Research Activities
Post-Conflict Issues in Rural Rwanda
First Meeting (Group 4)
■Speaker :Mr.Shinichi Takeuchi (The Institute of Developing Economies)
■Place :Common Research Room, 2nd Floor, 6th Building, Ryukoku University, Fukakusa
■Date :July 22, 2005
■Number :05040101
Mr Takeuchi illustrated the characteristic features of rural areas in Rwanda using slides, and identified the important post-conflict issues there. As many as 800,000 people, or 10 percent of the population were killed during the genocide that took place in 1994 in Rwanda. The genocide took place all over the country including the countryside. Rural society in Rwanda is comprised of peasants engaging in small-scale agricultural production. Although the principle cause of the genocide in Rwanda has to be ascribed to the instigation and mobilization carried out by politicians rather than to the rural poverty, it remains undeniable that many people were slaughtered in rural areas and a large number of ordinary peasants participated in the killings.

Economic reconstruction and national reconciliation are the two crucial challenges for rural society in post-conflict Rwanda. In addressing the first challenge, we need to deepen discussions on what kind of development would be desirable for rural areas that are home to numerous poor peasants, in order to internally nurture human resources who are capable of resisting extremist instigation. With regard to the latter challenge, increasing attention is being paid to the community court called gacaca which is currently being operated at the local community level with the aim to accomplish national reconciliation. Nonetheless, given the fact that the recent conflict and the genocide were primarily caused by the power struggle at the national level rather than by internal contradictions within rural society, the most urgent task for Rwanda in preventing the recurrence of similar conflicts may be sincere efforts by the central government to realize genuine democratization.