Reflecting on Determinant Factors of Violence in Light of the Governments' Access to Resources, Vested Political Interests and Ethno-religious Identities in the Rwandan Genocide After 25 Years




Access to Resources, Ethnoreligious Identities, Rwanda, Sustainable Peace and Development, Triggers of Violence, Vested Political Interests


The research sought to know the primary determinant factors of violence in light of the governments' access to resources and vested political interests on the one hand and ethno-religious identities on the other in the context of the Rwandan Genocide.  The Instrumentalism Theory of Ethnicity guided the research. The research used a qualitative research design within the phenomenological approach. A non-probability snowball sampling technique was used.  The data collection method was interviews; hence, the data collection instruments were interview guides. A total of ten participants from the Republic of Rwanda participated in the interviews. Thematic data analysis was used to arrive at the research result. The research findings pointed to the determinant factors of violence linked to colonial powers, governments and ethnoreligious identities. The political interests and the resource issues of the governments are stronger determinants of violence than the ethnoreligious identities. This means that religion, ethnicity, and other cultural grievances remained secondary or instrumental factors that the external and internal governments utilised in the history of Rwanda. In addition, the research found that religion and ethnicity are important agents in exacerbating conflict and building peace and social transformation in the aftermath of conflicts. They bring the warring parties into reconciliation, healing, and enhancing peace. Therefore, the research findings concluded that the lack of natural resources, Rwanda being a land-locked country, and overpopulation of the geographical space exposed the people of Rwanda to virtual poverty. This socio-economic reality exacerbated the government's desperate search for access to meagre resources by external and internal political and ethnic authorities. Hence, the primary cause of the genocide was the desperate search for resources and political manoeuvres to secure them by holding on to power at any cost. The article recommends that all the stakeholders of Rwanda's peace and development must stand shoulder to shoulder to reduce poverty and create good governance.

Author Biography

Dr. Kifle Wansamo Wakayo, Hekima Colleage, Kenya

Dr. Kifle is An Ethiopian Jesuit Catholic priest and a Lecturer at Hekima College in Nairobi 


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How to Cite

Weldu, A., & Wakayo, K. (2024). Reflecting on Determinant Factors of Violence in Light of the Governments’ Access to Resources, Vested Political Interests and Ethno-religious Identities in the Rwandan Genocide After 25 Years. African Journal of Empirical Research, 5(2), 608–619.