‘Today, I am no Mutwa anymore’: facets of national unity discourse in present-day Rwanda

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Abstract

In post-genocide Rwanda, where reconciliation and the re-building of the Rwandan nation are at the core of domestic politics, a new approach towards ethnicity and a revised narrative of Rwandan histoy form the framework for the promotion of national unity. Given the overarching goal of unification, claims for autochthony as made by one Rwandan NGO triggered an argument with the government and were considered divisionist. By examining possible different meanings given to the notion ‘autochthony’, this article describes the controversy arising from those claims for special status on the national level and their relevance for local processes of identification.

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