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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Obedience and selective genocide in Burundi
Author:Russell, Aidan
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Burundi
Subjects:political violence
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972015000273
Abstract:Following a localized Hutu uprising in 1972, the Tutsi-dominated state in Burundi embarked on a vast series of reprisals across the country, leaving between 100,000 and 300,000 dead. Prominent political leaders were liquidated, Hutu who were able or learning to read were arrested, and many who had achieved any marginal level of exceptionality in economic success or other social achievement were accused of treason and murdered. Described as a 'selective genocide', the means of this violence proved deeply informative of its nature and of the experience of those caught up in the bloodshed. In the northern province of Ngozi, selection was managed through roadblocks and lists of names, creating the inescapable image of a totalitarian and bureaucratic state order. These methods fuelled a strong reaction of obedience, both among the youth and other agents of the state who took part in the arrests, and among the victims, who are commonly described as reacting with 'docility' to the violence. A matter of 'law-making violence', the selective means of the genocide shaped the political and social order that emerged from it, the 'implements' of genocide substantially contributing to the recognition of discrete ethnic communities among the population at large. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French [Journal abstract]