By David Rawson
“In lucid prose, Rawson weaves an informative, readable story of the complicated diplomatic efforts leading to the Arusha Accords of 1993. Drawing on vast documentation as well as his personal knowledge of the context, he provides a valuable perspective on the challenges—and ultimate failure—of the efforts to achieve peace. This thoughtful work adds important insights to our understanding of the road to ruin in Rwanda.”
Catharine Newbury, author of The Cohesion of Oppression
“Rawson puts the bottom line up front––Arusha failed because the parties to the talks were seeking power, not peace....This book is the definitive work on the Arusha talks and the most detailed and best-documented account of a diplomatic negotiation that I know of.”
Robert E. Gribbin III, former U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda and author of In the Aftermath of Genocide: The U.S. Role in Rwanda
As the initial US observer, David Rawson participated in 1993 Rwandan peace talks at Arusha, Tanzania. Later, he served as US ambassador to Rwanda during the last months of the doomed effort to make them hold. Despite the intervention of concerned states in establishing a peace process and the presence of an international mission, UNAMIR, the promise of the Arusha Peace Accords could not be realized. Instead, the downing of Rwandan president Habyarimana’s plane in April 1994 rekindled the civil war and opened the door to genocide.
In Prelude to Genocide, Rawson draws on declassified documents and his own experiences to seek out what went wrong. How did the course of political negotiations in Arusha and party wrangling in Kigali, Rwanda, bring to naught a concentrated international effort to establish peace? And what lessons are there for other international humanitarian interventions? The result is a commanding blend of diplomatic history and analysis that is a milestone read on the Rwandan crisis and on what happens when conflict resolution and diplomacy fall short.
Published in partnership with the ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Series
David Rawson capped his twenty-eight-year career in the US Foreign Service as ambassador to Rwanda (1993–95) and to Mali (1996–99). Since his retirement from the Foreign Service, he has been a professor of political economy at Spring Arbor University and a distinguished visiting professor of politics at Hillsdale College, both near his home on the family farm in Michigan.
Save 20% ($28)
Save 20% ($52)
This book is not yet available for desk or examination copy requests. Please check back soon.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
The horrific tragedies of Central Africa in the 1990s riveted the attention of the world. But these crises did not occur in a historical vacuum. By peering through the mists of the past, the case studies presented in The Land Beyond the Mists illustrate the significant advances to have taken place since decolonization in our understanding of the pre-colonial histories of Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern Congo.
Judith M. Heimann entered the diplomatic life in 1958 to join her husband, John, in Jakarta, Indonesia, at his American Embassy post. This, her first time out of the United States, would set her on a path across the continents as she mastered the fine points of diplomatic culture. She did so first as a spouse, then as a diplomat herself, thus becoming part of one of the Foreign Service’s first tandem couples.
In 1998 David Kruiper, the leader of the ‡Khomani San who today live in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, lamented, “We have been made into nothing.” His comment applies equally to the fate of all the hunter-gatherer societies of the Cape Colony who were destroyed by the impact of European colonialism. Until relatively recently, the extermination of the Cape San peoples has been treated as little more than a footnote to South African narratives of colonial conquest.