Black - Chapter 09
In mid-November 1996, after two years in exile, half a million refugees
left eastern Zaire to return to Rwanda. Though sudden in some respects,
this mass exodus in reverse followed a series of coordinated manoeuvres
involving the strategic deployment of troops and aid. The return was
planned and forecast, yet many questions surrounding the 'liberation'
of the refugees remained, among them the thorny issue of whether the
return had been voluntary. In view of the subtle changes that appeared
in the international discourse at the time - in which terms like
'organised repatriation' and 'self-repatriation' came to be used - it
is necessary to probe the mechanism that triggered the repatriation.
Had refugees returned voluntarily or because of international
collusion, or because of an extraordinary coincidence of extraordinary