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Rwanda Since 1994Stories of Change$
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Hannah Grayson and Nicki Hitchcott

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941992

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941992.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 05 June 2020

Competing Narratives and Performancesin Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts

Competing Narratives and Performancesin Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts

(p.62) Competing Narratives and Performancesin Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts
Rwanda Since 1994

Ananda Breed

Astrid Jamar

Liverpool University Press

The aim of this chapter is to deconstruct how human rights reports of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch produce knowledge on the Rwandan gacaca courts as a failed (semi-) legal justice mechanism, and the implications therein. These reports play a fundamental role in our understanding of conflict, violence and accountability measures in the aftermath of atrocities. We use the analytical tools provided by French philosopher Paul Ricoeur's work on narrative and memory in order to understand how such knowledge is constructed and what is excluded in human rights reports. We argue that the human rights reports establish a fixed and static conception of gacaca. Crucially, we show that human rights reports remake history into a single imagery by eradicating context and subjectivity. What remains is a story of failure that leaves little room for different interpretations or meanings attached to gacaca.

Keywords:   Gacaca courts, Human rights reports, Human rights norms, Narrative and memory, Knowledge production, Restorative justice, Exclusion, Rwanda, Paul Ricoeur

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