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The Death Toll of the Rwandan Genocide: A Detailed Analysis for Gikongoro Province

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  • Marijke Verpoorten

Abstract

The death toll of the Rwandan genocide remains highly debatable. The frequently quoted estimate of 500,000 Tutsi killed is based on the population census of 1991. However, two unanswered questions make this estimate unreliable. First, how many Tutsi lived in Rwanda prior to the genocide? Second, how many Tutsi survived? With respect to the first question, critics say that the proportion of Tutsi was under-reported in the 1991 census. By comparing the census data with population data of the local administration of Gikongoro Prefecture, we provide evidence for this allegation and study how the under-reporting may affect the estimate of the genocide death toll. We also use local population data for 117 administrative sectors within Gikongoro Prefecture to make a detailed analysis of the spatial pattern of killings in Gikongoro. We find that Tutsi in Gikongoro had, on average, a 25% chance of surviving the genocide. The survival rate for women was only slightly higher than for men: 29% versus 21%. The location of huge massacres and the way violence spread across sectors were more decisive for the Tutsi survival rate than whether or not local authorities opposed the genocide.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED) in its journal Population (english edition).

Volume (Year): 60 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 331-367

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Handle: RePEc:cai:poeine:pope_504_0331

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Web page: http://www.cairn.info/revue-population-english.htm

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Cited by:
  1. Kevin Thomas, 2010. "Family Contexts and Schooling Disruption among Orphans in Post-Genocide Rwanda," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 29(6), pages 819-842, December.
  2. Schindler, Kati & Bruck, Tilman, 2011. "The effects of conflict on fertility in Rwanda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5715, The World Bank.
  3. Marijke Verpoorten, 2011. "Leave None to Claim the Land. A Malthusian Catastrophe in Rwanda?," LICOS Discussion Papers 29111, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  4. Leander Heldring, 2014. "State Capacity and Violence: Evidence from the Rwandan genocide," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  5. Marijke Verpoorten, 2011. "Measure for Measure: How Well Do We Measure Micro-Level Conflict Intensity?," LICOS Discussion Papers 27511, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  6. Marijke verpoorten, 2010. "Detecting Hidden Violence: The Spatial Distribution of Excess Mortality in Rwanda," LICOS Discussion Papers 25410, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  7. Andrea Guariso & Marijke Verpoorten, 2014. "Armed conflict and schooling in Rwanda: Digging deeper," HiCN Working Papers 166, Households in Conflict Network.
  8. Verpoorten Marijke, 2012. "The Intensity of the Rwandan Genocide: Measures from the Gacaca Records," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 1-26, April.
  9. Giulia La Mattina, 2014. "Civil Conflict, Sex Ratio and Intimate Partner Violence in Rwanda," HiCN Working Papers 175, Households in Conflict Network.

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