n Africa Insight - Ethnic identities and armed conflict in Southern Africa : revisiting the case of Rwanda

Volume 44, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Ethnic insurgency, rivalry and conflict have come to the fore in most African states in recent times, with the Rwandan genocide involving the Hutus and Tutsis in 1994 being one of the worst examples of violent conflict in Africa between 1990 and 2013. This article examines the immediate and remote political causes of the genocide to determine whether ethnic division was the real cause of the armed conflict.

The article firstly conceptualises ethnicity and ethnic identity and how they materialise in contemporary African societies. Secondly, it delves into the relationship between armed conflicts and ethnic identities. Finally, it engages the extent to which the Rwandan genocide was a mixture of ethnic identities and political change.

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