Event Title

Self Image and Conflict: A Case Study of Banyarwanda Refugees in Uganda 1959-1994

Start Date

13-1-2012 9:00 AM

End Date

13-1-2012 10:30 AM

Description

We propose to use the case of Banyarwanda refugees in Uganda, who fled the after mirth of the 1959 conflicts in Rwanda, to argue that refugees can on their own-without any external influence, cause conflict. This is against a generally held view that refugees are only victims of oppression, and only cause conflict as a result of being pressured into it by other circumstances. Our argument is hinged on the thinking that a remembered past can be an inspiration for conflict, just like it can be an inspiration for conflict resolution and management. This discussion will emphasize the latter. An important aspect that will guide our argument is what these refugees thought of themselves before and during their time in exile i.e. self perception or self image, which we will argue, determined their politics and course of action that eventually led to the 1993/94 conflict and genocide in Rwanda. Self image was part of their politics/thinking, and this is best explained in the general framework of the concept of power-possession. Self image is here taken to be the mental picture, generally of a kind that is quite resistant to change, that depicts not only details that are potentially available to objective investigation by others. It also involves items that have been learned by a person about him/herself, either from personal experience or by internalizing the judgment of others. As is usually said, what one thinks determines what he/she is; what one is, is what he/she thinks. S. P Varma (Modern Political Theory, 2005), explains the concept of power, and for our purposes, shows how this fits in with the concept of self image of the Banyarwanda refugees in Uganda. Our investigation will be done in the general theoretical framework of the above concept of power, which will reveal the self image of these refugees and other actions they took while in Uganda until these actions actualized into a conflict that saw them eventually ‘retake’ power in Rwanda after the genocide. Our investigation will want to show that indeed it is this belief in power and what they thought of themselves that guided Banyarwanda Tutsi politics in Uganda, and eventually led them into a conflict that saw them get this power, and the reinstating of Tutsi power dominance in Rwanda. They never wanted to nor lived as refugees, but as a people who had an agenda to fulfill; this determined refugee politics. Apart from S. P Varma’s Modern Political Theory, 2005-a variety of literature on History and Politics of Rwanda will be consulted.

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Jan 13th, 9:00 AM Jan 13th, 10:30 AM

Self Image and Conflict: A Case Study of Banyarwanda Refugees in Uganda 1959-1994

We propose to use the case of Banyarwanda refugees in Uganda, who fled the after mirth of the 1959 conflicts in Rwanda, to argue that refugees can on their own-without any external influence, cause conflict. This is against a generally held view that refugees are only victims of oppression, and only cause conflict as a result of being pressured into it by other circumstances. Our argument is hinged on the thinking that a remembered past can be an inspiration for conflict, just like it can be an inspiration for conflict resolution and management. This discussion will emphasize the latter. An important aspect that will guide our argument is what these refugees thought of themselves before and during their time in exile i.e. self perception or self image, which we will argue, determined their politics and course of action that eventually led to the 1993/94 conflict and genocide in Rwanda. Self image was part of their politics/thinking, and this is best explained in the general framework of the concept of power-possession. Self image is here taken to be the mental picture, generally of a kind that is quite resistant to change, that depicts not only details that are potentially available to objective investigation by others. It also involves items that have been learned by a person about him/herself, either from personal experience or by internalizing the judgment of others. As is usually said, what one thinks determines what he/she is; what one is, is what he/she thinks. S. P Varma (Modern Political Theory, 2005), explains the concept of power, and for our purposes, shows how this fits in with the concept of self image of the Banyarwanda refugees in Uganda. Our investigation will be done in the general theoretical framework of the above concept of power, which will reveal the self image of these refugees and other actions they took while in Uganda until these actions actualized into a conflict that saw them eventually ‘retake’ power in Rwanda after the genocide. Our investigation will want to show that indeed it is this belief in power and what they thought of themselves that guided Banyarwanda Tutsi politics in Uganda, and eventually led them into a conflict that saw them get this power, and the reinstating of Tutsi power dominance in Rwanda. They never wanted to nor lived as refugees, but as a people who had an agenda to fulfill; this determined refugee politics. Apart from S. P Varma’s Modern Political Theory, 2005-a variety of literature on History and Politics of Rwanda will be consulted.