chapter  10
14 Pages

The Gacaca Courts

Collective versus personal memory and the trauma of the genocide in Rwanda
WithVéronique Tadjo

Much has been said about the genocide in Rwanda and the murderous 107 days from 7 April to 4 July 1994 during which up to one million Tutsi and moderate Hutu perished. The country was torn apart. Today, more than 20 years later, Rwanda is a relatively successful economy on the African continent. How did this radical transformation occur? This chapter determines that the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission and the Gacaca courts were some of the key strategies put in place to overcome the trauma of the past and to lay the foundations for a new society. However, it will also point out that because of the powerful involvement of the Rwandese State in the creation and control of the master narrative of the genocide, a schism has gradually developed between collective and personal memory of the genocide. If this gap were to widen, this chapter argues that it will represent a threat to the overall project of national reconciliation.