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Detecting Hidden Violence: The Spatial Distribution of Excess Mortality in Rwanda

  • Marijke verpoorten

Rwanda experienced several forms of internal violence, including civil war,genocide, reprisal killings and (counter-)insurgency. While these events all occurred in 1990-1998, their geographic location within Rwanda differred, with the genocide especially severe in the South of the country, the civil war and reprisal killings mostly taking place in the North and East, and the (counter-)insurgency concentrated in the Northwest. In order to assess the relative impact of the different forms of violence, this article derives a detailed spatial pattern of excess mortality from the population census. In line with previous evidence on the death toll of armed conflict in Rwanda, we find significant high-high excess mortality clusters in the southern province of Butare, in and around Kigali City, and in the eastern province Kibungo. Furthermore, we present the first quantitative evidence to date of high excess mortality in the northwestern porvince Gisenyi, indicating that the 1995-1998 (counter-)insurgency inflicted a much higher death toll on the population than presently acknowledged by the Rwandan government, the UN and large western donors.

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Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 25410.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:25410
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  1. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4553018, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Jorge Restrepo & Michael Spagat & Juan F. Vargas, 2004. "The Severity of the Colombian Conflict: Cross-Country Datasets versus New Micro Data," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 04/23, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Sep 2004.
  3. Andre, Catherine & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1998. "Land relations under unbearable stress: Rwanda caught in the Malthusian trap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-47, January.
  4. Marijke Verpoorten & Lode Berlage, 2007. "Economic Mobility in Rural Rwanda: A Study of the Effects of War and Genocide at the Household Level," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(3), pages 349-392, June.
  5. Li, Baibing & Martin, Elaine B. & Morris, A. Julian, 2002. "On principal component analysis in L1," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 471-474, September.
  6. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Income distribution, political instability, and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
  7. Marijke Verpoorten, 2005. "The Death Toll of the Rwandan Genocide: A Detailed Analysis for Gikongoro Province," Population (english edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 60(4), pages 331-367.
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