Unravelling Atrocity: Between Transitional Justice and History in Rwanda and Sierra Leone

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


Historian and international law scholar Thijs Bouwknegt analyzes how transitional justice and history have taken quite different paths in the aftermaths of the Rwandan genocide and Sierra Leone civil war. Bouwknegt examines how legal findings relate to the production of knowledge and the construction of historiography in the context of mass atrocities in the two cases. The chapter is based on a close examination of the legal trials of Théoneste Bagosora and Charles Taylor. It details how prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) struggled to unveil the rationales behind the Rwandan genocide and civil war in Sierra Leone, and offers an understanding of how these discrepancies come about and impact the historical record.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenocide
Subtitle of host publicationNew Perspectives on Causes, Courses and Consequences
EditorsUgur Ungor
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
ISBN (Print)9789089645241
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2016

Publication series

NameNIOD Series on War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies
PublisherAmsterdam University Press


  • Genocide
  • Rwanda
  • Sierra Leone
  • International Justice
  • ICTR
  • SCSL


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