Thursday, June 17, 2010

Looking to the future, remembering the past

I get the feeling the underlying message Patrick Karuretwa seems to want to get across in his article "Not up for debate: Rwanda cannot excuse Peter Erlinder's genocide denial" is that debate on Rwanda's history jeopardizes Rwanda's achievements today:
"They will not manage to derail a country that in less than two decades has moved from the verge of disintegration to becoming a regional model in areas as critical and wide-ranging as healthcare, anti-corruption, environmental policies, business climate, contribution to peacekeeping, women empowerment, access to education, etc. All they will achieve is to make Rwandans - and, indeed, all Africans - stronger, wiser, and more assertive in their claim for fairness and respect."

In other words, even if the RPF committed these crimes, let's not talk about them, it might destabilize Rwanda and it's achievements today. Alan J. Kuperman, who recently weighed in on the Erlinder case , offers an alternative prescription:
"golden parachutes for departing authoritarian leaders in cases in which forgiving past crimes is the price of preventing future ones."

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