Defeat Is the Only Bad News: Rwanda under Musinga, 1896-1931 by Alison Des Forges, David Newbury, Roger Des Forges PDF

By Alison Des Forges, David Newbury, Roger Des Forges

ISBN-10: 0299281442

ISBN-13: 9780299281441

A Rwandan proverb says “Defeat is the single undesirable news.” For Rwandans dwelling lower than colonial rule, profitable referred to as not just for armed disagreement, but in addition for a conflict of wits—and not just with foreigners, but in addition with one another. In Defeat Is the single undesirable News Alison Des Forges recounts the goals, concepts, and intrigues of an African royal court docket less than Yuhi Musinga, the Rwandan ruler from 1896 to 1931. those have been turbulent years for Rwanda, whilst first Germany after which Belgium pursued an competitive plan of colonization there. on the time of the Europeans’ arrival, Rwanda used to be additionally engaged in a succession dispute after the loss of life of 1 of its most famed kings. in contrast backdrop, the Rwandan court docket grew to become the degree for a drama of Shakespearean proportions, jam-packed with deceit, intelligent calculation, ruthless betrayal, and infrequently murder.

            Historians who research ecu growth usually concentrate on interactions among colonizers and colonized; they infrequently attend to kinfolk one of the diverse factions inhabiting occupied lands. Des Forges, drawing on oral histories and large archival learn, finds how divisions between various teams in Rwanda formed their responses to colonial governments, missionaries, and investors. Rwandans, she indicates, used eu assets to increase their strength, while they sought to maintain the autonomy of the royal courtroom. Europeans, for his or her half, seized on inner divisions to develop their very own ambitions. Des Forges’s vividly narrated historical past, meticulously edited and brought by means of David Newbury, offers a deep context for figuring out the Rwandan civil warfare a century later.

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Extra resources for Defeat Is the Only Bad News: Rwanda under Musinga, 1896-1931

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This was especially true from the mid-eighteenth centur y, when the Rwandan king Cyilima Rujugira, beset by serious militar y challenges, reorganized the militar y str uctures of the state, establishing permanent standing armies (ngabo) on its borders. 2 From these “social armies,” which included many people attached to them as por ters and as providers of food, there developed three attributes that characterized the Nyiginya kingdom. The fir st was the expansion of the state itself, as these armies allowed the Cour t to extend its influence to new areas.

On his death many such areas regained their autonomy; they were par t of Rwanda only while force made it possible. Nonetheless Rwabugiri’s expeditions could have a significant effect on regional politics. In Kinyaga, in the southwest, and in some areas of the west of presentday Rwanda, for example, occupation by Cour t personnel was sufficiently enduring to establish a Cour t delegate as a powerful local presence, to restructure local clientship relations, and to put in place administration structures that endured after the king’s death.

The continued expansion of the kingdom in the early nineteenth centur y brought new developments, as conquest also implicated administrative norms. In the central areas of the kingdom, by the ear ly nineteenth centur y a series of over lapping authority str uctures had developed, which applied to lineage 8 A Tumultuous Transition affiliation, to land, and to pasture (for cattle). For a given district, distinct delegated Cour t officials were assigned to each domain. Batware, or iginally ar my leader s, were increasingly assigned administrative powers over specific lineages, including militar y conscription and taxation (ikoro) in the form of cattle payments, agricultural produce, or luxur y items such as mats of special reeds, woven fiber anklet/ bracelets, or rare animal skins.

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Defeat Is the Only Bad News: Rwanda under Musinga, 1896-1931 by Alison Des Forges, David Newbury, Roger Des Forges

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