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Melvin, Jennifer
Languages: English
Types: Article
The potential success of the Rwandan government’s efforts to promote its vision of ‘national reconciliation’ is purportedly challenged by the ‘mindset, bad behaviour, bad practices’ of the general population of Rwanda.[1] As such, the education remit of the post-genocide reconciliation programme is an ambitious project that ‘…requires every citizen to change their mind completely’.[2] This article seeks to analyse how the Rwandan Patriotic Front government intends to ‘correct’ the mindsets and behaviours of the population at live-in education camps: ingando and itorero ry’igihugu. It also analyses the textbook, Histoire du Rwanda: des origines à la fin du xxe siècle, published by the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission in 2011. This article considers the ways in which a restrictive top-down pedagogy affects the potential for open discussion and critical analysis of issues relevant to the 1994 genocide, identity, and ‘national reconciliation’ at ingando and itorero ry’igihugu camps.  It also provides a detailed analysis of the ‘victor’s narrative’ of history as described in Histoire du Rwanda. This article concludes by considering the implications of the official reconciliation programme’s education remit on political control in Rwanda. [1] NURC, ‘Understanding Itorero Ry’igihugu’ (Kigali: NURC, 2011a), p.1 [2] NURC, ‘National Policy of Unity and Reconciliation’ (Kigali: NURC, 2007), p.1.
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    • 10 Notes taken by author while attending ingando (Ruhengeri: Peace and Leadership Centre, 3 June 2009).
    • 11 The young people in attendance at this particular ingando camp were preparing to begin their university studies shortly after the conclusion of the mandatory six-week course.
    • 12 Gerald Nyirimanzi is now a Major in the RDF.
    • 13 hTe term Banyarwanda refers to the national identity of all Rwandans.
    • 14 Notes taken by author while attending ingando (Rugengeri: Peace and Leadership Centre, 3 June 2009).
    • 15 Fatuma Ndangiza, 'Community Sensitization: Case of “Ingando” in Rwanda' (Kigali: International Conference on Security and Lasting Peace in the Great Lakes Region Africa, 2003), 7.
    • 16 ibid.
    • 17 Chi Mgbako, 'Ingando Solidarity Camps: Reconciliation and Political Indoctrination in Post-Genocide Rwanda', in Harvard Human Rights Journal 18 (2005), 208.
    • 18 ibid.
    • 19 The GNU was formed as a transitional coalition government on 19 July 1994, fifteen days after the oficial end of the 1994 genocide. It remained in power until the 2003 elections in which the incumbent Paul Kagame was named President of the Republic.
    • 20 Mgbako, 'Ingando Solidarity Camps', 209.
    • 21 Sara Bawaya (Civic Education Acting Director of Syllabus Development and Training Program, NURC) in discussion with the author, 30 May 2009.
    • 22 Lliberwax (Staf member at Mutobo Demobilization and Reintegration Centre) in discussion with the author, 28 June 2009; Penal Reform International, 'From Camp to Hill: the Reintegration of Released Prisoners' (2004), 17; Mgbako, 'Ingando Solidarity Camps', 217.
    • 23 The full title of this document is 'A Summary of Lectures Used in Solidarity Camps and other Workshops in Six Lectures'. The other chapters include such titles as, 'Nation and Nationality', 'Human Rights and Conflict Management', 'Good Governance', 'Man and his Environment', and 'Economy and Social Welfare'. NURC, 'A Summary of Lectures Used in Solidarity Camps and other Workshops in Six Between 2007 and 2009, 25,000 community leaders and 43,000 primary and secondary school teachers attended itorero (NURC, 'Itorero Ry'igihugu: Policy Note', p.13). As of July 2010, itorero had been expanded to include the mandatory participation 30,000 intore who had recently graduated high school (Bakusi, discussion with author, 23 July 2010).
    • ibid, 7.
    • ibid, 2.
    • ibid, 4.
    • NURC, 'Understanding Itorero', 5.
    • Susanne Buckley-Zistel, 'We Are Pretending Peace: Local Memory and the Absence of Social Transformation and Reconciliation in Rwanda', in After Genocide: Transitional Justice, Post- Conflict Reconstruction and Reconciliation in Rwanda and Beyond (New York: Columbia UP, 2009), 131.
    • NURC, Histoire du Rwanda: des origines à la fin du xxe siècle (Kigali: NURC, 2011c).
    • Bawaya, discussion with author, 30 May 2009.
    • IRDP, 2003, cited in Schweisfurth, 'Global and Cross-National Influences on Education in Post-Genocide Rwanda', Oxford Review of Education 32 (2006), 701; Freedman et al., Confronting the Past in Rwandan Schools, in My Neighbor, My Enemy: Justice and Community in the Aftermath of Mass Atrocity, eds. Stover, E., and Weinstein, H.M (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004), 248.
    • Obura, cited in Schweisfurth, 'Global and Cross-National Influences on Education in Post-Genocide Rwanda', Oxford Review of Education 32 (2006), 700.
    • As of July 2012, this history book had still not been introduced in the classroom or government ofices.
    • Bawaya, in discussion with author, 30 May 2009.
    • NURC, Histoire du Rwanda, 11.
    • ibid, 85.
    • ibid, 109.
    • ibid, 127, 129.
    • Nigel Eltringham, Accounting for the Horror: Post-Genocide Debates in Rwanda (London: Pluto Press, 2004), 13; Gérard Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis: 1959-1994: History of a Genocide (London: Hurst & Company, 1995), 21.
    • NURC, Histoire du Rwanda, 172.
    • 107 ibid, 597.
    • 108 ibid.
    • 109 Amnesty International, 'Rwanda and Burundi: the Return Home: Rumours and Realities' (29 February 1996), 18, , accessed 14 May 2011.
    • 110 NURC, Histoire du Rwanda, 630.
    • 111 The RPF worked in cooperation with Alliances des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo (AFDL) to topple Zairian President Mobutu. AFDL leader Laurent Désiré Kabila became the President of the newly renamed Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
    • 112 Chief of Staf of the RPA as quoted in NURC, (2011c), 635.
    • 113 UNHRC, 'DRC: Mapping Human Rights Violations 1993-2003' (2010), , accessed 23 March 2011.
    • 114 The intervention project on teaching history in Rwanda arose from an expression of interest from the Rwandan Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) for help with creating materials for teaching Rwandan history at the secondary school level (Freedman et al, 2008, 664). The project involved collaboration between the University of California, Berkeley Human Rights Center; the National University of Rwanda (NUR); and the Rwandan National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) of MINEDUC, with support from American NGO Facing History and Ourselves (FHAO). The materials have yet to be introduced in secondary schools.
    • 115 Freedman, S.W. et al., 'Teaching History after Identity-Based Conflicts: The Rwanda Experience', in Comparative Education Review 52 (2008), 664-665.
    • 116 ibid; Mgbako, 'Ingando Solidarity Camps', 220; Returnee in discussion with the author, 7 April 2009.
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