Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

Bruce Dayton


The 1994 genocide against Tutsi that befell Rwanda was one of its kind in the twentieth century. Consequently, Rwanda was politically, socially and economically destroyed. Efforts to reconstruct the country would not unfold without conflict transformation strategies to ensure future sustainable peace and social cohesion. The present study seeks to understand how a cross section of Rwandan citizens has understood and evaluated the impacts of Gacaca (a traditional court) and Ndi Umunyarwanda (literally meaning I am a Rwandan) conflict transformation mechanisms among others that were used. It was established that these mechanisms were initiated at the central level and public awareness campaigns carried out to involve all citizens in implementation for sustainability and proper transformation. Therefore, little ownership of Gacaca and Ndi Umunyarwanda especially in their inceptions was revealed yet the mechanisms were appreciated as the foundation of unity and reconciliation of Rwandans after the genocide. Though the findings proved good outcomes like facilitation of trials, reconciliatory justice and removal of ethnicity from identity cards that was humiliating some Rwandans, conflict transformation in Rwanda has gone through a daunting process as the same findings suggest. Lack of trust in the Government transformation initiatives, mutual exclusion by both genocide survivors and perpetrators were the major challenges to the process. Findings revealed that Gacaca and Ndi Umunyarwanda were based on Rwanda’s context, tradition and values which were regarded as pillars in support of these mechanisms despite challenges. For a sustainable conflict transformation in Rwanda, findings suggested bottom-up approaches and Rwanda’s perspective to focus on the youth and going beyond the territory. Findings also supported the build-up of critical thinking of Rwandans.


Arts and Humanities