IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iob/dpaper/2013001.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Let’s be friends: the United States, post-genocide Rwanda, and victor’s justice in Arusha

Author

Listed:
  • Reydams, Luc

Abstract

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda issued its last verdict in December 2012. This article examines whether the ICTR was doomed from the start to be a court of ‘victor’s justice.’ I explore the issue by re-examining the politics of the ICTR’s creation. Interviews with (former) US and UN ambassadors and hundreds of declassified diplomatic telegrams (‘cables’) and intelligence reports of the US Department of State shed new light on this process. My analysis concentrates on the strategy of the RPF vis-à-vis the international community and the responses of the United Nations and United States. In a previous publication, I claim that US leadership is a necessary (but not a sufficient) condition for successful international prosecutions. Building on that research, I argue that understanding the evolution of the relation between Washington and Kigali – from an early, almost accidental support of the RPF to nearly unconditional backing – can help explain RPF impunity. I do not suggest that Washington planned to shield Kagame from international prosecution, or that the US was the only Security Council member to embrace him. However, once Washington entered into a partnership with the ‘new’ Rwanda, it was committed to moving forward – and this implied burying the past and oftentimes also ignoring the present. The result was victor’s justice in Arusha – and seemingly endless war in neighboring Congo.

Suggested Citation

  • Reydams, Luc, 2013. "Let’s be friends: the United States, post-genocide Rwanda, and victor’s justice in Arusha," IOB Discussion Papers 2013.01, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
  • Handle: RePEc:iob:dpaper:2013001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.uantwerpen.be/images/uantwerpen/container2143/files/Publications/DP/2013/01-Reydams.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rwanda; Unites States; ICTR; International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; justice;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iob:dpaper:2013001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Hans De Backer). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iobuabe.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.