June 30, 2011
This report, Rwanda: Assessing Risks to Stability, is part of CSIS study series Stress Testing African States that examines the risks of instability in 10 African countries over the next decade: Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, and Uganda. The 10 papers are designed to be complementary but can also be read individually as self-standing country studies. The overview paper, Assessing Risks to Stability in Sub-Saharan Africa, draws on common themes and explains the methodology underpinning the research. An interview with this report's author can be found at Audio: Stress Testing Rwanda.
The project was commissioned by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). The papers in this study are not meant to offer hard and fast predictions about the future. While they sketch out some potential scenarios for the next 10 years, these efforts should be treated as thought experiments that look at how different dynamics might converge to create the conditions for instability. The intention is not to single out countries believed to be at risk of impending disaster and make judgments about how they will collapse. Few, if any, of the countries in this series are at imminent risk of breakdown. All of them have coping mechanisms that militate against conflict, and discussions of potential “worst-case scenarios” have to be viewed with this qualification in mind.
“Commissioned by the US Africom, the report highlights the deficit of open space policy as a source of destabilization of a country that has not yet seen the end of the tunnel from the politico-ethnic trauma of 1994.” –Editions Sources du Nil
“With this study key points in mind, there are some of the scenarios which are highlighted and could become reality in the coming years.” –The Rising Continent