No issue has riveted international attention on and to the African continent over the past five years than the genocides in Burundi, Congo (Kinshasa), and Rwanda. As we struggled first as college teachers and then as the new editors of the ASR to come to terms with and then to explain these horrific events, we determined to inaugurate our tenure as editors with a series of essays that provide an in-depth analysis of the warfare and genocides in the Great Lakes region. To that end, we commissioned five essays, each providing a different optic for comprehending what has occurred there.
The editorial work for this collection was largely complete by November 1997, and the subsequent delay in getting the text to the printer and on to subscribers may fairly be attributed both to the move of the African Studies Association from Emory University in Atlanta to Rutgers University in New Brunswick as well as to substantial changes in the way the journal is edited and produced. In the interim, several other essays have appeared in sister journals on this same topic, and rather than being disheartened at being scooped, we welcome this broad participation by scholars, activists, and editors.