History as a Justification for Genocide: the Interpretation of Rwanda's Past by Théoneste Bagosora
Table of contents
History as a Justification for Genocide: the Interpretation of Rwanda's Past by Théoneste Bagosora
Publication type
Ivan Krivushin 
Affiliation: Higher School of Education
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
The article explores how Rwandan history and its pivotal events are interpreted by Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, one of the chief instigator and mastermind of the 1994 genocide. It argues that this interpretation is shaped entirely by Bagosora’s politico-ideological goals and intentions. His approach is based on the binary black-and-white ethnicized vision of national history and it is tainted by racial and ethnic prejudices. By viewing history in this way, Bagosora tries to justify the mass killing of the Tutsis in April–July 1994 and to absolve himself and other extremist Hutu leaders of responsibility for one of the greatest tragedies in the history of mankind. The historical arguments he developed and systematized have become the basis of all subsequent attempts to deny, minimize or justify the 1994 genocide.
Genocide in Rwanda, Theoneste Bagasora, ethnicised history, Hamitic theory, “Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines”
Publication date
Number of characters
Number of purchasers
Readers community rating
0.0 (0 votes)
Cite Download pdf 200 RUB / 1.0 SU

To download PDF you should sign in

Full text is available to subscribers only
Subscribe right now
Only article and additional services
Whole issue and additional services
All issues and additional services for 2018


Additional sources and materials

  1. Bagosora Th. L’assassinat du Président Habyarimana, ou L’ultime opération du tutsi pour sa reconquête du pouvoir par la force au Rwanda. Yaoundé, 1995
  2. Baisley E. Genocide and constructions of Hutu and Tutsi in radio propaganda // Race & Class. Vol. 55. 2014. № 3. P. 47—51.
  3. Ben Hammouda H. Burundi. Histoire économique et politique d’un conflit. Paris, 1995. 
  4. Bjørnlund M., Markusen E., Steenberg P., Ubaldo R. The Christian Churches and the Construction of a Genocidal Mentality in Rwanda // Genocide in Rwanda: Complicity of the Churches? / eds. C. Rittner, J. K. Roth and W. Whitworth. Saint Paul (MN), 2004.
  5. Carney J. Waters of Baptism, Blood of Tribalism? // African Ecclesial Review. Vol. 50. 2008. № 1—2. 
  6. d’Hertefelt M. Les clans du Rwanda ancien: Eléments d’ethnosociologie et d’ethnohistoire. Tervuren, 1971
  7. Eltringham N. “Invaders who have stolen the country”: The Hamitic Hypothesis, Race and the Rwandan Genocide // Social Identities. Vol. 12. 2006. № 4. 
  8. Gatwa Th. The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises, 1900—1994. Milton Keynes, 2005.
  9. Krivushin I. Ot istoricheskoy teorii k genotsidu: hamitskaya gipoteza v kontekste ruandiyskoy tragedii XX v. (From a Theory of History to Genocide: the Hamitic Hypothesis in the Context of the Rwandan Tragedy of the XX Century) // Afrika: istoria I istoriki / ed. A. Davidson. Moscow, 2014
  10. Krivushin I. Sto dney vo vlasti bezoumiya: Rouandijskij genocid 1994 g. (One-hundred days in the grip of madness: The Rwandan genocide of 1994). Moscow, 2015.
  11. Krivushin I. The genocidal mentality: the 1994 case of Rwanda: Working paper WP18/2014/01, National Research University Higher School of Economics. Moscow, 2014.
  12. Lemarchand R. Ethnicity as Myth: The View from the Central Africa: Occasional paper, Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen. Copenhagen, May 1999.
  13. Longman T. Memory and Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda. Cambridge, 2017. 
  14. Lynch M. Am I My Brother's Killer? The Social Psychology of Mass Participation in Genocide: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago (IL), 30 August 2007.
  15. Mamdani M. When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton (NJ), 2002.
  16. McDoom O. Sh. The Psychology of Threat in Intergroup Conflict: Emotions, Rationality, and Opportunity in the Rwandan Genocide // International Security. Vol. 37. 2012. № 2. P. 119—155.
  17. Morrock R. The psychology of genocide and violent oppression: a study of mass cruelty from Nazi Germany to Rwanda. Jefferson (NC), 2010.
  18. Munyaneza M. Genocide in the Name of “Salvation”: The Combined Contribution of Biblical Translation/Interpretation and Indigenous Myth to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide // Sanctified Aggression: Legacies of Biblical and Post-Biblical Vocabularies of Violence / eds. J. Bekkenkamp and Y. Sherwood. London, 2003. 
  19. Ndayongeje L. Mythe des origines, idéologie hamitique et violence en Afrique des Grands Lacs: comprendre et agir // Grands Lacs Confidentiel. 16 août 2004 
  20. Newbury C. Ethnicity and the Politics of History in Rwanda // Africa Today. Vol. 45. 1998. № 1. P. 7—24.
  21. Newbury D. The clans of Rwanda: An historical hypothesis // Africa. Vol. 50. 1980. № 4.
  22. Onana Ch. Les Secrets du génocide rwandais: enquête sur les mystères d’un president. Paris, 2002.
  23. Rennie J. K. The precolonial kingdom of Rwanda: a reinterpretation // Transafrican Journal of History. Vol. 2. 1972. № 2.
  24. Sanders E. The Hamitic Hypothesis; Its Origin and Functions in Time Perspective // The Journal of African History. Vol. 10. 1969. № 4. 
  25. Smith S. Le récit de l’attentat du 6 avril 1994 par un ancien membre du “Network commando” // Le Monde. 10 mars 2004. 
  26. Soumare Z. La représentation littéraire négro-africaine francophone du génocide rwandaise de 1994: Thèse de doctorat, Université de Limoges, 2010.
  27. Twagilimana A. The debris of Ham: ethnicity, regionalism, and the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Lanham, 2003.


No posts found

Write a review