chapter  8
Reconstructing Rwanda: balancing human rights and the promotion of national reconciliation
ByJennifer Melvin
Pages 20

The 1994 genocide in Rwanda left incredible devastation, trauma and insecurity in its wake. As the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) took control of the government in both its transitional and elected forms in 1994 and 2003 respectively, it installed an official reconciliation programme across the country.1 This national initiative sought to re-educate the population, bring convicted ge´nocidaires to justice and restore the relationships shattered in the violence. These goals began to take shape as the country shifted from post-conflict instability, to transitional governance and now to a democratic structure as introduced in the 2003 national election in which Paul Kagame was elected president of the republic and the RPF became the ruling party. The government-sponsored national reconciliation programme has been shaped by several social factors particular to the Rwandan context.