Saggi di Dodis

Saggi di Dodis 3 (2021/5)

Chantal Marquart

Zwischen ethnischen «Säuberungen» und einem Militärputsch: Warum die Entsendung von Schweizer Präsidentenberatern nach Ruanda 1973 in Kritik geriet

Shortly  after  its  independence  in  1962,  Rwanda  became  a  priority  country  for  Swiss  development  aid.  In  addition   to   conventional   development   policy   cooperation, Switzerland also sent diplomats to serve the Rwandan president  as  economic  and  legal  advisors.  In  1973,  Rwanda  experienced  ethnic  «cleansing»  as  well  as  a  military  coup.  In  1975, Switzerland stopped sending presidential advisors to Rwanda. This article traces how the deployment of presidential advisors, internally described as a prestige project, came to  an  end.  It  is  shown  that  this  decision  was  not  only  met  because of  financial and personnel limitations, but out of the fear that Switzerland could be accused of being too close to  the  Rwandan  military  regime.  In  contrast,  humanitarian  considerations, which would also have been expected based on the events, seem to have played a less important role.