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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rethinking political rhetoric and authority during Rwanda's First and Second Republics
Author:Desrosiers, Marie Eve
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Rwanda
Subjects:political terminology
heads of State
political history
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972014000023
Abstract:Drawing on a survey of transcribed public speeches in French and Kinyarwanda by Presidents Kayibanda and Habyarimana, as well as on Mouvement démocratique républicain-Parmehutu (MDR-Parmehutu, First Republic) and Mouvement révolutionnaire national pour le développement (MRND, Second Republic) manifestos for the period under study, this article examines and reassesses the political rhetoric deployed in pre-genocide Rwanda (First and Second Republics, 1961-1994). The article contends that the First and Second Republics' rhetoric was not as ethnocentric as often contended. It argues instead that this rhetoric, cautious and moderate, should be understood as part of regime resilience strategies. Born of questionable origins, the two regimes faced recurrent instability and only imposed their authority questionably on segments of the Rwandan population. Unlike ethnocentric rhetoric calling upon limited ethnic affinities, moderate rhetoric was meant to 'persuade' and 'pre-empt', in other words extend support for regimes that were uncertain of their grounding. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]