Does Identification With Rwanda Increase Reconciliation Sentiments Between Genocide Survivors and Non-Victims? The Mediating Roles of Perceived Intergroup Similarity and Self-Esteem During Commemorations


  • Clémentine Kanazayire
  • Laurent Licata
  • Patricia Mélotte
  • Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu
  • Assaad E. Azzi


A questionnaire survey (N = 247) investigated the influence of identification with the Rwandan nation on reconciliation sentiments between members of the survivor and of the non-victim groups of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Results showed that, whereas the two groups did not differ in their level of identification with the nation, members of the non-victim group were more willing to reconcile than members of the survivor group. Perceived intergroup similarity mediated the effect of national identification on reconciliation sentiment for both groups, but this effect was stronger among non-victims. Finally, self-esteem during commemorations also mediated this effect, but only among non-victims. We discuss the importance of people’s motivation to reconcile with out-group members in post-genocidal contexts in light of the common in-group identity model (Gaertner & Dovidio, 2000) as well as the needs-based model of intergroup reconciliation (Nadler & Schnabel, 2008).