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Vol 40 No 6

Published 19th March 1999


The fire this time

The 1994 genocide blighted Central Africa and its bloody legacy continues to undermine the prospects for justice and regional stability

Five years after Rwanda’s holocaust, in which some 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu were slaughtered in 100 days, those blood-soaked events reverberate across central Africa and the international system that failed the victims of the genocide. An arc of conflict, sparked by the 1994 genocide, has been cut across Africa - from Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi in the east, through Congo-Kinshasa to Angola and Congo-Brazzaville in the west. The international system’s failures in 1994 have produced a rain-forest’s worth of reports and some serious recommendations for reform. Almost everyone agrees that Rwanda’s reconciliation would have been immeasurably helped if it possessed an effective and well-resourced judicial system and a stable economy. Instead, the political order remains fragile.

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