Young men at a roadblock check crossers’ scruffy papers. ‘Your ID’, yells a youngster. ‘I am not a Tutsi’, ripostes a woman with a baby on her back. ‘Have you seen your nose?’, demands a boy. Seconds later, a gang batters the lady to the ground, with machetes and sticks, because ‘she is a Tutsi warrior’. The next scene in Netflix’s ‘The World’s Most Wanted’ displays an avenue littered with corpses. Episode two of the series, about Rwandan businessman Félicien Kabuga, explains the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda in the naivest terms: ‘It began when members of the Hutu tribe began slaughtering members of the minority Tutsi tribe’. Arrested in May 2020, Kabuga may be the last alleged génocidaire to be tried before a United Nations tribunal. But his criminal trial on charges of controlling a radio station that promoted Hutu Power ideology, and creating and supporting Interahamwe death squads will not clarify how and why Rwandans participated in mass killing. Fortunately, Omar McDoom’s ‘Path to genocide’ comprehensively shows how and why the conditions for popular violence arose.
|E-pub ahead of print - 27 May 2021