In recent times, a debate of sorts appears to be raging as to what actually constitutes genocide. Is it the actual deliberated decimation of an identified and distinct national, racial, ethnic or cultural stock, or an attempted exercise in that direction? Within the general period of this analysis one may be tempted to argue that a scenario of genocide played out in the two African countries in focus here. Our intention therefore is to determine whether or not what happened in Rwanda between 1959 and 1994, and in Nigeria between 1967 and 1970 could be described as genocide. We further seek to determine the unique fea tures of both societies, if any, that exacerbated and or deterred the atrocious bedlam of genocide using the social theoretical model of instrumentalism, constructivism and premodialism as benchmarks of analysis of ethnic-induced conflicts in Africa. Relying on extant literature, some parliamentary proceedings and informed observation, the work adopts a historical narrative and employs a thematic and chronological approach for a descriptive and analytical interpretation of data.
Keywords: Genocide, Rwanda, Nigeria, Tutsi, Igbo, Instrumentalism, Constructivism, Primodialism