LEGAL BASIS OF GENOCIDAL PRACTICE IN TRADITIONAL RWANDA (15th - 20th centuries)
Abstract. Some people wonder why Rwanda experienced an atrocious genocide in 1994. The main reason is that Rwanda is traditionally a destructive, destructive and violent society prone to the tradition of exterminator. It constitutes a society dominated by physical, psychological and structural violence. The specter of conflicting relationships runs through Rwandan culture and anyone who does not understand its nuances commits errors in value judgments believing that they are operating according to Western logic. The culmination of this violence is the practice of extermination (gutsembatsemba). The latter is tightly tied around a politico-legal architecture carefully designed by the ruling class. Thus the esoteric code, traditional criminal law, traditional military law, war poetry, dynastic poetry and the panegyric system are the basis of the genocidal tradition in pre-colonial Rwanda. This study therefore constitutes an analysis of the legal basis of the practice of genocide in pre-colonial and modern Rwanda.
Keywords: genocidal practice, exterminating, esoteric code, war of domination, code of political institutions, structural violence, emasculating, traditional penal law; traditional military law, war poetry, dynastic poetry, trophies, armed incursion, official expedition.