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Palgrave Macmillan

Rwanda 1994

The Myth of the Akazu Genocide Conspiracy and its Consequences

ISBN 9781137022318
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Rethinking Political Violence

This book challenges the widely held belief that the mass killing unleashed by the aerial assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana was the outcome of a conscious strategy to annihilate Rwanda's Tutsi population that had been planned and organized in advance by Hutu extremists known as the Akazu. It is the first of its kind to fully deconstruct the dominant
narrative of the circumstances leading up to, and during, the period defined as the Rwandan genocide. It questions the accepted wisdom of the events with a revisionist examination of the evidence. Highlighting suppressed evidence and weaving in new material, it aims to provide the most robust and academically credible investigation on the issue of the Rwandan genocide
through an interrogation of all the claims made to support the thesis. It poses an alternative version of the events that took place in Rwanda before and during 1994.

The author adopts a logical-historical approach, which aims to situate the killings within a historically specific context, drawing out a dynamic interplay between national and international actors to provide an empirically detailed and forthright investigation of the
butchery of Rwanda's Tutsis and Hutus, and the perpetrators.

Barrie Collins is an independent researcher and holds a PhD in Politics from The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), UK.

1. Apocalypse 1994
2. The Kingdom, the Colony and the Republics: Ethnicity in Perspective
3. The RPF's War
4. The Myth of the Akazu Genocide Conspiracy
5. Hate Speech, the Audience and Mass Killings
6. Genocide and Humanitarian Intervention in the 20th Century
7. Consequences


'Should we let the contextual facts get in the way of a powerful universal morality tale ofgenocide and intervention? Collins is brave enough to think that we should. He makes a compelling case that moral certainties make for poor and reductionist historical, political and legal judgements. This book is going to disturb and unsettle anyone who thinks that genocide is an abstract concept: 'simply' a crime made 'to order' by criminal masterminds and their docile subjects. This is a meticulous study of the genocide which at the same time treats the people of Rwanda with the dignity and respect they deserve.' — David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, University of Westminster, UK
'The standard account of the Rwandan 'genocide' of 1994 rests on a conspiracy theory. As Collins demonstrates in his book, the evidence supporting the theory is no better than the evidence refuting it. The United Nations, through its creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, has inadvertently lent its weight to the standard account. Why woulda UN Tribunal endorse a myth? No further conspiracy theory is required to explain the ICTR's blinkered view of events in the 1994 Rwandan war. The ICTR fell into the rut of victor's justice, only ever prosecuting the losing side in the 1994 war. The winning side, which since that year has ruled Rwanda, was left alone. Almost twenty years after its establishment the Tribunal is still in the same rut. The lesson for international justice surely is that atrocities should be prosecuted with an open mind and without compromise.' — Dr Alexander Zahar, former legal officer at the ICTR and ICTY and co-author of 'International Criminal Law: A Critical Introduction' (2008)
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