shutting down an NGO-sponsored program on teaching Rwandan history when the history teachers strayed from the RPF-approved script). 297. See THOMSON, WHISPERING, supra note 76, at 34-42 (arguing the RPF placed tight restrictions on her field research and both covertly and overtly monitored her work). 298. See id. 299. Thomson, Reeducation for Reconciliation, supra note 144, at 331-32. Not everyone agrees that Rwanda punishes foreign academics who criticize it. Many American and European academics claim that the regime monitors scholars and excludes them from the country if it dislikes their findings. See Danielle de Lame, et. al, Truly Hostile Environment, INYENYERI NEWS (Dec. 20, 2013) , [] (archived Nov. 6, 2017) (an open letter signed by eleven prominent US and European scholars arguing that Rwanda monitors foreign researchers and excludes those with which it disagrees); but see Phil Clark, Must Academics Researching Authoritarian Regimes Self-Censor?, TIMES HIGHER EDUC., (Nov. 28, 2013), [] (archived Nov. 6, 2017) 2017] C. Using Reeducation Camps to Teach the Government’s Version of History In 1995, shortly after the genocide, the RPF halted the teaching of history in Rwanda’s schools, arguing that the pre-genocide history curriculum had portrayed Tutsis inaccurately and negatively and had contributed to the slaughter. 300 However, as described in earlier sections of this paper, the RPF believes it to be vitally important to implant a new version of history that legitimized its own rule.301 It therefore, in effect, transferred the task of teaching history to institutions that it could more tightly control; namely the statecontrolled media302 and government-run indoctrination camps.303 There are two general categories of such camps. Solidarity camps, or ingando, are primarily for politicians, civil society and church leaders, judges, and incoming university students. 304 Reeducation camps, or itorero are for ex-combatants, ex-soldiers, confessed genocidaires, released prisoners, prostitutes, street children and other undesirables.305 The camps are organized by Rwanda’s National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (“NURC”) and its sub-body, the Program in Civic Education and Conflict Management and Peace Building, all staffed by Anglophone returnees.306 Camp sessions last anywhere from several days to several weeks, 307 and they tend to include a large military presence.308 The camps’ curriculum focuses on reeducating the population about the ethnic unity and peace that existed before colonialism, a time when Tutsi and Hutu lived “in peaceful harmony and worked together (arguing that some academics exaggerate their peril for self-serving reasons and that the Rwandan government generally permits critical scholarship so long as researchers follow proper channels). 300. See Hilker, supra note 137, at 317. 301. See supra Part III.B. 302. See supra Part IV.B.1. 303. Schuberth, supra note 133, at 78, 83; THOMSON, WHISPERING, supra note 75, at 51 (arguing the government devotes huge resources to teaching its version of history through mandatory solidarity camps (ingando) that aim to reeducate the population). 304. Thomson, Reeducation for Reconciliation, supra note 144, at 333-334. 305. Id; see Straus & Waldorf, supra note 8, at 8-9 (arguing there are two kinds of education camps in Rwanda). 306. THOMSON, WHISPERING, supra note 76, at 120. 307. Id. at 51, 120. 308. Id. at 120; SUNDARAM, BAD NEWS, supra note 272, at 23. for the good of the nation.”309 A key part of that narrative is that all Tutsi are victims or survivors, whether they were in the country or not at the time of the genocide, and that all Hutu are perpetrators, whether or not they participated in the genocide.310Among non-RPF scholars who have studied the camps, there is broad consensus that their goal is to control public discourse and bolster the RPF’s claim to power, not to achieve unity and reconciliation.311 D. Diffusing the Kagame Regime’s Version of History by Tightly Controlling Public Remembrance Tourists who visit Rwanda frequently visit the country’s grizzly genocide memorials.312All of those I have seen include rooms – often inside of churches where massacres took place – displaying heaps of the victims’ tattered, bloody clothing, or stains on walls where children’s brains were smashed. They also feature the stacked bones of thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of victims who were murdered nearby. At one particularly macabre site, the Murambi Memorial located near Butare in southern Rwanda, as many as 45,000 victims were slaughtered. 313 When the RPF took control and later turned the site into a memorial, it filled the compound’s numerous outbuildings with complete human remains preserved in lime. 314 Today, as tourists file through, they can see the horror on the victims’ faces and smell the lingering scent of human putrefaction.315 As with much else that happens in Rwanda today, the Kagame regime carefully controls these memorials, and all other public forms 2017] of remembrance, 316 to ensure that its historical narrative is paramount.317 The message is one of emotion, not reason.318 When one’s mind is swimming at the horror of smashed, stacked, human remains – all caused, at least proximately, by the previous regime – it is hard to be critical of the RPF.319 The loud and clear message is “see what might happen if you question our methods?” 320 Or, more pointedly, “given the horror that you are witnessing, is it not understandable that we rule with a heavy hand?” 321 As much as memorializing the past, these public sites are designed to compel visitors to forget about the authoritarian present.322 To the international community, rightly shamed for its inaction in 1994,323 the message is “how dare you criticize our human rights record when you stood by and allowed this to happen?”324 It bears mentioning that the regime’s chosen mode of memorialization – the display of unburied, indistinguishable remains – is starkly out of step with Rwandan custom.325 Rwandans prefer to bury their dead near their homes as a way of maintaining contact with ancestors.326 Traditionally, the display of human remains was thought to conjure a deceased’s spirit, which could cause danger in the temporal world. 327 However, as culturally offensive as it may be to most Rwandans to stack human remains in memorials, it has been enormously successful as a strategy for marketing the genocide and controlling its historical narrative.328 E. Other Means of Controlling History and Memory Some critics allege that other government policies, which at first blush might seem removed from the realm of collective memory and history, are in fact at least partially designed to limit public discourse to approved themes. Each of these government programs is worthy of independent exploration, but they receive only passing mention here. First, some allege that Rwanda’s gacaca courts were motivated in part by the regime’s desire to mold public memory concerning the genocide. 329 The gacaca courts, which have generated a bountiful scholarly literature that is well beyond the scope of this article, were advertised as a quasi-traditional, community based system of justice that the Kagame regime revived and adapted as a way of clearing the enormous backlog of Rwandan citizens (all Hutu, according to the RPF) rotting in jail after being accused of participating in the genocide. 330 Some commentators praised gacaca as a reasonable response to an overwhelming challenge: a necessary if imperfect step on the path toward justice and reconciliation. 331 Others harshly criticized gacaca courts as lacking due process and enabling score settling at local levels. 332 And some pointed out that, although the gacaca courts were ostensibly community-based and community-run, in fact RPF central authorities tightly controlled their procedures and their outcomes so that they explored only regime-approved issues and 327. Id. 328. Id. at 289. 329. Straus & Waldorf, supra note 8, at 9; NYIRUBUGARA, supra note 127, at 59. 330. Straus & Waldorf, supra note 8, at 9. 331. See Don Webster, The Uneasy Relationship Between the ICTR and Gacaca, in REMAKING RWANDA, supra note 6, at 187 (arguing that, at first, gacaca made sense as an expedient way to deal with the backlog of genocide accusations); HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, RWANDA EVENTS OF 2009 (2010), [] (last visited Oct. 26, 2017) (“some Rwandans feel the gacaca process has helped reconciliation”). 332. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, RWANDA EVENTS OF 2009, supra note 331. 2017] established only regime-approved history.333 To take one example, the government placed few limits on the gacaca courts’ ability to pursue alleged Hutu perpetrators, but it strictly forbade any discussion of alleged Tutsi violence.334 Similarly, commentators claim that Rwanda’s ambitious programs of political decentralization and “villagization” are in fact thinly veiled mechanisms for controlling social – including historical – discourse down to the sub-village level. In recent years, Rwanda has redrawn its political boundaries, ostensibly with the purpose of devolving government to the grass roots and making local political leaders responsive to their communities.335 In fact, according to critics, the political reorganization has been used to extend the tentacles of the RPF-controlled central government down to the lowest levels of Rwandan society.336 This in turn has permitted the government to better control all public, and even private, discourse affecting public memory and history.337 Closely tied to political reorganization is the Kagame regime’s program of “villagization,” or imidugudu,338 which compels339 rural Rwandans, most of whom are subsistence farmers who traditionally live in scattered family compounds,340 to move into centrally planned villages. In the face of sustained criticism from the international donor 333. NYIRUBUGARA, supra note 127, at 59. 334. Id. at 59-60. 335 . Bert Ingelaere, The Ruler’s Drum and the People’s Shout: Accountability and Representation on Rwanda’s Hills, in REMAKING RWANDA, supra note 7, at 68. 336. Id; THOMSON, WHISPERING, supra note 76, at 15-19; see SUNDARAM, BAD NEWS, supra note 272, at 56 (arguing the RPF has used political reorganization as means to replace local leaders with people loyal to the military, so now the military exercises tight control down to the grassroots); see also Huggins, supra note 270, at 39 (arguing ostensible efforts to involve local stakeholders are in fact “sensitization” meetings to publicize decisions that have already been made by the central government). 337. THOMSON, WHISPERING, supra note 76, at 19, 22. 338. See Ingelaere, supra note 335, at 69 (arguing political decentralization happened in tandem with “villagization”). 339. See Bruce, supra note 10, at 130 (arguing the government claimed no one would be compelled to move into villages but in fact villagization was compulsory); Newbury, High Modernism, supra note 9, at 224, 234 (arguing villagization is based on top-down authority and involves substantial coercion). 340. Newbury, High Modernism, supra note 10, at 224; Ann-Sofie Isaksson, Manipulating the Rural Landscape: Villagization and Income Generation in Rwanda, Working Papers in Economics, no. 510, University of Gothenburg 1, 4 (June 2011). community, 341 and in spite of the disastrous history in Africa and elsewhere of forced land relocation schemes,342 the RPF has forged forward, insisting that “villagization” was a vital element of its plans to make Rwanda more economically efficient. 343 Critics, however, claim that at least one purpose of “villagization” is to bring citizens into a collective space so that central authorities can more easily monitor what they say and do.344 F. Summary of the Kagame Regime’s Methods and Description of the Results The Kagame regime in Rwanda has constructed a comprehensive legal and extralegal scaffolding that enables it to control public discourse and ensure that only its approved, self-justifying version of collective memory endures. It aggressively pursues and punishes all who express “genocide ideology” and defines that and similar crimes so loosely that it is free to silence anyone who dissents from the official narrative. It uses legal and extralegal means to control the media, civil society, and scholarly inquiry. It has removed the teaching of history from schools and transferred that function to government-controlled indoctrination camps and government-controlled media. It exercises tight control over public remembrance of the 1994 genocide and insists 341. See Bruce, supra note 10, at 130-131 (arguing NGOs began opposing villagization in 1998, soon after it began); Isaksson, supra note 340, at 5 (arguing Rwanda’s government remains committed to the program in spite of the withdrawal of external support). 342. Newbury, High Modernism, supra note 10, at 224; see Isaksson, supra note 340, at 1 (arguing that previous villagization schemes, including in Tanzania and Ethiopia, negatively impacted agricultural productivity). 343. Bruce, supra note 10, at 130; Isaksson, supra note 340, at 1, 5; Geoffrey Payne, Land Issues in The Rwanda’s Post Conflict Law Reform, in LOCAL CASE STUDIES IN AFRICAN LAND LAW 29 (Robert Home, ed. 2011). 344. See THOMSON, WHISPERING, supra note 76, at 121 (arguing the RPF uses the lowest levels of the state administrative structure, including imidugudu (villages), to monitor the individual and group activities of all Rwandans and control dissent). Some commentators even condemn Rwanda’s “clean up” initiatives as part of its comprehensive effort to impose the regime’s preferred narrative. Rwanda – its capital city in particular – is startlingly clean and orderly compared to most African cities. Critics claim, however, that the government creates this order by routinely arresting and indefinitely detaining street people and other “undesirables,” essentially warehousing them in so-called “transit centers,” lest they contradict the regime’s narrative about easing poverty in post-genocide Rwanda. Rwanda: Locking Up the Poor: New Findings of Arbitrary Detention, Ill-Treatment in “Transit Centers,” HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH (July 21, 2016), /07/21/rwandalocking-poor [] (archived Nov. 9, 2017) . 2017] upon grizzly, culturally inappropriate memorials that emphasize the horror that might ensue if anyone questions its authority. Finally, it has compelled its citizens to uproot their lives and move into newly formed villages, and has devolved its own power down to the sub-village level, arguably to enhance its ability to control public discourse. Not surprisingly, these laws and policies have resulted in numerous high profile instances in which the government has silenced dissenters.345 The regime has pursued journalists, civil society actors and politicians for straying – even obliquely – from the government’s approved script.346 One infamous incident involved the 2010 arrest and imprisonment of Victoire Ingabire, an opposition politician who returned to Rwanda intending to run for president against Paul Kageme but who was quickly arrested and silenced.347 Although later convicted of numerous offenses including organizing an armed insurrection – convictions that human rights organizations claim were based on fatally flawed trials348– her initial arrest was based on the fact that she contradicted the regime’s historical narrative by stating in a public address that Hutu citizens – not exclusively Tutsis – were killed during the 1994 genocide.349 At around the same time, the government arrested and convicted a journalist, Agnes Uwimana Nkusi for, among other things, writing about “ethnicism” and “regionalism” and claiming that they led Rwandans to end up “killing each other.”350 This statement offended the Kagame regime by implying that ethnicity is in fact a salient issue in Rwanda and, worse yet, that Tutsis – presumably RPF soldiers – had been involved in unjustified killings.351 For those utterances she was convicted and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment and fined for “genocide minimization.” 352 For other related offenses, including writing that President Kagame’s policies favored his own clan, that high level jobs were reserved for only certain people (presumably meaning Anglophone Tutsis), and that the army was enriching itself through its proxy wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo,353 she was convicted of “threatening national security,” “divisionism,” and “defaming the President,” all of which added more fines and seven additional years to her sentence.354 In a further, almost comical, sign of the government’s determination to control public discourse, especially regarding topics related to the genocide, in 2012 it arrested a radio announcer and charged him with “genocide ideology” after he mistakenly mixed up the terms for “victims” and “survivors” when discussing the genocide.355 He spent three months in jail before being acquitted and released.356 Even in the face of condemnation by international human rights organizations, and even after vowing to reconsider some of the laws that restrict expression,357 the Rwandan government has continued to vigorously pursue and punish those who contradict its narrative. One recent example involved Kizito Mihigo, a well-known Rwandan singer who in 2014 was arrested, convicted and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment based partly on a song he wrote in which “he prayed for 2017] victims of the genocide as well as for victims of other violence.”358 Apparently, the government determined that the singer’s reference to “other violence” implied that Rwandans other than Tutsis had suffered.359 These are only a few high-profile examples of the Kagame regime’s legal and extralegal pursuit of perceived opponents, particularly those who openly question its carefully constructed selfjustifying historical narrative.360 However, it should not be forgotten that the government carefully monitors and controls ordinary Rwandan citizens361 and punishes those who stray from the party line.362 Human rights organizations have documented countless arrests, prosecutions, disappearances, and assassinations – both inside and outside Rwanda – of Rwandan citizens from all strata of society that the government perceives as enemies.363 As others have pointed out, it does not take many assassinations, disappearances, or convictions before society at large gets the message that it is safer not to stray from the government’s approved narrative.364 V. CONCLUSION Rwanda is not the only country in the world that distorts history and manipulates collective memory. One need look no further than the United States, where legislators from Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia have passed laws in recent years that in effect require history teachers to emphasize American exceptionalism, patriotism, and respect for authority365 while deemphasizing the US’s troubled racial history.366 Rwanda’s manipulation of collective memory and history, however, is on a different scale. In the United States, attempts at hamhanded historical distortion tend to emanate from the boondocks. When regional political powers succeed in altering history textbooks, the national discourse, led by vocal cognoscenti and backed by a stalwart First Amendment and a vibrant independent press, hoots in derision and portrays the would-be “memory entrepreneurs” as ignorant yokels. In Rwanda, the manipulation of history and collective memory is carried on by a sophisticated and determined executive that is unchecked by other branches of government and that aggressively silences anyone who dares dissent.367 For the time being, Paul Kagame and his ruling coterie can take heart that their policy of memory entrepreneurship seems to be working. It is rare that anyone in Rwanda contradicts any aspect of the regime’s ahistorical version collective memory.368 When Rwandans 365. Zoe Schlanger, Revised AP U.S. History Standards Will Emphasize American Exceptionalism, NEWSWEEK (July 29, 2015) , [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) . 366. Zoe Schlanger, Newly Revised AP US History Standards Will Take Softer Tone on Racial History of America, NEWSWEEK (July 30, 2015) , [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) . Similarly, the State Education Board in Texas pushed through a sweeping revision of public schools’ history curriculum to depict “America as a nation chosen by God as a beacon to the world, and free enterprise as the cornerstone of liberty and democracy.” Chris McGreal, Texas Schools Board Rewrites US History With Lessons Promoting God and Guns, THE GUARDIAN (May 16, 2010), [] (archived Oct. 26, 2017) . The Texas history revisions included downplaying the civil rights movement and the US’s history of slavery, “sidelining Thomas Jefferson, who favored separation of church and state,” and suggesting that Joseph McCarthy’s infamous anti-communist witch-hunt may have been justified. Id. 367. See infra Part IV. 368. I base this statement partly on the various articles and reports cited in the body of this paper, and partly on my own observation. I spent approximately six weeks in Rwanda in 2013 2017] speak of the past,369 they hew rigidly to the party line: pre-colonial Rwanda was a peaceful country in which ethnic divisions were absent; a wise monarch ruled benevolently; the Belgians introduced ethnic division and taught Rwandans to hate each other; the 1994 genocide was perpetrated exclusively by hate-filled Hutus against Tutsis; Paul Kagame and the RPF halted the genocide and are blameless for civilian killings; the Kagame regime has the moral authority to lead the country into the future.370 Rwandans’ eerie consistency is a result of the government’s comprehensive, mostly successful, legal and extralegal efforts to impose a single collective memory on them, one carefully constructed to legitimize Paul Kagame’ increasingly autocratic rule. and five in 2015 leading groups of American university students studying abroad. During my visits, I interacted regularly with Rwandan academics, governmental officials, and ordinary Rwandan citizens. 369. My American university students were struck by Rwandans’ reluctance to talk openly with them. I assigned a research paper that required the students to interview Rwandans – mostly from the governmental or NGO sectors – about economic and social development in the country. Practically all of the would-be interviewees declined or dissembled. “I need clearance from superiors.” “I cannot speak to you unless you have government-approved research authorization.” Or they simply did not return the telephone calls. 370. See supra Part III.B. I. INTRODUCTION ...................................................................80 PRESIDENT PAUL KAGAME.......................................83 III. MEMORY, HISTORY, AND POWER IN RWANDA .......99 Historiography ...........................................................99 Regime ..................................................................... 101 1 . Ethnicity and Political Power............................. 101 2. Causes of the Genocide...................................... 102 3 . Historical Narratives About the Genocide Itself ...................................................103 C. The History of Rwanda According to Historians ...... 105 1. Ethnicity and Political Power............................. 105 2. Causes of the Genocide...................................... 108 3 . Historical Narratives About the Genocide Itself ...................................................109 for the helpful feedback I received at the excellent 2016 Law and Society in Africa conference. 1. GEORGE ORWELL , 1984 35 ( 1949 ). 4. Summarizing the Conflicting Historical Narratives...........................................................111 A. Laws Limiting Expression .........................................113 Media , Civil Society , and Academic Inquiry...........117 1. Control of Media................................................118 2. Control of Civil Society .....................................120 3. Control of Academic Inquiry .............................122 invoked it to show that they had prior claims to the land). 26. GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 56- 57 . 27 . See GOUREVITCH , WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 223 (arguing that Prologue: Planning the 1994 Rwandan Genocide , in AFTER GENOCIDE: TRANSITIONAL BEYOND 22 (Philip Clark & Zachary D. Kaufman eds., 2008 ). 28 . In 1960, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan delivered his now famous “Wind of Change” Speech: A Case Study in Rhetoric of Policy Change, 3 RHETORIC AND PUB . AFF. 555 (Winter 2000 ). He acknowledged that African nationalist aspirations were legitimate and Macmillan and the Winds of Change in Africa, 1957-1960, 38 THE HIST . J. 455 ( June 1995 ). 29. GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 56 . 30. See generally Newbury & Newbury, Bringing the Peasants Back In , supra note 10, at 839 (describing the Hutu political emergence in the 1950s) . 31 . Catherine Newbury & David Newbury , A Catholic Mass in Kigali: Contested Views of the Genocide and Ethnicity in Rwanda, 33 CAN. J. AFR. STUD . 292 , 297 - 99 ( 1999 ) [hereinafter on Tutsi admission to schools and government jobs). 32. GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 59-60. 33. Id. 34. Id. at 211 . 45. See GOUREVITCH , WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 217 (noting that at Fort Leavenworth , Kansas). 46. See id; KINZER, supra note 3 , at 67. 47. See KINZER , supra note 3 , at 67, 78 . 48 . See KINZER , supra note 3 , at 77-78, 117 (arguing Rwanda's national army was 131 ( 2007 ) (arguing the French, who knew the Hutu army well, believe it “sclerotic” and 31, at 304 (similar). 49. See generally infra notes 83-90 and accompanying text (describing France's support for the genocidal Habyarimana regime) . 50 . See KROSLAK , supra note 48, at 125 ( referring to unproven rumors that French troops supra note 15 , at 89 ( arguing that “hundreds of superbly equipped French paratroopers” kept the RPF from advancing); KINZER, supra note 3, at 77-78 (arguing the RPF's defeat in 1990 was because “France had come to its client's rescue”). 51. GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 217 . 52. See id. at 89 (arguing Kagame and the RPF trained his force into “a fierce and fiercely disciplined” guerilla army); KINZER, supra note 3, at 80-81 (arguing the RPF licked its wounds and reconstituted itself in the mountains) . 53 . See KINZER , supra note 3, at 172 (arguing the RPF army was cohesive and disciplined) . 54. See id. at 78 , 97 (arguing Kagame was known to be a clear strategic thinker , brave success”); see also GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 218 (arguing that many consider Kagame's 1994 military campaign a “work of plain genius” ). 55 . See Newbury , Understanding Genocide, supra note 14 , at 89 ( arguing that pressure from inside and outside Rwanda compelled President Habyarimana to democratize). 56. GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 82; Newbury, Understanding Genocide , supra note 14 , at 80 . 57. See KINZNER , supra note 3 , at 103-04 (discussing the RPF's military success and Paul Kagame's threat of further military action to strengthen his hand in the Arusha negotiations ). 58. KINZER, supra note 3 , at 103. 59. GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 99; Newbury, Understanding Genocide , supra note 14 , at 89-90 ( arguing that the Arusha Accords did not Tutsi political elites) . 60. GOUREVITCH , WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 14, at 99; Newbury, Understanding Genocide , supra note 14 , at 79 , 89 . 61. See POWER , A PROBLEM FROM HELL , supra note 57, at 337; see also GOUREVITCH , WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 80-82 (arguing the akazu “tightened its grip on the supra note 3 , at 92 ( arguing Habyarimana was simultaneously pressured by France to 31, at 294-96 (similar). 62 . Newbury & Newbury , A Catholic Mass, supra note 31, at 294- 96 . 63. GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 94 (arguing by 1994 Hutus were using the term “final solution”); KINZER, supra note 3 , at 104, 109 (same). 64 . See POWER , A PROBLEM FROM HELL, supra note 57, at 337 (arguing the hardliners stockpiled more than a half million machetes, one for every third Hutu adult male in Rwanda). 65. GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 93 . 66. Id. at 93 (arguing the interahamwe were “first among [the] militias”); Newbury, Understanding Genocide , supra note 14 , at 91-92 (describing the recruitment and actions of local militias) . 67 . See MICHAEL N. BARNETT , EYEWITNESS TO A GENOCIDE: THE UNITED NATIONS AND RWANDA 77- 78 ( 2002 ) (arguing the hardliners stockpiled weapons, made lists, and organized death squads); GOUREVITCH, WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 93 , 114 (referring to Bystanders to Genocide, THE ATLANTIC (Sept . 2001 ) [hereinafter Power, Bystanders to Genocide], 304571/ [] (last visited Oct . 26 , 2017 ) (arguing Hutu hardliners plate numbers of those who would be targeted first ). 68. See Allen & Norris, supra note 7 , at 149; see also GOUREVITCH , WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 85-88, 95 (describing the akazu's use of media to dehumanize Tutsis); KINZER , supra note 3, at 109-110 (arguing the akazu used radio broadcasts, particularly by homemade weapons); Newbury & Newbury , A Catholic Mass, supra note 31, at 295 (similar). 69 . See KINZER , supra note 3 , at 137-38; Newbury, Understanding Genocide, supra note 14, at 79 . 70 . See Lars Waldorf, Instrumentalizing Genocide: The RPF's Campaign Against Genocide Ideology , in REMAKING RWANDA, supra note 7 , at 50-51 [hereinafter Waldorf, Instrumentalizing Genocide ] (describing recent conflicting accounts of who was responsible ). 71 . See GOUREVITCH , WE WISH TO INFORM YOU, supra note 15, at 113 (arguing akazu hardliners were the most likely culprits); KINZNER, supra note 3 , at 139. 72. See KINZER , supra note 3 , at 139; see also Waldorf, Instrumentalizing Genocide, supra note 70 , at 50 ( arguing that French anti-terrorist Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere charged Kagame and his top military advisors with bringing down the plane ). 73 . See Newbury , Understanding Genocide, supra note 14 , at 80; see also GOUREVITCH , WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 113 ( arguing “the organizers of the genocide were 94 . See POWER , A PROBLEM FROM HELL, supra note 57, at 354 (arguing by the second taking place) . 95 . See GOUREVITCH , WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 153 (arguing supra note 3 , at 170 ( arguing President Clinton's administration was under orders not to use the Power , Bystanders to Genocide, supra note 67, at 14 (arguing the administration avoided using did nothing);. 96. KINZER, supra note 3 , at 171; Power, Bystanders to Genocide, supra note 67, at 15 (arguing that the spokesperson's responses were a “semantic dance” ). 97 . Gourevitch , The Life After, supra note 90, at 37 ( arguing post-genocide Rwanda was “blood-sodden and pillaged”) . 98 . See KINZER , supra note 3 , at 177 ( arguing that after the genocide Rwanda was note 90, at 37 (arguing the country's infrastructure was trashed, its economy gutted and its court system vitiated) . 99. GOUREVITCH , WE WISH TO INFORM YOU , supra note 15, at 229; Allen & Norris, supra note 7 , at 155. 100 . See KINZER , supra note 3, at 1-2, 230 (describing Rwanda's remarkable post- genocide recovery); see also Ansoms, Reconstruction, supra note 13, at 241 (arguing Rwanda's note 90, at 37 ( arguing per-capital gross domestic product nearly tripled in the fifteen years after the genocide) . 237. Law No. 33n bis/2003 , Repressing the Crime of Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes , art. 4., Official Gazette of Rwanda, Nov 1 , 2003 [hereinafter 2003 Genocide Law.] 238 . Id ., art 4 . 239. See Jansen, supra note 7 , at 13 ( arguing the terms of the 2003 Genocide Law - any action follows the alleged incitement) . 240 . See THOMSON , WHISPERING, supra note 76, at 12-13 ( arguing that the 2003 law was to anyone whom the government perceived as critical). 241. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, LAW AND REALITY: PROGRESS IN JUDICIAL REFORM IN RWANDA ( July 2008 ), p. 40 ; Waldorf , Instrumentalizing Genocide, supra note 70 , at 52 . 242. Allen & Norris, supra note 7, at 147. 243. Id . 244 . See Jansen, supra note 7, at 4 (arguing that Rwanda's government began charging people with genocide ideology even before the law had been passed ). 245 . Waldorf , Instrumentalizing Genocide, supra note 670 , at 54 . 246. Id . 247 . Id . ; see HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, LAW AND REALITY, supra note 241, at 38 (arguing a Rwandan government commission found “genocide ideology” in 26 of 32 schools it investigated) . 248. Allen & Norris, supra note 7 , at 148. 249. Law No. 18 /2008, Relating to the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Ideology, Official Gazette of Rwanda, October 15 , 2008 [hereinafter 2008 Genocide Law]. 250 . Id ., art. 3 . 251. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, LAW AND REALITY, supra note 241, at 42 . 252. Waldorf , Instrumentalizing Genocide, supra note 70 , at 56 . 253. Jansen, supra note 7, at 5. 254. 2008 Genocide Law, arts. 4 , 8 . 255. Id ., art. 8 . 256. Id ., art. 11 . 257. Id ., art. 7 ; see infra Part IV.B.2 (discussing the government's control of civil society ). 258. Waldorf , Instrumentalizing Genocide, supra note 70, at 57. 259. See infra Part IV.B.1 . 260 . See , e.g., Athan Tashobya , Kwibuka 2015 Registered Highest Ever Cases of Genocide Denial , NEW TIMES (July 11 , 2015 ), rw/section/article/2015-07-11/190503/ [] (archived Oct . 26 , 2017 ) during annual genocide commemorations, from 86 in the previous year to 168 in the current year); see also Nyamagabe Man Arrested Over Genocide Ideology, NEW TIMES (June 30 , 2015 ), [ BQJX ] (archived Oct. 26 , 2017 ) (reporting the arrest on charges of genocide ideology of a man genocide ideology, denial or negation that may arise in their communities . ”) . 261 . AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL , SAFER TO STAY SILENT, THE CHILLING EFFECT OF RWANDA'S LAWS ON 'GENOCIDE IDEOLOGY ' AND 'SECTARIANISM' 19 ( 2010 ); Jansen, supra note 7, at 4 (arguing one defendant was a radio presenter who was charged with genocide ideology for misspeaking while reading the news ). 262 . See Jansen, supra note 7 , at 19 ( arguing that an opposition candidate for president, “kill each other,” which is not a government approved version of the genocide ); Id. at 19 (similar) . 263 . See generally , Jansen supra note 7 , at 51- 57 . 264 . Law No. 84 /2013, Law on the Crime of Genocide Ideology and Other Related Offenses , Official Gazette of Rwanda, Sept. 9 , 2013 . 265. Id . 266 . See Waldorf , Instrumentalizing Genocide, supra note 70, at 49-56 . 267 . Lemarchand, supra note 132, at 65. 268. See supra Part III.B.1. 269. Lemarchand, supra note 132, at 65. 276. Id. at 7-8 . 277 . Sundaram , Darling Tyrant, supra note 118 , at ¶ 6. 278. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH , RWANDA COUNTRY SUMMARY 2016 2 ( 2016 ). 279 . Id . 280 . See generally Anton Harbor, The Committee to Protect Journalists, Legacy of Rwanda Genocide Includes Media Restrictions , Self-Censorship ( 2014 ), legacy-of-rwanda-genocide-includes-media-restricti .php [] (last visited Oct . 26 , 2017 ) (arguing that in spite of some recent loosening, Rwandan media laws still one recent example , in 2014 , Stanley Gatera, editor of a privately owned newspaper , was 20-year anniversary of the genocide . He claimed the arrest was in retaliation for speaking to international news sources about limits on freedom of expression in Rwanda. Id. 281. SUNDARAM , BAD NEWS , supra note 272, at 3-4 , 181 - 192 (providing personal imprisoned, killed or have fled into exile); HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH , WORLD REPORT 2015: 309 . Thomson , Reeducation for Reconciliation, supra note 144 , at 333 (quoting The Exit Strategies ( 2004 )) ; see supra Part III.B (describing the RPF's preferred historical narrative ). 310 . Thomson , Reeducation for Reconciliation, supra note 144, at 333. 311. See id. at 332 , 337 . 312. See Mona Friedrich & Tony Johnston , Beauty Versus Tragedy: Thanatourism and the Memorialization of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide , J. of Tourism & Cultural Change 302 , 303 ( 2013 ) (arguing Rwanda caters to “grief tourism”); Jens Meierhenrich , supra note 21, at 288 victims, is a “popular stop for visitors” ). 313 . Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre, WIKIPEDIA Murambi_Genocide_Memorial_Centre (last visited Feb . 12 , 2017 ). 314 . Id . (showing photographs of bleached corpses on display at the memorial). 315. I base this description on my own experience visiting Murambi during the summers of 2013 and 2015 . 316. THOMSON, WHISPERING, supra note 76, at 7, 153 - 154 (arguing the government Past , Remembering Trauma: The Politics of Commemoration at Sites of Atrocity, 20 J . OF PUB. & INT'L AFF . 47 , 54 - 56 ( 2009 ) (similar ). 317 . See Meierhenrich, supra note 21 , at 288 , 292 (arguing that memorials in Rwanda left to wither); Friedrich & Johnston, supra note 312 , at 313-314 (arguing the memorials aim to of Hutu suffering and blames the genocide on colonists' machinations) . 318. Meierhenrich, supra note 21, at 288. 319. Id. at 289 . 320. See Thomson , Reeducation for Reconciliation, supra note 144 , at 333 (arguing the memorial sites are meant to show the end result of ethnic division ). 321 . See SCOTT STRAUS , REMAKING RWANDA : STATE BUILDING AND HUMAN RIGHTS AFTER MASS VIOLENCE 292 ( 2011 ) (arguing the memorials “justify a repressive government by presenting a specter of past violence as a permanent future possibility” ). 322 . Id. at 307; Meierhenrich, supra note 21 at 289; see Rachel Ibreck, The Politics of 330- 331 ( 2010 ) (arguing the RPF uses genocide memorials to construct political legitimacy, partly by “ Tutsification of the genocide”). 323. See supra notes 82-96 and accompanying text. 324. Ibreck, supra note 322 , at 172; Moore, supra note 316, at 55 . 325. Meierhenrich, supra note 21, at 289; STRAUS, supra note 321, at 290 . 326. Meierhenrich, supra note 21, at 290. 345. See supra note 280. 346. See infra notes 346-358 and accompanying text. 347 . See Rwanda: Eight-Year Sentence for Opposition Leader: Victoire Ingabire Found Guilty of Two Charges in Flawed Trial, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH (Oct . 30 , 2012 ), -year-sentence-opposition-leader [] (archived Oct . 26 , 2017 ). 348 . See id. 349. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL , JUSTICE IN JEOPARDY, supra note 8 , at 6 (arguing NEWS (Dec. 13 , 2013 ), 25371874 [ L7TH-E38C] (archived Oct . 26 , 2017 ). 350 . Le Ministère Public v . Uwimana Nkusi (Apr. 4 , 2012 ), Case No. RPA 0061 /11/CS agnes-uwimana- nkusi- and - saidati-mukakibibi/ [] (last visited Nov. 9 , 2017 ). 351 . Id . 352 . Id . 353 . See United Nations General Assembly, Human Rights Council Working Group on Sixty-Fourth Sessions , 27 -31 August 2012 (Nov. 22 , 2012 ), 2012.pdf/ [] (archived Oct. 26 , 2017 ). 354 . Id; Committee to Protect Journalists, supra note 280 . 355. See HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, RWANDA: EIGHT-YEAR SENTENCE FOR OPPOSITION LEADER , supra note 347; see also HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, LAW AND REALITY , supra note 241, at 40 ( describing a Rwandan citizen who in 2007 challenged a tenet of the official “truth” about RPF war crimes and was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment for “gross minimization of the genocide”). 356. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, RWANDA: EIGHT-YEAR SENTENCE FOR OPPOSITION LEADER, supra note 347 . 357. See AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL , JUSTICE IN JEOPARDY, supra note 8, at 8 . 358. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, RWANDA: EX-MILITARY OFFICERS CONVICTED OVER COMMENTS: INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF TORTURE, WITNESS TAMPERING (Apr. 1, 2016 ), -military-officers-convicted-over- comments [] (archived Oct . 26 , 2017 ). 359 . Id . 360 . See HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, RWANDA: REPRESSION ACROSS BORDERS: ATTACKS AND THREATS AGAINST RWANDAN OPPONENTS AND CRITICS ABROAD ( Jan . 28, 2014) - across-borders [https://perma. cc/ 2XPC-BBA9] (archived Oct . 26 , 2017 ) (arguing that the RPF controlled government has and critics”) . 361 . See supra note 259 and accompanying text (describing Rwandan newspaper articles lauding the increase in rural areas of accusations and prosecutions of genocide ideology ). 362. Id . 363 . See AMNESTY INT'L , 2014 /15 RWANDA REPORT, countries/africa/rwanda/report-rwanda/ [] (archived Nov. 6, 2017 ) (arguing Rwandan people are unable to express openly critical views on issues perceived as sensitive by the authorities); THOMSON, WHISPERING , supra note 76, at 49 , 112 (arguing that they are severely punished if they fail or refuse to play their assigned roles ). 364 . Schuberth, supra note 133, at 84; Straus, supra note 347, at 60; Amnesty International, Safer to Stay Silent, supra note 285; SUNDARAM, BAD NEWS , supra note 272, at 17.

This is a preview of a remote PDF:

Thomas Kelley. Maintaining Power by Manipulating Memory in Rwanda, Fordham International Law Journal, 2017,