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Title: Vortex of genocide : Banyamulenge identity formation in pursuit of the genocidaire, Zaïre (1996- 1997)
Author: Davey, Christopher P.
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2019
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Genocide is conventionally seen through the mutually exclusive characterisations of perpetrators and victims. Attempts to understand this phenomenon in the 1990s postcolonial African Great Lakes region suffer from this same limitation. This dissertation critiques the limiting binary of perpetrator and victim identities. By examining the messy formation of identities in genocide, this research demonstrates that the latter are layered and fluid. Using relational sociology, identities are examined through the narrative analysis of interviews with Banyamulenge soldiers who participated in the early 1990s Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and the short-lived Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo (AFDL). These soldiers witnessed first-hand the violence and devastation of the Rwandan civil war and 1994 genocide. The AFDL, under Rwandan leadership, went on to obliterate 233,000 Rwandan refugees spread across Zaïre form 1996 to 1997. A heuristic device of a vortex is used to conceptualise a process of identity formation framed by three features of genocide, namely narratives of insecurity, destructive crises, and intermediate space. RPF and Banyamulenge narratives, power relations, and relational journeys are traced through an exploration of the networks and histories of these features. Banyamulenge soldier identities are formed in movements through this vortex with each experience of genocide. Such movements resulted in violence against the refugees. A specific relation to the idea of the enemy as a guilty genocidaire was constructed through the deployment of multiple narratives. The genocidaire was essential to Banyamulenge identities as they went on to perpetrate genocide against the Rwandan refugees.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: AFDL ; Banyamulenge ; Congo ; Destructive crises ; Genocidaire ; Genocide ; Identity ; Intermediate space ; Narratives of insecurity ; RPF