A Sociohistorical Analysis of the Interahamwe Militia
Advisor: Ken MacLean
Avery’s dissertation project, A Sociohistorical Analysis of the Interahamwe Militia, uses the ‘Interahamwe’ militia in Rwanda as a case study to explore how and why militias emerge and evolve in modern genocidal cases. She examines the micro-dynamics that shaped the formation, organization, and evolution of the Interahamwe as well as the mindset of the perpetrators who participated in their murderous activities. Her study highlights how patriotism and social obligation, as longstanding and defining values deeply embedded in Rwandan culture, were central in influencing young Rwandans who joined the Interahamwe militia. Through a combination of archival data and open-ended interviews with former perpetrators, Avery’s research expands our historical understanding of the preparation and execution of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. By comprehending the emergence of the Interahamwe militia, not only can lessons be drawn on how to regulate and prevent similar organizations from proliferating in other potential cases of genocide, but also mitigate the very real harm that remnants of the Interahamwe are still perpetrating in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
- B.A., International Relations and French, Eckerd College, (St. Petersburg, FL), 2013
- M.S., Global Affairs (concentrating in human rights and international law), New York University, 2016)
- Albert M.Tapper Fellow for Graduate Studies in Holocaust History, 2017-2021