John Burton Kegel

University of Kent

Thesis title: The History of the Rwandan Civil War: 1990–1994.

My BA dissertation (‘The Road to Genocide: A Short Military History of the Rwandan Civil War’, University of Kent, 2014) revealed a significant gap in the otherwise sprawling literature on the Rwandan genocide of 1994. While much has been written about the social and political dimensions of the genocide, its immediate context – the four-year-long civil war which predated it and ushered it in – has remained almost wholly unexplored.

Writing in 2000, Rwandan experts David and Catharine Newbury pointed to the urgent need to reverse recent accounts of the genocide. “Instead of seeing history exclusively through the genocide ... one can only understand the genocide through an understanding of Rwanda’s history.”  The Newburys’ plea to historians remains valid fifteen years later. This project seeks to take up their call.

The second overarching aim of the project is to make a contribution to the study of armed conflicts in modern Africa. Despite the efforts of a few committed military historians,  conflicts in Africa still fail to elicit anywhere near the same amount of scholarly attention as wars in, or closer to, Europe.

Supervised by Dr Giacomo Macola, Dr Andy Cohen.

Research Interests

African History, Military History