What is it about?
Ten interviews to pairs of victims of the Rwandan genocide and their aggressors who had participated in a reconciliation-oriented psychosocial intervention.
Photo by Ricardo Fontes Mendes on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Some of the relevant elements of the forgiveness process were truth and listening to each other, overcoming the initial emotional reactions of fear or anger through empathy and altruism, committing to the process, and holding into forgiveness experienced.
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This page is a summary of: Reconciling the irreconcilable: The role of forgiveness after the Rwandan genocide., Peace and Conflict Journal of Peace Psychology, November 2019, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/pac0000432.
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How can it be possible? Psychological processes of reconciliation after the genocide in Rwanda
Almost 25 years after the extreme cruelty and violence that occurred in Rwanda during the genocide of 1994, the perpetrators and victims live together as neighbors. Psychology is of extraordinary value in explaining both the horror and its overcoming. We cannot explain the processes of interpersonal or national reconciliation without first understanding the dynamics of conflict in general, and of the Rwandan conflict in particular. Before, during and after any violent conflict, emotional, cognitive and behavioral processes take place, affecting those involved and making them capable of the best and the worst. This is the objective of this article: to understand the psychological processes that lead to violent conflict and to analyze the conditions for reconstruction, and personal and social reconciliation, focused on the case of Rwanda, one of the most relevant scenarios for studying violence and the overcoming of it.
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