Quiet Insecurity and Quiet Agency in Post-Genocide Rwanda
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Grant, A. (2015). Quiet Insecurity and Quiet Agency in Post-Genocide Rwanda. Etnofoor https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.27540
Security is frequently on the minds and lips of Rwandans, both state officials and ordinary citizens alike. ‘Rwanda has top security [umutekano]’, friends and informants often told me during my fieldwork, their statements tinged with an understandable amount of pride given the country’s remarkable reconstruction since the 1994 genocide. Rwanda’s ‘top’ security, which took the form of safe streets and low levels of crime, was usually extolled in contrast to the pervasive insecurity in the region: Rwanda had security, while Rwanda’s neighbours – particularly the DRC and, more recently, Burundi – did not. The country’s extensive post-genocide security apparatus was part of everyday life. One thought nothing of seeing armed military patrols on Kigali’s streets, or receiving text messages from the police. I received one such message in September 2011, first in Kinyarwanda, then in English: ‘Polisi y’igihugu iributasa ko kuvugira kuri telefoni cg kohereza SMS utwaye Ikinyabiziga bihanwanitegeko. Kutubahiriza zebra crossing na byo birahanwa’. (‘RNP [Rwanda National Police] reminds you that talking and texting on phone while driving is a traffic offence. Disregarding zebra crossing also attracts punishments’.) The most pressing security threat the country faced at the time, the message intimated, was reckless driving.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.27540
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/280172