In Memory of Peacekeepers: Belgian Blue Helmets and Belgian Politics

Wouter Reggers*, Valérie Rosoux, David Mwambari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the interactions between the memories of Belgian peacekeepers killed in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the weight of the colonial past, and the Belgian foreign policy. Using interviews with Belgian politicians and diplomats, families of peacekeepers, former blue helmets, as well as a corpus of official speeches, this article finds that the memorialization of blue helmets has influenced Belgian political choices on three levels, namely: domestic politics, its bilateral relationship with Rwanda, and more broadly its position in international peacekeeping. In doing so, this article contributes to interdisciplinary debates on the role of collective memory in domestic and international politics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-281
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Peacekeeping
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Belgium
  • Collective memory
  • colonization
  • foreign policy
  • peacekeepers
  • Rwanda
  • UN peacekeeping


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