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Post-genocide Identity Politics in Rwanda and Bosnia and Herzegovina and their Compatibility with International Human Rights Law

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image of International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

Rwanda and Bosnia and Herzegovina were scenarios of large-scale violence throughout the 1990s, substantiated by the manipulation of public and private discourses that denied diversity. After the conflicts, the states were faced with the challenge of addressing not only the consequences of the conflicts but also the constructed narratives behind them. In the two cases, public policies were implemented to elude further violence and strengthen a peaceful and long-term coexistence. Whether based on the rejection of ethnic identity or on the preservation of ethnic and national divides, both countries adopted policies that undermine basic rights and ignore sections of society excluded from official versions of history. Victimization is still a tool for political interests and remains present in public discourses. Irrespective of governmental policies that intend to surpass ancient animosities, divisionism is still present and underpins politics, religion, and social life in Rwanda and in Bosnia.

Affiliations: 1: University of Oxford, UK,


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