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Rwanda/Burundi: 'Uni-ethnic' Dominance and the Cycle of Armed Ethnic Formations

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The paper underlines the essentially military organizational dim ensions to the cycles of violent ethnic conflicts that have been plaguing Rw anda and Burundi. The argument is that the two armed formations now competing for territorial control and dom inance in both states, namely the Tutsi-controlled army at home and the Hutu 'refugee-warriors' from without, as indeed those before them (meaning the Hutucontrolled army at home and the Tutsi 'refugee-warriors' from without in the case of Rwanda between 1959 and 1994), have their tap-roots in the 'uni-ethnic' structure of military dominance inherited from colonialism . The logic of that structure's operations could not have produced consequences other than the very tragic ones which all the world now associates with these two cases. It is submitted that a new state military formation composed of both Hutu and Tutsi members in adequate numbers and proportions at command level as well as rank and file (that is, extending current arrangements for power-sharing at the political level to the military organizational sphere) is a necessary condition for breaking out of the vicious violence.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1996

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