Rwanda Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Rwanda. Here they are! All 200 of them:

We got so much food in America we're allergic to food. Allergic to food! Hungry people ain't allergic to shit. You think anyone in Rwanda's got a fucking lactose intolerance?!
Chris Rock
I know there is a God because in Rwanda I shook hands with the devil. I have seen him, I have smelled him and I have touched him. I know the devil exists and therefore I know there is a God.
Roméo Dallaire (Shake Hands With The Devil)
I once spoke to someone who had survived the genocide in Rwanda, and she said to me that there was now nobody left on the face of the earth, either friend or relative, who knew who she was. No one who remembered her girlhood and her early mischief and family lore; no sibling or boon companion who could tease her about that first romance; no lover or pal with whom to reminisce. All her birthdays, exam results, illnesses, friendships, kinships—gone. She went on living, but with a tabula rasa as her diary and calendar and notebook. I think of this every time I hear of the callow ambition to 'make a new start' or to be 'born again': Do those who talk this way truly wish for the slate to be wiped? Genocide means not just mass killing, to the level of extermination, but mass obliteration to the verge of extinction. You wish to have one more reflection on what it is to have been made the object of a 'clean' sweep? Try Vladimir Nabokov's microcosmic miniature story 'Signs and Symbols,' which is about angst and misery in general but also succeeds in placing it in what might be termed a starkly individual perspective. The album of the distraught family contains a faded study of Aunt Rosa, a fussy, angular, wild-eyed old lady, who had lived in a tremulous world of bad news, bankruptcies, train accidents, cancerous growths—until the Germans put her to death, together with all the people she had worried about.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Paris Hilton is going on a goodwill mission to Rwanda. It’s the first time an entire Third World country will have to get immunizations for a visitor.
Chelsea Handler
In all my travels, I've never seen a country's population more determined to forgive, and to build and succeed than in Rwanda.
Rick Warren (The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones)
It is a great tool of dictators and tyrants, who want to get masses of people to do what they want, to make sure there are no libraries...The fact that there was no public library in Rwanda is one reason why genocide was possible.
Stephen Kinzer
We are all born and someday we’ll all die. Most likely to some degree alone.What if our aloneness isn’t a tragedy? What if our aloneness is what allows us to speak the truth without being afraid? What if our aloneness is what allows us to adventure – to experience the world as a dynamic presence – as a changeable, interactive thing? If I lived in Bosnia or Rwanda or who knows where else, needless death wouldn’t be a distant symbol to me, it wouldn’t be a metaphor, it would be a reality. And I have no right to this metaphor. But I use it to console myself. To give a fraction of meaning to something enormous and needless. This realization. This realization that I will live my life in this world where I have privileges. I can’t cool boiling waters in Russia. I can’t be Picasso. I can’t be Jesus. I can’t save the planet single-handedly. I can wash dishes.
Rachel Corrie
The perpetrators of genocides are usually men of the herd, men who follow orders without questioning them. Rwanda was no exception.
John Rucyahana (The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones)
The West's post-Holocaust pledge that genocide would never again be tolerated proved to be hollow, and for all the fine sentiments inspired by the memory of Auschwitz, the problem remains that denouncing evil is a far cry from doing good.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
We are preaching hope, standing on the bones of the past.
John Rucyahana (The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones)
What I learned in Rwanda was that God is not absent when great evil is unleashed. Whether that evil is man-made or helped along by darker forces, God is right there, saving those who respond to His urgings and trying to heal the rest.
James Riordan
...and my eyes no longer gaze the same on the face of the world.
Jean Hatzfeld (Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak)
Genocide, after all, is an exercise in community building.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
Peux ce que veux. Allons-y.
Roméo Dallaire (Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda)
There becomes little doubt as to why power chooses to support power. Rwanda becomes invisible once again. We have nothing America wants.
Terry Tempest Williams (Finding Beauty in a Broken World)
In Rwanda, one person's God is another person's Satan -Thérèse Nyirabayovu
Karl Maier (Into the House of the Ancestors: Inside the New Africa)
Killing Tutsis was a political tradition in postcolonial Rwanda; it brought people together.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
..each bloodletting hastens the next, and as the value of human life is degraded and violence becomes tolerated, the unimaginable becomes more conceivable.
Bill Clinton
(On the beginning of the mid-1990s' genocidal war in Rwanda:) Within six weeks, an estimated 800,000 Tutsi, representing about three-quarters of the Tutsi then remaining in Rwanda, or 11% of Rwanda's total population, had been killed.
Jared Diamond (Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed)
Maybe this is how it happened in Germany with the Nazis, in Bosnia with the Serbs, in Rwanda with the Hutus. I’ve often wondered about that, about how kids can turn into monsters, how they learn that killing is right and oppression is just, how in one single generation the world can change on its axis into a place that’s unrecognizable.
Christina Dalcher (Vox)
Rwanda will never ever leave me. It's in the pores of my body. My soul is in those hills, my spirit is with the spirits of all those people who were slaughtered and killed that I know of, and many that I didn't know. … Fifty to sixty thousand people walking in the rain and the mud to escape being killed, and seeing a person there beside the road dying. We saw lots of them dying. And lots of those eyes still haunt me, angry eyes or innocent eyes, no laughing eyes. But the worst eyes that haunt me are the eyes of those people who were totally bewildered. They're looking at me with my blue beret and they're saying, "What in the hell happened? We were moving towards peace. You were there as the guarantor" -- their interpretation -- "of the mandate. How come I'm dying here?" Those eyes dominated and they're absolutely right. How come I failed? How come my mission failed? How come as the commander who has the total responsibility-- We learn that, it's ingrained in us, because when we take responsibility it means the responsibility of life and death, of humans that we love.
Roméo Dallaire
As for the sanctimony of people who seem blind to the fact that mass murder is still an annual event, look at Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur, Tibet, Burma and elsewhere-the truer shout is not "Never again" but "Again and again.
Paul Theroux (Ghost Train to the Eastern Star)
My own parents and grandparents came to the United States as refugees from Nazism. They came with stories similar to Odette's ...
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
The truth is not believable to someone who has not lived it in his muscles.
Jean Hatzfeld (Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak)
I knew that to really minister to Rwanda's needs meant working toward reconciliation in the prisons, in the churches, and in the cities and villages throughout the country. It meant feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, caring for the young, but it also meant healing the wounded and forgiving the unforgivable. I knew I had to be committed to preaching a transforming message to the people of Rwanda. Jesus did not die for people to be religious. He died so that we might believe in Him and be transformed. I'm engaged in a purpose and strategy that Jesus came to Earth for. My life is set for that divine purpose in Jesus Christ. I was called to that--proclaiming the message of transformation through Jesus Christ.
John Rucyahana (The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones)
George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as 'evil.' Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. What the president should have done, in the unlikely event that he wanted the support of America's peace-mongers, was to describe a confrontation with Saddam as the 'lesser evil.' This is a term the Left can appreciate. Indeed, 'lesser evil' is part of the essential tactical rhetoric of today's Left, and has been deployed to excuse or overlook the sins of liberal Democrats, from President Clinton's bombing of Sudan to Madeleine Albright's veto of an international rescue for Rwanda when she was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Among those longing for nuance, moral relativism—the willingness to use the term evil, when combined with a willingness to make accommodations with it—is the smart thing: so much more sophisticated than 'cowboy' language.
Christopher Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left)
Like Leontius, the young Athenian in Plato, I presume that you are reading this because you desire a closer look, and that you, too, are properly disturbed by your curiosity. Perhaps, in examining this extremity with me, you hope for some understanding, some insight, some flicker of self-knowledge – a moral, or a lesson, or a clue about how to behave in this world: some such information. I don’t discount the possibility, but when it comes to genocide, you already know right from wrong. The best reason I have come up with for looking closely into Rwanda’s stories is that ignoring them makes me even more uncomfortable about existence and my place in it. The horror, the horror, interests me only insofar as a precise memory of the offense is necessary to understand its legacy.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
The last time I heard an orthodox Marxist statement that was music to my ears was from a member of the Rwanda Patriotic Front, during the mass slaughter in the country. 'The terms Hutu and Tutsi,' he said severely, 'are merely ideological constructs, describing different relationships to the means and mode of production.' But of course!
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Wherever God spends the day, He comes home to sleep in Rwanda.
Naomi Benaron (Running the Rift)
In Europe, his contacts apologized and said there was nothing they could do. They would keep trying, but no one was listening. Rwanda had no oil or strategic interest, no diamonds or gold.
Naomi Benaron
At the time of the liberation of the camps, I remember, we were convinced that after Auschwitz there would be no more wars, no more racism, no more hatred, no more anti-Semitism. We were wrong. This produced a feeling close to despair. For if Auschwitz could not cure mankind of racism, was there any chance of success ever? The fact is, the world has learned nothing. Otherwise, how is one to comprehend the atrocities committed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia…
Elie Wiesel (Open Heart)
Rwanda had presented the world with the most unambiguous case of genocide since Hitler’s war against the Jews, and the world sent blankets, beans, and bandages to camps controlled by the killers, apparently hoping that everybody would behave nicely in the future.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families)
Many signs point to the fact that the youth of the Third World will no longer tolerate living in circumstances that give them no hope for the future. From the young boys I met in the demobilization camps in Sierra Leone to the suicide bombers of Palestine and Chechnya, to the young terrorists who fly planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we can no longer afford to ignore them. We have to take concrete steps to remove the causes of their rage, or we have to be prepared to suffer the consequences.
Roméo Dallaire (Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda)
That is why it could happen anywhere, given the right ingredients: particular people in government, competing with others- or with each other- over natural and wealth-creating resources.
Clea Koff (The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo)
For most of my life, I would have automatically said that I would opt for conscientious objector status, and in general, I still would. But the spirit of the question is would I ever, and there are instances where I might. If immediate intervention would have circumvented the genocide in Rwanda or stopped the Janjaweed in Darfur, would I choose pacifism? Of course not. Scott Simon, the reporter for National Public Radio and a committed lifelong Quaker, has written that it took looking into mass graves in former Yugoslavia to convince him that force is sometimes the only option to deter our species' murderous impulses. While we're on the subject of the horrors of war, and humanity's most poisonous and least charitable attributes, let me not forget to mention Barbara Bush (that would be former First Lady and presidential mother as opposed to W's liquor-swilling, Girl Gone Wild, human ashtray of a daughter. I'm sorry, that's not fair. I've no idea if she smokes.) When the administration censored images of the flag-draped coffins of the young men and women being killed in Iraq - purportedly to respect "the privacy of the families" and not to minimize and cover up the true nature and consequences of the war - the family matriarch expressed her support for what was ultimately her son's decision by saying on Good Morning America on March 18, 2003, "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? I mean it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" Mrs. Bush is not getting any younger. When she eventually ceases to walk among us we will undoubtedly see photographs of her flag-draped coffin. Whatever obituaries that run will admiringly mention those wizened, dynastic loins of hers and praise her staunch refusal to color her hair or glamorize her image. But will they remember this particular statement of hers, this "Let them eat cake" for the twenty-first century? Unlikely, since it received far too little play and definitely insufficient outrage when she said it. So let us promise herewith to never forget her callous disregard for other parents' children while her own son was sending them to make the ultimate sacrifice, while asking of the rest of us little more than to promise to go shopping. Commit the quote to memory and say it whenever her name comes up. Remind others how she lacked even the bare minimum of human integrity, the most basic requirement of decency that says if you support a war, you should be willing, if not to join those nineteen-year-olds yourself, then at least, at the very least, to acknowledge that said war was actually going on. Stupid fucking cow.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
The Holocaust is an extremely important historical event humanity must learn from if it is to survive let alone achieve world peace. It’s not just a Jewish issue – it’s a human one. If more recent genocides in Rwanda, Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia are any guide, the lessons of Nazi Germany have not yet been learnt.
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
Countries rush to war thinking it is the quickest, easiest solution to conflict, only to find themselves still entrenched years later, suffering more losses than they expected and asking themselves, bewildered, "How did we get here?" There is no "winning" a war.
Joseph Sebarenzi (God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation)
Some things you know without ever being told. Other things you learn slowly. You learn them despite what you want to believe.
Joseph Sebarenzi (God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation)
I believe, in the years to come, America will look to Rwanda as a very bright light of hope: a country that has been restored by the healing hands of God., ,
Tracey Lawrence (My Father, Maker of the Trees: How I Survived the Rwandan Genocide)
Poverty is too complex to be answered with a one-size-fits-all approach, and if there is any place that illustrates that complexity, as well as a better way forward, it is Rwanda.
Jacqueline Novogratz (The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World)
So there is responsibility. I cry, you cry. We all come running, and the one that stays quiet, the one that stays home, must explain. Is he in league with the criminals? Is he a coward? And what would he exect when he cries? This is simple. This is normal. This is community.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda)
Nobody is asking you to forget," I said. "I'm asking you to remember those that you saved and to honour those you couldn't save. Giving up your life honours nobody, saves nobody. By living like this you're saying that life isn't precious. It is precious. Every life...including yours. Don't let Rwanda - don't let evil - claim one more victim. Don't let yourself be another casualty of Rwanda.
Eric Walters (Shattered)
Genocide, after all, is an exercise in community building...In 1994, Rwanda was regarded in much of the rest of the world as the exemplary instance of the chaos and anarchy associated with collapsed states. In fact, the genocide was the product of order, authoritarianism, decades of modern political theorizing and indoctrination, and one of the most meticulously admistered states in history.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
As far as the political, military, and economic interests of the world’s powers go, (Rwanda) might as well be Mars. In fact, Mars is probably of greater strategic concern. But Rwanda, unlike Mars, is populated by human beings, and when Rwanda had a genocide, the world’s powers left Rwanda to it.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
Today we are less likely to speak of humanitarianism, with its overtones of paternalistic generosity, and more likely to speak of human rights. The basic freedoms in life are not seen as gifts to be doled out by benevolent well-wishers, but as Casement said at his trial, as those rights to which all human beings are entitled from birth. It is this spirit which underlies organizations like Amnesty International, with its belief that putting someone in prison solely for his or her opinion is a crime, whether it happens in China or Turkey or Argentina and Medecins Sans Frontieres, with its belief that a sick child is entitled to medical care, whether in Rwanda or Honduras or the South Bronx.
Adam Hochschild (King Leopold's Ghost)
Because whatever has happened to humanity, whatever is currently happening to humanity, it is happening to all of us. No matter how hidden the cruelty, no matter how far off the screams of pain and terror, we live in one world. We are one people. My illness proved that. As well as my understanding that Generose's lost daughter belongs to all of us. It is up to all of us to find her; it is up to us to do our best to make her whole again. There is only one daughter, one father, one mother, one son, one aunt or uncle, one dog, one cat, donkey, monkey, or goat in the universe, after all: the one right in front of you.
Alice Walker (Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel)
{President] Kayibanda's government [in Rwanda] continued the persecution against the Tutsis and began to make use of the media it controlled to launch a propaganda campaign against us. In a country where more than half the people cannot read or write and very few have televisions, radio is the dominant media. The fact that some newspapers were still printing the truth didn't matter much to the part of the population that couldn't read. Most of the literate people were already politically aware. While an educated person might question what they read or hear from the media, the uneducated tend to accept it. The uneducated are more easily affected by threats and the emotional trauma that propaganda like this can create.
John Rucyahana (The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones)
Kiswahili ni lugha rasmi ya nchi za Tanzania, Kenya na Uganda. Ni lugha isiyo rasmi ya nchi za Rwanda, Burundi, Msumbiji na Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo. Lugha ya Kiswahili ni mali ya nchi za Afrika ya Mashariki, si mali ya nchi za Afrika Mashariki peke yake. Pia, Kiswahili ni lugha rasmi ya Umoja wa Afrika; pamoja na Kiarabu, Kiingereza, Kifaransa, Kireno na Kihispania. Kiswahili ni lugha inayozungumzwa zaidi nchini Tanzania kuliko nchi nyingine yoyote ile, duniani.
Enock Maregesi
Genocide, after all, is an exercise in community building. A vigorous totalitarian order requires that people be invested in the leaders' scheme, and while genocide may be the most perverse and ambitious means to this end, it is also the most comprehensive. In 1994, Rwanda was regarded in much of the rest of the world as the exemplary instance of the chaos and anarchy associated with collapsed states. In fact, the genocide was the product of order, authoritarianism, decades of modern political theorizing ans indoctrination, and one of the most meticulously administered states in history.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
Sure, they say, we may not live in a condition of perfect Goodness. But we’re lucky that we don’t live in a condition of Evil. Our democracy is not perfect. But it’s better than the bloody dictatorships. Capitalism is unjust. But it’s not criminal like Stalinism. We let millions of Africans die of AIDS, but we don’t make racist nationalist declarations like Milosevic. We kill Iraqis with our airplanes, but we don’t cut their throats with machetes like they do in Rwanda, etc.
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
Like the gazelle who doesn't know the rustle in the grass is a leopard, we didn't know what hit us until it was too late.
Joseph Sebarenzi (God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation)
Cuando yo es imposible para nosotros cambiar una situacion, el reto es cambiarnos a nosotros mismos.
Immaculée Ilibagiza (Sobrevivir Para Contarlo: Como descubri a Dios en medio del holocausto en Rwanda)
The Press and many members of Congress [in America] were sufficiently revolted by the administration's shameless evasions on Rwanda ... Meanwhile, the armored personnel carriers for an all-African intervention force sat on a runway in Germany
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
You see, each country has a colour, a smell, and also a contagious sickness. In my country the sickness is complacency. In France it's arrogance, and in the United States it's ignorance." "What about Rwanda?" "Easy power and impunity. Here, there's total disorder. To someone who has a little money or powere, everything that seems forbidden elsewhere looks permissible and possible. All it takes is to dare it. Someone who's simply a liar in my country can be a fraud artist here, and the fraud artist gets to be a big-time thief. Chaos and most of all poverty give him powers he wouldn't have elsewhere.
Gil Courtemanche (A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali)
The 20th century merits the name "The Century of Murder." 1915 Turks slaughtered 2 million Armenians. 1933 to 1954 the Soviet government encompassed the death of 20 to 65 million citizens. 1933 to 1945 Nazi Germany murdered more than 25 million people. 1948 Hindus and Muslims engaged in racial and religious strife that claimed more lives than could be reported. 1970 3 million Bangladesh were killed. 1971 Uganda managed the death of 300,000 people. 1975 Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia and murdered up to 3 million people. In recent times more than half a million of Rwanda's 6 million people have been murdered. At present times genocidal strife is underway in Bosnia, Somalia, Burundi and elsewhere. The people of the world have demonstrated themselves to be so capable of forgetting the murderous frenzies in which their fellows have participated that it is essential that one, at least, be remembered and the world be regularly reminded of it. _Consequences of the Holocaust
Raul Hilberg
Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life." [ Live 8 Concert, Mary Fitzgerald Square, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2 July 2005]
Nelson Mandela
created an assortment of new political front organizations, whose operatives were not known to have distinguished themselves in the genocide and could be presented to the world as 'clean
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
Fossey, Fossey, you cranky difficult strong-arming self-destructive misanthrope, mediocre scientist, deceiver of earnest college students, probable cause of more deaths of the gorillas than if you had never set foot in Rwanda, Fossey, you pain-in-the-ass saint, I do not believe in prayers or souls, but I will pray for your soul, I will remember you for all of my days, in gratitude for that moment by the graves when all I felt was the pure, cleansing sadness of returning home and finding nothing but ghosts.
Robert M. Sapolsky
Colonisation is violence, and there are many ways to carry out that violence. In addition to military and administrative chiefs and a veritable army of churchmen, the Belgians dispatched scientists to Rwanda. The scientists brought scales and measuring tapes and callipers, and they went about weighing Rwandans, measuring Rwandan cranial capacities, and conducting comparative analyses of the relative protuberance of Rwandan noses. Sure enough, the scientists found what they had believed all along. Tutsis had a ‘nobler’, more ‘naturally’ aristocratic dimensions than the ‘coarse’ and ‘bestial’ Hutus. On the ‘nasal index’ for instance, the median Tutsi nose was found to be about two and a half millimetres longer and nearly five millimetres narrower than the median Hutu nose.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
There is something living deep within us all that welcomes, even relishes, the role of victimhood for ourselves. There is no cause in the world more righteously embraced than our own when we feel someone has wronged us. Perhaps it is a psychological leftover from early childhood, when we felt the primeval terror of the world around us and yearned for the intervention of a mother/protector to keep us safe. Perhaps it makes it easier to explain away our personal failures when the work of an enemy can be blamed. Perhaps we just get tired of long explanations and like the cleanliness of an easy solution. It is for wiser people than me to say. Whatever its allure, this primitive ideology of Hutu Power swept through Rwanda in 1993 and early 1994 with the speed of flame through dry grass.
Paul Rusesabagina (An Ordinary Man)
If, in the face of genocide, governments fear placing their soldiers at risk, he said, "then don't send soldiers, send Boy Scouts" - which is basically what the world did in the refugee camps [in Zaire].
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
This is what drives me crazy whenever I hear people say things like, "Ask the universe for what you want, and you'll get it," why I fucking hated that Paulo Coelho book The Alchemist that everybody was reading int he late nineties. Whenever I saw the book in anybody's hands on the subway I always wanted to say, "So the reason a million Tustis were just slaughtered in Rwanda is that they didn't ask the universe not to kill them?
Joel Derfner
Sitting with Sindikubwabo [former President of Rwanda in exile in Zaire] as he offered what sounded like a rehearsal of the defense-by-obfuscation he was preparing for the tribunal, I had the impression that he almost yearned to be indicted, even apprehended, in order to have a final hour in the spotlight.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
If I decide to make a career in the army, he said, I would never be rich, but I would live one of the most satisfying lives there was to be had. Then he warned me that satisfaction would come at a great cost to me and any family I might have. I should never expected to be thanked; a soldier, if he was going to be content, had to understand that no civilian, no government, sometimes not even the army itself, would recognize the true nature of the scarifies he made.
Roméo Dallaire (Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda)
Didn't happen anymore. Pizza delivery is a major industry. A managed industry. People went to CosaNostra Pizza University four years just to learn it. Came in its doors unable to write an English sentence, from Abkhazia, Rwanda, Guanajuato, South Jersey, and came out knowing more about pizza than a Bedouin knows about sand.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
It bothered them [humanitarian aide workers] that the camp leaders might be war criminals, not refugees in any conventional sense of the word, but fugitives.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
The West's post-Holocaust pledge that genocide would never again be tolerated proved to be hollow
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
recent response to the atrocities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda: while thousands have died almost unbelievably cruel deaths, the entire world has watched CNN and wrung its hands.
Iris Chang (The Rape Of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust Of World War II)
The genocide [in Rwanda] was not a spontaneous eruption of tribal hatred, it was planned by people wanting to keep power. There was a long government-led hat campaign against the Tutsis.
Jonathan Glover (Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century)
I have heard that in the United States, people remember exactly what they were doing when planes hit the Twin Towers. In my country, too, we remember a plane crash that way. There is this difference: On September 11, nearly three thousand people died. In Rwanda, smaller in size and population than Ohio, the number was three times that many, every day, for a hundred days.
Denise Uwimana (From Red Earth: A Rwandan Story of Healing and Forgiveness)
The global village is deteriorating at a rapid pace, and in the children of the world the result is rage. It is the rage I saw in the eyes of the teenage Interahamwe militiamen in Rwanda, it is the rage I sensed in the hearts of the children of Sierra Leone, it is the rage I felt in crowds of ordinary civilians in Rwanda, and it is the rage that resulted in September 11. Human beings who have no rights, no security, no future, no hope and no means to survive are a desperate group who will do desperate things to take what they believe they need and deserve.
Roméo Dallaire (Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda)
You would think bearing witness to something like this would make a difference, and yet this isn’t so. In the newspapers I have read about history repeating itself in Cambodia. Rwanda. Sudan.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
Hutu power had presided over one of the most outrageous crimes in a century of seemingly relentless mass political murder, and the only way to get away with it was to continue to play the victim.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
The pygmy in Gikongoro said that humanity is part of nature and that we must go against nature to get along and have peace. But mass violence, too, must be organized; it does not occur aimlessly. Even mobs and riots have a design, and great and sustained destruction requires great ambition. It must be conceived as the means toward achieving a new order, and although the idea behind that new order may be criminal and objectively very stupid, it must also be compellingly simple and at the same time absolute. The ideology of genocide is all of those things, and in Rwanda it went by the bald name of Hutu Power.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families)
the humanitarian workers [in refugee camps in Goma} were treated rather like the service staff at a seedy mafia-occupied hotel: they were there to provide-food, medicine, housewares, an aura of respectability
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
Hutu extremists were able to incite genocide in Rwanda in part because years of propaganda had influenced Hutus to view Tutsis as less than human and so dangerous that they must be eliminated from the country.
Rachel Hilary Brown (Defusing Hate: A Strategic Communication Guide to Counteract Dangerous Speech)
As I've looked into the eyes of street children in Afghanistan desperate for a future other than terrorism, or children in Rwanda hungry for something greater than genocide, I've reached one big conclusion: we belong to one another. And children across the Earth deserve the same hopes and opportunities we give our children here."-->Bernard Amadei, civil engineering professor at the University of Colorado and founder of Engineers Without Borders
Bernard Amadei
Before the Belgians arrived and colonized Rwanda, Hutus and Tutsis lived in peace. But colonization is built on the idea that we are not the same, that we don’t possess equal humanity. The Belgians imposed their cruel ideology: their belief that people with certain-sized skulls and certain-width noses were better and smarter than others, that they belonged to a superior race. This ideology leached into the Rwandan psyche and caused the country to self-destruct.
Clemantine Wamariya (The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After)
Genocide, after all, is an exercise in community building. A vigorous totalitarian order requires that the people be invested in the leader's scheme, and while genocide may be the most perverse and ambitious means to this end, it is also the most comprehensive. In 1994, Rwanda was regarded in much of the rest of the world as the exemplary instance of chaos and anarchy associated with collapsed states. In fact, the genocide was the product of order, authoritarianism, decades of modern political theorizing and indoctrination, and one of the most meticulously administered states in history. And strange as it may sound, the ideology–or what Rwandans call "the logic"–of genocide was promoted as a way not to create suffering but alleviate it. The specter of an absolute menace that requires absolute eradication binds leader and people in a hermetic utopian embrace, and the individual–always an annoyance to totality–ceases to exist.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
I did not fully understand the havoc that war wreaks on communities. Yes war kills-I knew that-but that is only part of its destructive path. War makes widows and orphans. War cuts off arms and legs and rips emotional wounds that never fully heal. War drives people from their homes-in this case, hundreds of thousands-and dooms them to lives of poverty and displacement.
Joseph Sebarenzi (God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation)
It always bothers me when I hear Rwanda's genocide described as a product of "ancient tribal hatreds." I think this is an easy way for Westerners to dismiss the whole thing as a regrettable but pointless bloodbath that happens to primitive brown people.
Paul Rusesabagina (An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography)
...Five out of 6 children who had been in Rwanda during the slaughter had witnessed bloodshed... Imagine what the totality of such devastation means for a society and it becomes clear that Hutu Power's crimes was much greater than the murder of nearly a million people. Nobody in Rwanda escaped direct physical or psychic damage. The terror was designed to be total and enduring, a legacy to leave Rwandans spinning and disoriented in the slipstream of their memories for a very long time to come, and in that it was successful.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
Rwandans have a funny relationship with God, which they convey through a story that anyone can tell you: "God worked very hard for six days creating the heavens and the earth. But on the seventh day, he needed a break, so he picked Rwanda as the place to take a much needed sleep. God sleeps in Rwanda, then keeps busy at work everywhere else." This story has two meanings: The negative take is that God is not in Rwanda to protect you or answer your prayers, that He comes here only to shut His eyes. The other interpretation of "God sleeps in Rwanda" is that the country is a mile up, cooler and more beautiful than any other place, and so, naturally, this would be where God comes when He is not punching the clock. His favorite place. It was the second interpretation that we needed to believe.
Josh Ruxin (A Thousand Hills to Heaven: Love, Hope, and a Restaurant in Rwanda)
…the war about the genocide was truly a postmodern war: a battle between those who believed that because the realities we inhabit are constructs of our imaginations, they are all equally true or false, valid or invalid, just or unjust, and those who believed that constructs of reality can—in fact, must—be judged as right or wrong, good or bad. While academic debates about the possibility of objective truth and falsehood are often rarified to the point of absurdity, Rwanda demonstrated that the question is a matter of life and death.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
The church's primary purpose is not to make America more Christian, but to make American Christians less American and Rwandan Christians less Rwandan. We are no longer Rwandans or Americans, neither Hutu nor Tutsi. If we are in Christ, we have become part of a new creation.
Emmanuel M. Katongole (Mirror to the Church: Resurrecting Faith After Genocide in Rwanda)
Severe problems of overpopulation, environmental impact, and climate change cannot persist indefinitely: sooner or later they are likely to resolve themselves, whether in the manner of Rwanda or in some other manner not of our devising, if we don’t succeed in solving them by our own actions.
Jared Diamond (Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition)
We can make 'intelligent' missiles that can make war on one particular building hundreds of miles away, but we don't have an equivalent one that can make peace. Might that be because we have worshipped the gods of war, but have forgotten about worshipping the prince of peace? We can put a few men on the moon, but the few men who were standing between the Tutsis and the Hutus in Rwanda in 1994 had to be withdrawn for lack of funds and political will. Might that be because we have worshipped the gods of technology, the gods who boost our own national security--the gods we have wanted, i other words--and have forgotten the God who asked Cain, 'Where is Abel your brother?
N.T. Wright (For All God's Worth: True Worship and the Calling of the Church)
It is America (or Israel) at war, not just any war, that disturbs the Left. That is why there have been few demonstrations, and none of any size, against the mass murder of Sudan’s blacks; the genocides in Rwanda, Cambodia, or Congo; China’s crushing of Tibet; or Saddam Hussein’s wars against Iran, Kuwait, and Iraq’s own Kurds. Though there are always admirable individual exceptions, the Left has not been nearly as vocal about these large scale atrocities as it is about America’s wars. One additional reason is that, in general, atrocities committed by non-whites rarely interest the Left—and therefore ‘world opinion,’ which is essentially the same thing as Leftist opinion.
Dennis Prager (Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph)
The poison that is war does not free us from the ethics of responsibility. There are times when we must take this poison - just as a person with cancer accepts chemotherapy to live. We can not succumb to despair. Force is and I suspect always will be part of the human condition. There are times when the force wielded by one immoral faction must be countered by a faction that, while never moral, is perhaps less immoral. We in the industrialized world bear responsibility for the world’s genocides because we had the power to intervene and did not. We stood by and watched the slaughter in Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Rwanda where a million people died. The blood for the victims of Srebrenica- a designated UN safe area in Bosnia- is on our hands. The generation before mine watched, with much the same passivity, the genocides of Germany, Poland, Hungary, Greece, and the Ukraine. These slaughters were, as in, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book Chronical of a Death Foretold, often announced in advance
Chris Hedges (War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning)
One other thing struck me. The margin between life and death was so very slim in Darfur, where people eked out a harsh semi-desert existence. The ability to cope was that much more limited than it had been in, say, Rwanda, a relatively fertile tropical country. Consequently, the ability to destroy people’s means of livelihood was that much greater.
Mukesh Kapila (Against a Tide of Evil)
Military history teaches us, contrary to popular belief, that wars are not necessarily the most costly of human calamities. The allied coalition lost few lives in getting Saddam out of Kuwait during the Gulf War of 1991, yet doing nothing in Rwanda allowed savage gangs and militias to murder hundreds of thousands with impunity. Bill Clinton stopped a Balkan holocaust through air strikes, without sacrificing American soldiers. His supporters argued, with some merit, that the collateral damage from the NATO bombing of Belgrade resulted in far fewer innocents killed, in such a “terrible arithmetic,” than if the Serbian death squads had been allowed to continue their unchecked cleansing of Islamic communities.
Victor Davis Hanson (The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern)
...The typhoon of madness that swept through the country [of Rwanda] between April 7 and the third week of May accounted for 80 percent of the victims of the genocide. That means about eight hundred thousand people were murdered during those six weeks, making the daily killing rate at least five times that of the Nazi death camps. The simple peasants of Rwanda, with their machetes, clubs, and sticks with nails, had killed at a faster rate than the Nazi death machine with its gas chambers, mass ovens, and firing squads. In my opinion, the killing frenzy of the Rwandan genocide shared a vital common thread with the technological efficiency of the Nazi genocide--satanic hate in abundance was at the core of both.
John Rucyahana (The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones)
I was on the ground, I was in command, I had been given the mission, and I took the decision.
Roméo Dallaire (Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda)
One is reminded of Primo Levi's observation about the Holocaust: 'Things whose existence is not morally comprehensible cannot exist.
Michael Barnett
Keeping silent blocks both judgment and change.
Jean Hatzfeld (Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak)
significant concentrations of Hutu Power military and militia members among the IDPs [International Displaced Persons] made the camps themselves a major threat ... As in the border camps, interahamwe agents didn't hesitate to threaten and attack those who wished to leave Kibeho, fearing that a mass desertion of the civilian population would leave them isolated and exposed.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
I have often been criticized for being an 'emotional' leader, for not being macho enough, but even during this early stage in my career, I believed that the magic of command lies in openness, in being both sympathetic to the troops and at the same time being apart, in always projecting supreme confidence in my own ability and in theirs to accomplish whatever task is set for us.
Roméo Dallaire (Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda)
Fourteen meters deep,” Edmond said. He told me that his brother-in-law had been a fanatically religious man, and on April 12, 1994, when he was stopped by interahamwe at a roadblock down the street and forced to lead them back to his house, he had persuaded the killers to let him pray. Edmond’s brother-in-law had prayed for half an hour. Then he told the militiamen that he didn’t want his family dismembered, so they invited him to throw his children down the latrine wells alive, and he did. Then Edmond’s sister and his brother-in-law were thrown in on top. Edmond took his camera out of a plastic bag and took some pictures of the holes in the ground. “People come to Rwanda and talk of reconciliation,” he said. “It’s offensive. Imagine talking to Jews of reconciliation in 1946. Maybe in a long time,
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families)
We live in a contradiction, a brutal state of affairs, profoundly inegalitarian – where all existence is evaluated in terms of money alone – is presented to us as ideal. To justify their conservatism, the partisans of the established order cannot really call it ideal or wonderful. So instead, they have decided to say that all the rest is horrible. Sure, they say, we may not live in a condition of perfect Goodness. But we’re lucky that we don’t live in a condition of Evil. Our democracy is not perfect. But it’s better than the bloody dictatorships. Capitalism is unjust. But it’s not criminal like Stalinism. We let millions of Africans die of AIDS, but we don’t make racist nationalist declarations like Milosevic. We kill Iraqis with our airplanes, but we don’t cut their throats with machetes like they do in Rwanda, etc..
Alain Badiou
Rape has been used throughout history as a weapon of war. I never thought I would have something in common with women in Rwanda—before all this, I didn’t know that a country called Rwanda existed—and now I am linked to them in the worst possible way, as a victim of a war crime that is so hard to talk about that no one in the world was prosecuted for committing it until just sixteen years before ISIS came to Sinjar.
Nadia Murad (The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State)
It always amazes me how people in Europe and the United States can be so indifferent to the speeches of their chancellor or president, for these worlds from the top can be a wind sock for what might happen next.
Paul Rusesabagina
In my heart of hearts I knew I was wrong. The World Cup was about to begin in the United States. The planet was interested in nothing else. And in any case, whatever happened in Rwanda, it would always be the same old story of blacks beating up on each other. Even Africans would say, during half-time of every match, “They’re embarrassing us, they should stop killing each other like that.” Then they’ll go on to something else. [9-10]
Boubacar Boris Diop (Murambi, The Book of Bones)
Too soon the two weeks were over and we were back in Lugano, and there we learned about Disaster. We weren’t completely ignorant. We knew about disaster from our previous schools and previous lives. We’d had access to televisions and newspapers. But the return to Lugano marked the beginning of Global Awareness Month, and in each of our classes, we talked about disaster: disaster man-made and natural. We talked about ozone depletion and the extinction of species and depleted rain forests and war and poverty and AIDS. We talked about refugees and slaughter and famine. We were in the middle school and were getting, according to Uncle Max, a diluted version of what the upper-schoolers were facing. An Iraqi boy from the upper school came to our history class and talked about what it felt like when the Americans bombed his country. Keisuke talked about how he felt responsible for World War II, and a German student said she felt the same. We got into heated discussions over the neglect of infant females in some cultures, and horrific cases of child abuse worldwide. We fasted one day each week to raise our consciousness about hunger, and we sent money and canned goods and clothing to charities. In one class, after we watched a movie about traumas in Rwanda, and a Rwandan student told us about seeing his mother killed, Mari threw up. We were all having nightmares. At home, Aunt Sandy pleaded with Uncle Max. “This is too much!” she said. “You can’t dump all the world’s problems on these kids in one lump!” And he agreed. He was bewildered by it all, but the program had been set up the previous year, and he was the new headmaster, reluctant to interfere. And though we were sick of it and about it, we were greedy for it. We felt privileged there in our protected world and we felt guilty, and this was our punishment.
Sharon Creech (Bloomability)
Because we are invited to be part of God's new creation now, we seek to embody the identity we have been given in Christ. . . . We engage in mission to establish friendships that lead to the formation of a new people in the world.
Emmanuel M. Katongole (Mirror to the Church: Resurrecting Faith After Genocide in Rwanda)
The UN lacked the ability to act without the support of its more powerful members, notably the United States. The American government wanted to avoid a repetition of its unsuccessful intervention in Somalia, in which thirty American troops were killed. President Clinton issued a directive on UN military conditions. The operations would also have to be directly relevant to American interests. These conditions excluded American support for UN intervention to stop the genocide [in Rwanda].
Jonathan Glover (Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century)
The 20th century merits the name "The Century of Murder." 1915 Turks slaughtered 2 million Armenians. 1933 to 1954 the Soviet government encompassed the death of 20 to 65 million citizens. 1933 to 1945 Nazi Germany murdered more than 25 million people. 1948 Hindus and Muslims engaged in racial and religious strife that claimed more lives than could be reported. 1970 3 million Bangladesh were killed. 1971 Uganda managed the death of 300,000 people. 1975 Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia and murdered up to 3 million people. In recent times more than half a million of Rwanda's 6 million people have been murdered. At present times genocidal strife is underway in Bosnia, Somalia, Burundi and elsewhere. The people of the world have demonstrated themselves to be so capable of forgetting the murderous frenzies in which their fellows have participated that it is essential that one, at least, be remembered and the world be regularly reminded of it. _Consequences of the Holocaust by Raul Hilberg
Raul Hilberg
Bureaucratic categories and organizational boxes do more than simply separate relevant from irrelevant information. They also produce the social optics that policymakers and bureaucrats use to see the world. Before policymakers can act, they first must come to create a definition and understanding of the situation, and that understanding is mediated by how the institution is organized to think. ...How organizations categorize and carve up the world has a profound impact on how policymakers see the world.
Michael Barnett (Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda)
The world waits until after a conflict, after the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and then it sorts through the rubble. If those most victimized somehow prevail, trials are held and justice is finally served, but it is served too late. Tell me, if you could prevent the deaths of thousands of innocents, would you do it? Or is it safer to wait until afterward and then hold trials for the killers? And if the evildoers win, do you simply bite your lip and do business with them, making them your trade partners in a world where commerce overrides morality? Like
Edouard Kayihura (Inside the Hotel Rwanda: The Surprising True Story . . . and Why It Matters Today)
That’s just the way life is. It can be exquisite, cruel, frequently wacky, but above all utterly, utterly random. Those twin imposters in the bell-fringed jester hats, Justice and Fairness—they aren’t constants of the natural order like entropy or the periodic table. They’re completely alien notions to the way things happen out there in the human rain forest. Justice and Fairness are the things we’re supposed to contribute back to the world for giving us the gift of life—not birthrights we should expect and demand every second of the day. What do you say we drop the intellectual cowardice? There is no fate, and there is no safety net. I’m not saying God doesn’t exist. I believe in God. But he’s not a micromanager, so stop asking Him to drop the crisis in Rwanda and help you find your wallet. Life is a long, lonely journey down a day-in-day-out lard-trail of dropped tacos. Mop it up, not for yourself, but for the guy behind you who’s too busy trying not to drop his own tacos to make sure he doesn’t slip and fall on your mistakes. So don’t speed and weave in traffic; other people have babies in their cars. Don’t litter. Don’t begrudge the poor because they have a fucking food stamp. Don’t be rude to overwhelmed minimum-wage sales clerks, especially teenagers—they have that job because they don’t have a clue. You didn’t either at that age. Be understanding with them. Share your clues. Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your intolerance. Stop and think on Veterans Day. And don’t forget to vote. That is, unless you send money to TV preachers, have more than a passing interest in alien abduction or recentlypurchased a fish on a wall plaque that sings ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy.’ In that case, the polls are a scary place! Under every ballot box is a trapdoor chute to an extraterrestrial escape pod filled with dental tools and squeaking, masturbating little green men from the Devil Star. In conclusion, Class of Ninety-seven, keep your chins up, grab your mops and get in the game. You don’t have to make a pile of money or change society. Just clean up after yourselves without complaining. And, above all, please stop and appreciate the days when the tacos don’t fall, and give heartfelt thanks to whomever you pray to….
Tim Dorsey (Triggerfish Twist (Serge Storms Mystery, #4))
In many ways, the partition of India was the inevitable result of three centuries of Britain’s divide-and-rule policy. As the events of the Indian Revolt demonstrated, the British believed that the best way to curb nationalist sentiment was to classify the indigenous population not as Indians, but as Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, etc. The categorization and separation of native peoples was a common tactic for maintaining colonial control over territories whose national boundaries had been arbitrarily drawn with little consideration for the ethnic, cultural, or religious makeup of the local inhabitants. The French went to great lengths to cultivate class divisions in Algeria, the Belgians promoted tribal factionalism in Rwanda, and the British fostered sectarian schisms in Iraq, all in a futile attempt to minimize nationalist tendencies and stymie united calls for independence. No wonder, then, that when the colonialists were finally expelled from these manufactured states, they left behind not only economic and political turmoil, but deeply divided populations with little common ground on which to construct a national identity.
Reza Aslan (No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam)
This book is about how two of the world’s great democracies—the United States and India—faced up to one of the most terrible humanitarian crises of the twentieth century. The slaughter in what is now Bangladesh stands as one of the cardinal moral challenges of recent history, although today it is far more familiar to South Asians than to Americans. It had a monumental impact on India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh—almost a sixth of humanity in 1971. In the dark annals of modern cruelty, it ranks as bloodier than Bosnia and by some accounts in the same rough league as Rwanda.
Gary J. Bass (The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide)
[One bad idea] inspired the lynching trees of America, the smokestacks of Auschwitz, the gulags of Siberia, killing fields of Khmer Rouge, and the butchery of those in Rwanda, Darfur, Congo, and more. Given its bloody track record you would think that this idea would be universally rejected but it is staging a massive comeback in the 21st century, rebranding itself as “justice.” What is this bad idea? Tribalism is the idea that we should divide people into group identities then assign undesirable or evil trait to that group and such a way that we don't see the unique image-bearers of God before us.
Thaddeus J. Williams (Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth: 12 Questions Christians Should Ask About Social Justice)
Mining might convey an image of industry or technology, but I found this was not the case in the Congo. In the so-called ‘mines’, a brutally primitive process was in place involving what was effectively slave labour clawing minerals from the earth so that they could be shipped to eager cash buyers in the developed world. President Kabila headed what was effectively a cobalt and diamond cartel, while two rival factions (one backed by neighbouring Uganda, the other by Rwanda) divided up the rest of the country’s resources. Crudely, Uganda got gold and timber, and Rwanda got tin and coltan – a mineral used in mobile telephones.
Tim Butcher (Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart)
Rwanda’s Muslim community is an example of a group (a full community rather than isolated individuals) that resisted the appeal of dangerous speech and other pressures to participate in the genocide. The Muslim community, which had both Hutu and Tutsi members, not only refused to participate in the genocide but actively opposed it. Its actions during the genocide included rescuing, hiding, and taking care of Muslim and non-Muslim Tutsis, and providing safe haven in mosques. Muslims also rejected commands to kill or reveal Tutsis hidden in their communities, on several occasions going so far as to fight back and be killed themselves.
Rachel Hilary Brown (Defusing Hate: A Strategic Communication Guide to Counteract Dangerous Speech)
I’ve spoken to people in Rwanda who survived the genocide. And I’ve spoken to people who’ve survived acts of God, like in Sri Lanka after the tsunami. And I’ve found that suffering usually draws people closer to God and gives them more faith. I think that the main driver in the human spirit is hope. Man can endure anything if he has hope.” I was reminded of Man’s Search for Meaning, the book Viktor Frankl wrote about surviving Nazi concentration camps, and how he said that the most important survival skill to have was faith. As he put it, “Woe to him who saw no more sense in his life, no aim, no purpose, and therefore no point in carrying on.
Neil Strauss (Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life)
Look at Ireland with its Protestant and Catholic populations, Canada with its French and English populations, Israel with its Jewish and Palestinian populations. Or consider the warring factions in India, Sri Lanka, China, Iraq, Czechoslovakia (until it happily split up), the Balkans, and Chechnya. Also review the festering hotbeds of tribal warfare—I mean the “beautiful mosaic”—in Third World disasters like Afghanistan, Rwanda, and South Central LA. If diversity is their strength, I’d hate to see what their weakness is. The fact that we have to be incessantly told how wonderful diversity is only proves that it’s not. It’s like listening to a waiter try to palm off the fish “special” on you before it goes bad.
Ann Coulter (¡Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole)
The desertion of Rwanda by the UN force was Hutu Power’s greatest diplomatic victory to date, and it can be credited almost single-handedly to the United States. With the memory of the Somalia debacle still very fresh, the White House had just finished drafting a document called Presidential Decision Directive 25, which amounted to a checklist of reasons to avoid American involvement in UN peacekeeping missions. It hardly mattered that Dallaire’s call for an expanded force and mandate would not have required American troops, or that the mission was not properly peacekeeping, but genocide prevention. PDD 25 also contained what Washington policymakers call “language” urging that the United States should persuade others not to undertake the missions that it wished to avoid. In fact, the Clinton administration’s ambassador to the UN, Madeleine Albright, opposed leaving even the skeleton crew of two hundred seventy in Rwanda. Albright went on to become Secretary of State, largely because of her reputation as a “daughter of Munich,” a Czech refugee from Nazism with no tolerance for appeasement and with a taste for projecting U.S. force abroad to bring rogue dictators and criminal states to heel. Her name is rarely associated with Rwanda, but ducking and pressuring others to duck, as the death toll leapt from thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands, was the absolute low point in her career as a stateswoman.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families)
I saw a group of museum staffers arriving for work. On their maroon blazers, several wore the lapel buttons that sold for a dollar each in the museum shop, inscribed with the slogans "Remember" and "Never Again" ... the victims of future exterminations could now die knowing that a shrine already existed in Washington where their suffering might be commemorated
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
The story that the church has been telling for two thousand years is an outrageous tale about a man who was executed by the state but rose up from the dead. The crux of the story isn't that Jesus figured out the right answer to all the questions facing Israel in his day. What makes all the difference is that Jesus defeated the ultimate enemy and got up from the dead.
Emmanuel M. Katongole (Mirror to the Church: Resurrecting Faith After Genocide in Rwanda)
Voisine Je peux rester des après-midi entiers à regarder cette fille, caché derrière mon rideau. Je me demande ce qu'elle peut écrire sur son ordinateur. A quoi elle pense quand elle regarde par la fenêtre. Je me demande ce qu'elle mange, ce qu'elle utilise comme dentifrice, ce qu'elle écoute comme musique. Un jour, je l'ai vue danser toute seule. Je me demande si elle a des frères et sœurs, si elle met la radio quand elle se lève le matin, si elle préfère l'Espagne ou l'Italie, si elle garde son mouchoir en boule dans sa main quand elle pleure et si elle aime Thomas Bernhard. Je me demande comment elle dort et comment elle jouit. Je me demande comment est son corps de près. Je me demande si elle s'épile ou si au contraire elle a une grosse toison. Je me demande si elle lit des livres en anglais. Je me demande ce qui la fait rire, ce qui la met hors d'elle, ce qui la touche et si elle a du goût. Qu'est-ce qu'elle peut bien en penser, cette fille, de la hausse du baril de pétrole et des Farc, et que dans trente ans il n'y aura sans doute plus de gorilles dans les montagnes du Rwanda ? Je me demande à quoi elle pense quand je la vois fumer sur son canapé, et ce qu'elle fume comme cigarettes. Est-ce que ça lui pèse d'être seule ? Est-ce qu'elle a un homme dans sa vie ? Et si c'est le cas, pourquoi c'est elle qui va toujours chez lui ? Pourquoi il n'y a jamais d'homme chez elle ? Je me demande comment elle se voit dans vingt ans. Je me demande quel sens elle donne à sa vie. Qu'est-ce qu'elle pense de sa vie quand elle est comme ça, toute seule, chez elle ? Si ça se trouve, elle n'a aucun intérêt, cette fille.
David Thomas (La Patience des buffles sous la pluie)
Weber also saw that a bureaucratic world contained risks. It produced increasingly powerful and autonomous bureaucrats who could be spiritless, driven only by impersonal rules and procedures, and with little regard for the people they were expected to serve. Weber famously warned that those who allow themselves to be guided by rules will soon find that those rules have defined their identities and commitments.
Michael Barnett (Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda)
The good performed by some of United Nations institutions, such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF, has been outweighed by the amount of bad the UN has either abetted or allowed. It has enabled genocide in Rwanda, done little or nothing to stop genocide in the Congo and Sudan, given a respectable forum to tyrannies, convened conferences (the Durban Conferences on racism) that simply became forums for anti-Semitism, and been preoccupied with vilifying one of its relatively few humane states, Israel. Its moral failings were further exemplified by its placing Qaddafi’s Libya on its Human Rights Commission, Iran on its Commission on the Status of Women, and North Korea on the Nuclear Disarmament Commission. It is not that the people who run the United Nations are bad people; it is that the United Nations is run by a majority of the world’s governments, and they are run by bad people. Without America in the Security Council, the bad would nearly always prevail.
Dennis Prager (Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph)
How long, O God, will we go on with a mock Christianity that takes the tribalism of our world for granted? How long, O God, will we be satisfied with the way things are? How long, O God, will we try to "make some difference in the world" while leaving the basic patterns of the world unaffected? How long, O God will we take consolation in numbers, buildings, and structures, when millions of your children are dying? How long, O Sovereign Lord, will we remain blind to the lessons of history?
Emmanuel M. Katongole (Mirror to the Church: Resurrecting Faith After Genocide in Rwanda)
If, in the face of genocide, governments fear placing soldiers at risk, he [UN General Romeo Dallaire] said, "then don't send soldiers, send Boy Scouts" - which is basically what the world did in the refugee camps. Dallaire was in uniform when he face the camera; his graying hair was closely cropped; he held his square jaw firmly outthrust; his chest was dappled with decorations. But he spoke with some agitation, and his carefully measured phrases did nothing to mask his sense of injury or his fury.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
If, in the face of genocide, governments fear placing soldiers at risk, he [UN General Romeo Dallaire] said, "then don't send soldiers, send Boy Scouts" - which is basically what the world did in the refugee camps. Dallaire was in uniform when he faced the camera; his graying hair was closely cropped; he held his square jaw firmly outthrust; his chest was dappled with decorations. But he spoke with some agitation, and his carefully measured phrases did nothing to mask his sense of injury or his fury.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
But did it have to be that those who were most damaged by the genocide remained the most neglected in the aftermath? Bonaventure Nyibizi was especially worried about young survivors becoming extremists themselves. "Let's say we have a hundred thousand young people who lost their families and have no hope, no future. In a country like this if you tell them, 'Go and kill your neighbor because he killed your father and your seven brothers and sister,' they'll take the machete and do it. Why? Because they're not looking at the future with optimism. If you say the country must move toward reconciliation, but at the same time it forgets these people, what happens? When they are walking on the street we don't realize their problems, but perhaps they have seen their mothers being raped, or their sisters being raped. It will require a lot to make sure that these people can come back to society and look at the future and say, 'Yes, let us try.'" That effort wasn't being made. The government had no program for survivors.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
In reality, Kabila was no more than a petty tyrant propelled to prominence by accident. Secretive and paranoid, he had no political programme, no strategic vision and no experience of running a government. He refused to engage with established opposition groups or with civic organisations and banned political parties. Lacking a political organisation of his own, he surrounded himself with friends and family members and relied heavily for support and protection on Rwanda and Banyamulenge. Two key ministries were awarded to cousins; the new chief of staff of the army, James Kabarebe, was a Rwandan Tutsi who had grown up in Uganda; the deputy chief of staff and commander of land forces was his 26-year-old son, Joseph; the national police chief was a brother-in-law. Whereas Mobutu had packed his administration with supporters from his home province of Équateur, Kabila handed out key positions in government, the armed forces, security services and public companies to fellow Swahili-speaking Katangese, notably members of the Lubakat group of northern Katanga, his father’s tribe.
Martin Meredith (The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence)
When I first went to Rwanda, I was reading a book called Civil War, which had been receiving great critical acclaim. Writing from an immediate post-Cold War perspective, the author, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, a German, observed, “The most obvious sign of the end of the bipolar world order are the thirty or forty civil wars being waged openly around the globe,” and he set out to inquire what they were all about. This seemed promising until I realized that Enzensberger wasn’t interested in the details of those wars. He treated them all as a single phenomenon and, after a few pages, announced: “What gives today’s civil wars a new and terrifying slant is the fact that they are waged without stakes on either side, that they are wars about nothing at all.” In the old days, according to Enzensberger—in Spain in the 1930s or the United States in the 1860s—people used to kill and die for ideas, but now “violence has separated itself from ideology,” and people who wage civil wars just kill and die in an anarchic scramble for power. In these wars, he asserted, there is no notion of the future; nihilism rules; “all political thought, from Aristotle and Machiavelli to Marx and Weber, is turned upside down,” and “all that remains is the Hobbesian ur-myth of the war of everyone against everyone else.” That such a view of distant civil wars offers a convenient reason to ignore them may explain its enormous popularity in our times. It would be nice, we may say, if the natives out there settled down, but if they’re just fighting for the hell of it, it’s not my problem. But it is our problem. By denying the particularity of the peoples who are making history, and the possibility that they might have politics, Enzensberger mistakes his failure to recognize what is at stake in events for the nature of those events. So he sees chaos—what is given off, not what’s giving it off—and his analysis begs the question: when, in fact, there are ideological differences between two warring parties, how are we to judge them? In the case of Rwanda, to embrace the idea that the civil war was a free-for-all—in which everyone is at once equally legitimate and equally illegitimate—is to ally oneself with Hutu Power’s ideology of genocide as self-defense.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families)
Kiswahili ni lugha ya Kibantu na lugha kuu ya kimataifa ya biashara ya Afrika ya Mashariki ambayo; maneno yake mengi yamepokewa kutoka katika lugha za Kiarabu, Kireno, Kiingereza, Kihindi, Kijerumani na Kifaransa, kutoka kwa wakoloni waliyoitawala pwani ya Afrika ya Mashariki katika kipindi cha karne tano zilizopita. Lugha ya Kiswahili ilitokana na lugha za Kisabaki za Afrika Mashariki; ambazo nazo zilitokana na Lugha za Kibantu za Pwani ya Kaskazini Mashariki za Tanzania na Kenya, zilizotokana na lugha zaidi ya 500 za Kibantu za Afrika ya Kusini na Kati. Lugha za Kibantu zilitokana na lugha za Kibantoidi, ambazo ni lugha zenye asili ya Kibantu za kusini mwa eneo la Wabantu, zilizotokana na jamii ya lugha za Kikongo na Kibenue – tawi kubwa kuliko yote ya familia ya lugha za Kikongo na Kinijeri katika bara la Afrika. Familia ya lugha za Kikongo na Kibenue ilitokana na jamii ya lugha za Kiatlantiki na Kikongo; zilizotokana na familia ya lugha za Kikongo na Kinijeri, ambayo ni familia kubwa ya lugha kuliko zote duniani kwa maana ya lugha za kikabila. Familia ya lugha ya Kiswahili imekuwepo kwa karne nyingi. Tujifunze kuzipenda na kuzitetea lugha zetu kwa faida ya vizazi vijavyo.
Enock Maregesi
We are called to be strange in the same way that the early Christian communities were strange to the world around them. The community in Antioch brought together Jews and Samaritans, Greeks and Romans, slaves and free, men and women in a way that was so confusing that people didn't know what to call them. So they called them "Christians." The only way they knew to describe their peculiar actions was to say that they were followers of an odd preacher from Galilee. The world is longing for such new and odd communities in our time. . . . I pray the time is now and that the resurrection might begin in us.
Emmanuel M. Katongole (Mirror to the Church: Resurrecting Faith After Genocide in Rwanda)
In The Lucifer Effect, Philip Zimbardo, citing decades of research, details all of the ways that ordinary, average individuals—whether they be soldiers in Guatemala, doctors in Nazi Germany, Hutus in Rwanda—can be stripped of their values, their morality, their souls. After elaborating on the variables that contribute to this process—isolation, drug use, denying people identities—he declares that the most important variable, far and away more important than the others, is the fear of being excluded from the in-group. Manipulating this fear, he asserts, is the most effective way people are transformed from ordinary human beings into human beings capable of evil. We tend to associate the desire for acceptance by the in-group with high school, but according to Zimbardo, this need does not stop at adolescence but continues through adulthood. He cites people’s willingness to suffer painful and or humiliating initiation rites in return for acceptance in fraternities, cults, social clubs, or the military. When the desire to be included is coupled with the terror of being excluded, Zimbardo writes that it can cripple initiative, negate personal autonomy, and lead people to do virtually anything to avoid rejection. “Authorities can command total obedience not through punishment or rewards but by means of the double-edged weapon: the lure of acceptance coupled with the threat of rejection.
Nikki Meredith (The Manson Women and Me: Monsters, Morality, and Murder)
The vast majority of Muslims still breathe in a universe in which the Name of God is associated above all with Compassion and Mercy, and they turn to Him in patience even in the midst of the worst tribulations. If it seems that more violence is associated with Islam than with other religions today, it is not due to the fact that there has been no violence elsewhere—think of the Korean and Vietnam wars, the atrocities committed by the Serbs, and the genocide in Rwanda and Burundi. The reason is that Islam is still very strong in Islamic society. Because Islam so pervades the lives of Muslims, all actions, including violent ones, are carried out in the name of Islam, especially since other ideologies such as nationalism and socialism have become so bankrupt. Yet this identification is itself paradoxical because traditional Islam is as much on the side of peace and accord as are traditional Judaism and Christianity. Despite such phenomena, however, if one looks at the extensive panorama of the Islamic spectrum summarized below, it becomes evident that for the vast majority of Muslims, the traditional norms based on peace and openness to others, norms that have governed their lives over the centuries and are opposed to both secularist modernism and “fundamentalism,” are of central concern. And after the dust settles in this tumultuous period of both Islamic and global history, it will be the voice of traditional Islam that will have the final say in the Islamic world.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr (The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity)
Remembering​ ​is​ ​something​ ​God​ ​asks​ ​us​ ​to​ ​do​ ​over​ ​and​ ​over​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Bible:​ ​“Remember the​ ​Sabbath​ ​day​ ​by​ ​keeping​ ​it​ ​holy”​ ​(Exod.​ ​20:8).​ ​​ ​“Remember​ ​your​ ​Creator”​ ​(Eccles.​ ​12:1).​ ​​ ​The Israelites​ ​were​ ​experts​ ​at​ ​remembering,​ ​building​ ​altars​ ​of​ ​thanks​ ​and​ ​celebrating​ ​festivals​ ​to​ ​be mindful​ ​of​ ​God’s​ ​mighty​ ​acts​ ​of​ ​provision.​ ​​ ​They​ ​had​ ​much​ ​to​ ​celebrate:​ ​​ ​the​ ​parting​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Red Sea,​ ​the​ ​supply​ ​of​ ​manna​ ​in​ ​the​ ​desert,​ ​the​ ​cloud​ ​by​ ​day​ ​and​ ​the​ ​pillar​ ​of​ ​fire​ ​by​ ​night.​ ​​ ​In remembering,​ ​they​ ​knew​ ​God​ ​was​ ​faithful,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​fortified​ ​their​ ​faith​ ​for​ ​the​ ​next​ ​battle​ ​ahead. All​ ​of​ ​us​ ​who​ ​are​ ​Christians​ ​are​ ​asked​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​too.​ ​​ ​The​ ​violence​ ​of​ ​the​ ​cross​ ​is​ ​in front​ ​of​ ​us​ ​each​ ​time​ ​we​ ​take​ ​communion--”Do​ ​this​ ​in​ ​remembrance​ ​of​ ​Me”​ ​(Luke​ ​22:19). Though​ ​it​ ​isn’t​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​face,​ ​we​ ​are​ ​asked​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​the​ ​blood​ ​He​ ​spilled​ ​out​ ​for​ ​us.​ ​​ ​When​ ​I embrace​ ​His​ ​suffering​ ​for​ ​me,​ ​it​ ​gives​ ​meaning​ ​to​ ​my​ ​own.​ ​​ ​I​ ​know​ ​it​ ​also​ ​forces​ ​me​ ​to remember​ ​the​ ​pain​ ​of​ ​others.​ ​​ ​And​ ​God​ ​doesn’t​ ​want​ ​me​ ​to​ ​forget​ ​the​ ​innocent​ ​blood​ ​that​ ​was shed​ ​over​ ​the​ ​hills​ ​of​ ​Rwanda.​ ​​ ​The​ ​act​ ​of​ ​remembering​ ​holds​ ​something​ ​very​ ​sacred--it​ ​makes us​ ​more​ ​grateful.​ ​​ ​We​ ​have​ ​to​ ​be​ ​willing​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​our​ ​pain​ ​so​ ​we​ ​can​ ​comfort​ ​and​ ​offer​ ​a place​ ​of​ ​healing​ ​for​ ​others.​ ​(pp.​ ​152-153)
Eric Irivuzumugabe (My Father, Maker of the Trees: How I Survived the Rwandan Genocide)
I frequently detect a hint of satisfaction in the accounts that manage to excavate moral and individual responsibility from the historical debris. Perhaps it is because of the unspoken belief that changing the people will change the outcome. 'No Hitler, no Holocaust.' If only a few individuals had resolved that it was unconscionable to be a bystander, then perhaps thousands would have been saved. I suppose there is some solace in recovering a history in which altering an isolated event transforms all that follows. But personalizing the story in this way can obscure how these were not isolated individuals operating on their own but rather were people situated in an organizational and historical context that profoundly shaped how they looked upon the world, what they believed they could do, and what they wanted to do. The UN staff and diplomats in New York, in the main, were highly decent, hard-working, and honorable individuals who believed that they were acting properly when they decided not to try to put an end to genocide. It is this history that stays with me.
Michael Barnett
PREFACE By Janine di Giovanni A few years back, I had a long session with a psychiatrist who was conducting a study on post-traumatic stress disorder and its effects on reporters working in war zones. At one point, he asked me: “How many bodies have you seen in your lifetime?” Without thinking for too long, I replied: “I’m not sure exactly. I've seen quite a few mass graves in Africa and Bosnia, and I saw a well crammed full of corpses in East Timor, oh and then there was Rwanda and Goma...” After a short pause, he said to me calmly: “Do you think that's a normal response to that question?” He was right. It wasn't a normal response. Over the course of their lifetime, most people see the bodies of their parents, maybe their grandparents at a push. Nobody else would have responded to that question like I did. Apart from my fellow war reporters, of course. When I met Marco Lupis nearly twenty years ago, in September 1999, we were stood watching (fighting the natural urge to divert our gaze) as pale, maggot-ridden corpses, decomposed beyond recognition, were being dragged out of the well in East Timor. Naked bodies shorn of all dignity. When Marco wrote to ask me to write the foreword to this book and relive the experiences we shared together in Dili, I agreed without giving it a second thought because I understood that he too was struggling for normal responses. That he was hoping he would find some by writing this book. While reading it, I could see that Marco shares my obsession with understanding the world, my compulsion to recount the horrors I have seen and witnessed, and my need to overcome them and leave them behind. He wants to bring sense to the apparently senseless. Books like this are important. Books written by people who have done jobs like ours. It's not just about conveying - be it in the papers, on TV or on the radio - the atrocities committed by the very worst of humankind as they are happening; it’s about ensuring these atrocities are never forgotten. Because all too often, unforgivably, the people responsible go unpunished. And the thing they rely on most for their impunity is that, with the passing of time, people simply forget. There is a steady flow of information as we are bombarded every day with news of the latest massacre, terrorist attack or humanitarian crisis. The things that moved or outraged us yesterday are soon forgotten, washed away by today's tidal wave of fresh events. Instead they become a part of history, and as such should not be forgotten so quickly. When I read Marco's book, I discovered that the people who murdered our colleague Sander Thoenes in Dili, while he was simply doing his job like the rest of us, are still at large to this day. I read the thoughts and hopes of Ingrid Betancourt just twenty-four hours before she was abducted and taken to the depths of the Colombian jungle, where she would remain captive for six long years. I read that we know little or nothing about those responsible for the Cambodian genocide, whose millions of victims remain to this day without peace or justice. I learned these things because the written word cannot be destroyed. A written account of abuse, terror, violence or murder can be used to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice, even though this can be an extremely drawn-out process during and after times of war. It still torments me, for example, that so many Bosnian women who were raped have never got justice and every day face the prospect of their assailants passing them on the street. But if I follow in Marco's footsteps and write down the things I have witnessed in a book, people will no longer be able to plead ignorance. That is why we need books like this one. J. dG.
Marco Lupis
Daily, the media report human activity in which force is used to settle disputes. Since 1945 not a single day has gone by without war, and the end of the Cold War has not reduced its frequency. For example, in 1994 more than thirty major armed conflicts were fought in twenty-seven locations throughout the world in such places as Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia, Chechnya, Liberia, Rwanda, and Somalia. Given its wide spread occurrence, it is little wonder so many people equate world politics with violence. In On War, Prussian strategist Karl von Clausewitz advanced his famous dictum that war is merely an extension of diplomacy by other means - "a form of communication between countries," albeit an extreme form. This insight underscores the realist belief that war is an instrument for states to use to resolve their disputes. War, however, is the deadliest instrument of conflict resolution, its onset indicating that persuasion and negotiations have failed. In international relations, conflict regularly occurs when actors interact and disputes over incompatible interests rise. In and of itself, conflict is not necessarily threatening when the partners turn to arms to settle their perceived irreconcilable differences.
Eugene R. Wittkopf (World Politics: Trend and Transformation)
On the last Saturday of every month, Rwanda goes to work for itself: clearing land, building classrooms, making roads. On these national days of community work, known as umuganda, most shops and businesses are closed. Umuganda is a national priority, and everyone is expected to participate.
Patricia Crisafulli (Rwanda, Inc.: How a Devastated Nation Became an Economic Model for the Developing World)
There were actual land sites all over the planet that should be very badly contaminated by lipofuscin, because their soil has been seeded with the stuff for generations. I speak, of course, of graveyards. Think about it: hundreds of bodies put into the ground—sometimes en masse, as happened throughout Europe during the horrors of the Plague, and more recently following acts of genocide in Rwanda and elsewhere. These soils should be chockablock with aggregates from their inhabitants’ decaying bodies. Yet, to my knowledge, there was no accumulation of lipofuscin in cemeteries—and if there were, we certainly ought to be aware of it, because lipofuscin is fluorescent. Months later, when I was discussing the issue with fellow Cambridge scientist John Archer, he would put the disconnect succinctly: “Why don’t graveyards glow in the dark?
Anonymous
Human beings are responsible for art, science, medicine, education, the Sistine Chapel, Handel’s Messiah, New York City, space travel, the novel, photography, and Mexican food — I mean, who doesn’t love Mexican food? But we’re also responsible for a world with 27 million slaves, blatant racism, the Holocaust, Hiroshima, the genocide in Rwanda, ISIS, the financial meltdown of 2008, pornography, global warming, the endangered-species list, and don’t even get me started on pop music. So we humans are a mixed bag. We have a great capacity — more than we know — to rule in a way that is life-giving for the people around us and the place we call home, or to rule in such a way that we exploit the earth itself and rob people of an environment where they can thrive. This was God’s risk. His venture. His experiment.
John Mark Comer (Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human.)
In order to oppose racism, we have to actually be concerned with oppression writ large. This means drawing critical connections between the plight of people of color and the poor in the United States and the broader struggle for freedom and tolerance on our small planet. It means fighting ethnic and religious bigotry throughout Asia and standing in solidarity with the Roma in Europe as well as African migrants. It means denouncing the immoral violence of anti-Semitism as well as Israel’s immoral destruction of the Palestinian people. It means taking a stand against ethnocentrism and genocide in Rwanda and standing up against antiblack racism in Brazil, Latin America, and the Arab world. As antiracists, we have to cultivate concern and compassion for the suffering marginalized people in our own communities and on the other side of the world.
Crystal Marie Fleming (How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide)
More people were slaughtered, hour by hour, in Rwanda than during the height of the Holocaust, and the Hutus didn’t have cattle cars or gas chambers.
Jeffrey Gettleman (Love, Africa: A Memoir of Romance, War, and Survival)
LYING WARS The war in Iraq grew out of the need to correct an error made by Geography when she put the West’s oil under the East’s sand. But no war is honest enough to confess: “I kill to steal.” “The devil’s shit,” as oil is called by its victims, has caused many wars and will certainly cause many more. In Sudan, for instance, a huge number of people lost their lives between the final years of the twentieth century and the first years of the twenty-first, in an oil war that disguised itself as an ethnic and religious conflict. Derricks and drills, pipes and pipelines sprouted as if by magic in villages turned to ashes and in fields of ruined crops. In the Darfur region, where the butchery continues, the people, all Muslim, began to hate each other when they discovered there might be oil under their feet. The killing in the hills of Rwanda also claimed to be an ethnic and religious war, even though killers and killed were all Catholics. Hatred, a colonial legacy, stemmed from the time when Belgium decreed that those who raised cattle were Tutsis and those who grew crops were Hutus, and that the Tutsi minority ought to dominate the Hutu majority. In recent years, another multitude lost their lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the service of foreign companies fighting over coltan. That rare mineral is an essential ingredient in cell phones, computers, microchips, and batteries, all of which are staples of the mass media. The media, however, forgot to mention coltan in their scant coverage of the war.
Eduardo Galeano (Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone)
Who has the moral high ground? Fifteen blocks from the whitehouse on small corners in northwest, d.c. boys disguised as me rip each other’s hearts out with weapons made in china. they fight for territory. across the planet in a land where civilization was born the boys of d.c. know nothing about their distant relatives in Rwanda. they have never heard of the hutu or tutsi people. their eyes draw blanks at the mention of kigali, byumba or butare. all they know are the streets of d.c., and do not cry at funerals anymore. numbers and frequency have a way of making murder commonplace and not news unless it spreads outside of our house, block, territory. modern massacres are intraethnic. bosnia, sri lanka, burundi, nagorno-karabakh, iraq, laos, angola, liberia, and rwanda are small foreign names on a map made in europe. when bodies by the tens of thousands float down a river turning the water the color of blood, as a quarter of a million people flee barefoot into tanzania and zaire, somehow we notice. we do not smile, we have no more tears. we hold our thoughts. In deeply muted silence looking south and thinking that today nelson mandela seems much larger than he is.
Haki R. Madhubuti
To live as the body of Christ in such a time as this is to reimagine what it means to remember and embody that story of resurrection.
Emmanuel M. Katongole (Mirror to the Church: Resurrecting Faith After Genocide in Rwanda)
You want to know the meaning of life? This is your highest calling: You are called into the dynamic co-creation of the cosmos. This breath is your canvas and your brush. These are the raw materials for your art, for the life you are making. Nothing is off limits. Your backyard, your piano, your paintbrush, your conversation, Rwanda, New Orleans, Iraq, your marriage, your soul. You’re making a living with every step you take.—Jon Foreman
Emily P. Freeman (A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live)
They were posted to a country neither knew much about beyond the space it occupied on the map of East Africa between Kenya and Rwanda. After four years working in the remote Usambara Mountains, they moved to Moshi, which means “smoke” in Swahili, where the family was billeted by their Lutheran missionary society in a Greek gun dealer’s sprawling cinder-block home, which had been seized by the authorities. And with the sort of serendipity that so often rewards impetuousness, the entire family fell fiercely in love with the country that would be renamed Tanzania after independence in 1961. “The older I get, the more I appreciate my childhood. It was paradise,” Mortenson says
Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time)
Being a priest is not easy in Rwanda now; people see my collar and scream, ‘Where was God when my family was being killed?! Where was Jesus when my child was being raped?! Why did God abandon Rwanda?!’” “I’ve heard people say that, too, Father.” “God didn’t abandon our country, Immaculée. He was here the entire time, feeling the pain of every victim. He is still here—He is with the wounded, the lost, and the grieving. Yes, it’s ugly in Rwanda, but God’s beauty is still alive here. And you will find it in love.
Immaculée Ilibagiza (Led By Faith)
E. Raymond Hall, professor of biology at the University of Kansas, wrote the authoritative work on American wildlife, Mammals of North America. He stated as a biological law that, “two subspecies of the same species do not occur in the same geographic area.” Prof. Hall explains that human races are biological subspecies, and that the law applied to them, too: “To imagine one subspecies of man living together on equal terms for long with another subspecies is but wishful thinking and leads only to disaster and oblivion for one or the other.” In recent decades we have seen what Prof. Hall was writing about in the Balkans, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Eastern Congo. We call it “ethnic cleansing.” In Zimbabwe there is a systematic effort to rid the country of whites, and some observers do not rule out similar efforts in South Africa and Namibia. Is it utterly unrealistic to imagine ethnic cleansing in the United States? Prof. Hall’s forebodings do not appear outlandish in some of our schools, prisons, and neighborhoods. The demographic forces we have set in motion have created conditions that are inherently unstable and potentially violent. All other groups are growing in numbers and have a vivid racial identity. Only whites have no racial identity, are constantly on the defensive, and constantly in retreat. They have a choice: regain a sense of identity and the resolve to maintain their numbers, their traditions, and their way of life—or face oblivion.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
Gallup’s 2014 Positive Experience Index, an international comparison study of the moment-to-moment happiness of people living in different nations, ranked America at an underwhelming twenty-fifth in the world, two places behind Rwanda.
Ruth Whippman (America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness Is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks)
Then Jack turned to examine the children. They were clustered together, white from terror, some crying, some catatonic, all with a look on their faces he’d seen before, a look of vacant, hollow-eyed shock occasioned by horror way beyond a child’s capacity to process. He’d seen it on children’s faces in Kosovo and Somalia and Rwanda. An older woman who must have been the teacher’s aide stood in the center of them like Mother Goose and they clung to her skirt for comfort. She gazed at Jack with such profound wonder and gratitude, he was suddenly embarrassed.
Ninie Hammon (The Knowing (The Knowing, #1))
THIS IS MY ABC BOOK of people God loves. We’ll start with . . .           A: God loves Adorable people. God loves those who are Affable and Affectionate. God loves Ambulance drivers, Artists, Accordion players, Astronauts, Airplane pilots, and Acrobats. God loves African Americans, the Amish, Anglicans, and Animal husbandry workers. God loves Animal-rights Activists, Astrologers, Adulterers, Addicts, Atheists, and Abortionists.           B: God loves Babies. God loves Bible readers. God loves Baptists and Barbershop quartets . . . Boys and Boy Band members . . . Blondes, Brunettes, and old ladies with Blue hair. He loves the Bedraggled, the Beat up, and the Burnt out . . . the Bullied and the Bullies . . . people who are Brave, Busy, Bossy, Bitter, Boastful, Bored, and Boorish. God loves all the Blue men in the Blue Man Group.           C: God loves Crystal meth junkies,           D: Drag queens,           E: and Elvis impersonators.           F: God loves the Faithful and the Faithless, the Fearful and the Fearless. He loves people from Fiji, Finland, and France; people who Fight for Freedom, their Friends, and their right to party; and God loves people who sound like Fat Albert . . . “Hey, hey, hey!”           G: God loves Greedy Guatemalan Gynecologists.           H: God loves Homosexuals, and people who are Homophobic, and all the Homo sapiens in between.           I: God loves IRS auditors.           J: God loves late-night talk-show hosts named Jimmy (Fallon or Kimmel), people who eat Jim sausages (Dean or Slim), people who love Jams (hip-hop or strawberry), singers named Justin (Timberlake or Bieber), and people who aren’t ready for this Jelly (Beyoncé’s or grape).           K: God loves Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, and Kanye Kardashian. (Please don’t tell him I said that.)           L: God loves people in Laos and people who are feeling Lousy. God loves people who are Ludicrous, and God loves Ludacris. God loves Ladies, and God loves Lady Gaga.           M: God loves Ministers, Missionaries, and Meter maids; people who are Malicious, Meticulous, Mischievous, and Mysterious; people who collect Marbles and people who have lost their Marbles . . . and Miley Cyrus.           N: God loves Ninjas, Nudists, and Nose pickers,           O: Obstetricians, Orthodontists, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, and Overweight Obituary writers,           P: Pimps, Pornographers, and Pedophiles,           Q: the Queen of England, the members of the band Queen, and Queen Latifah.           R: God loves the people of Rwanda and the Rebels who committed genocide against them.           S: God loves Strippers in Stilettos working on the Strip in Sin City;           T: it’s not unusual that God loves Tom Jones.           U: God loves people from the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates; Ukrainians and Uruguayans, the Unemployed and Unemployment inspectors; blind baseball Umpires and shady Used-car salesmen. God loves Ushers, and God loves Usher.           V: God loves Vegetarians in Virginia Beach, Vegans in Vietnam, and people who eat lots of Vanilla bean ice cream in Las Vegas.           W: The great I AM loves will.i.am. He loves Waitresses who work at Waffle Houses, Weirdos who have gotten lots of Wet Willies, and Weight Watchers who hide Whatchamacallits in their Windbreakers.           X: God loves X-ray technicians.           Y: God loves You.           Z: God loves Zoologists who are preparing for the Zombie apocalypse. God . . . is for the rest of us. And we have the responsibility, the honor, of letting the world know that God is for them, and he’s inviting them into a life-changing relationship with him. So let ’em know.
Vince Antonucci (God for the Rest of Us: Experience Unbelievable Love, Unlimited Hope, and Uncommon Grace)
I couldn’t care less about politics, the culture wars. My only interest is to get people to care about Darfurs and Rwandas.
Peter Singer (The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty)
Clinton chose his language very carefully. About Rwanda, he said that, at the time, he “did not fully appreciate” the extent of the genocide. Not that he did not know. Because he did know. The Washington Post reported piles of bodies six feet high, and the evening news showed rivers choked with corpses. Regret, not action, had been his policy decision. Regret, he hoped, would not cost him anything.
Eula Biss (Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays)
Voordat de Belgen naar Rwanda kwamen en het koloniseerden, leefden Hutu’s en Tutsi’s vreedzaam samen. Maar kolonisatie is gebaseerd op het idee dat we niet gelijk zijn, dat we niet allemaal even menselijk zijn. De Belgen legden hun wrede ideologie aan de Rwandezen op, hun overtuiging dat mensen met een bepaalde schedelomvang en een specifieke neusbreedte beter en slimmer waren dan anderen, dat ze tot een superieur ras behoorden. Die ideologie drong door in de Rwandese psyche en zorgde ervoor dat het land zichzelf te gronde richtte.
Clemantine Wamariya (Het meisje dat kralen kon lachen)
One of books is about the genocide in Rwanda and the other book is about a little boy who gets raped. Who needs monsters?
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Last Night I Sang to the Monster)
I asked him whom he blamed for their deaths. He shrugged. “There are too many people to blame. Mobutu for ruining our country. Rwanda and Uganda for invading it. Ourselves for letting them do so. None of that will help bring my children back.
Jason K. Stearns (Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa)
The ‘atrocities’ that are occurring or are alleged to have occurred in Israel are overshadowed by the myriads of killings of innocents in Syria, Somalia, Rwanda, Sudan, Egypt, Afghanistan and Iraq to name a few. So what makes this particular conflict so outstanding? The most logical explanation is that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not about land, occupation, politics, or a dispute over historical legitimacy and ownership of a tiny corner of real estate -especially one that lays within a sea of sand and has virtually no natural resources. This conflict is rooted in a much more encompassing issue: it is the battle between Islam and Judaism. Judaism and Islam are indeed at odds.
Ze'Ev Shemer (Israel and the Palestinian Nightmare)
Put those national institutions under the magnifying glass, I challenged the class. Take a closer look, not just because those institutions have denied illegal activities of which we now have clear evidence, but also because the bodies unearthed from supposedly different conflicts have told such similar stories. For example, Rwanda has been described as having experienced “spontaneous tribal violence” in 1994, while the former Yugoslavia was said to have experienced “war” between supposedly discrete “ethnic and religious” groups from 1991 to 1995. How could such different conflicts produce dead who tell a single story—a story in which internally displaced people gather or are directed to distinct locations before being murdered there? How could “spontaneous violence” or “war” leave physical evidence that reveals tell-tale signs of methodical preparation for mass murder of noncombatants? I’m thinking about countrywide roadblocks to check civilians’ identity cards, supplies of wire and cloth sufficient to blindfold and tie up thousands of people, bodies buried in holes created by heavy earth-moving machinery during times when fuel alone is hard to come by.
Clea Koff (The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo)
Why did those governments decide to murder their own people? Why did soldiers and police and barbers and mechanics murder their own neighbors? I think the answer is self-interest. Particular people in a government of a single ideology with effectively no political opponents have supported national institutions that maintain power for themselves. What muddied the waters were the “reasons” the decision makers gave for their political agendas. Take Kosovo: were the killings and expulsions in the 1990s really meant to avenge the Battle of 1389, as Serbian president Slobodan Milošević was fond of stating? Or was it because mineral-rich parts of Kosovo can produce up to $5 billion in annual export income for Serbia? Or take Rwanda: did Hutus kill their neighbors and all their neighbors’ children simply because they were Tutsi, as the government exhorted them to do? Or was it because the government promised Hutus their neighbors’ farmland, land that otherwise could only have been inherited by those very children, and those children’s children, ad infinitum?
Clea Koff (The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo)
Jean ratelt aan een stuk door terwijl hij me met groot vertrouwen door de bergen van Burundi voert. Hij is een hutu uit het noorden en kent deze streek op z'n duimpje. "De groep is een probleem in Afrika," zegt hij peinzend. " Individueel hebben wij, Hutu's en Tutsi's, niets tegen elkasr. Maar in groepsverband laten we ons meeslepen, scheppen we een klimaat van angst voor elkaar. Dan denken we niet meer zelfstandig, nemen we geen individuele verantwoordelijkheid meer voor onze daden. Dan wordt alles vertaald in termen van "wij" en "zij" en "zij" dat is een andere soort, een ander ras, dat zijn geen levende wezens.
Els De Temmerman (De doden zijn niet dood. Rwanda, een ooggetuigenverslag.)
Dit is zoveel kwaad, zeg ik. Geloven ze dat de neiging tot het kwade in mens groter is dan die tot het goede? De bisschop kijkt zijn tafelgenoten afwachtend aan. "Het goede wordt niet opgeschreven," zegt Leonard nadenkend. " Maar ik denk inderdaad dat de mens meer geneigd is tot het kwade. Het is gemakkelijker te verwoesten dan op te bouwen.
Els De Temmerman (De doden zijn niet dood. Rwanda, een ooggetuigenverslag.)
Jean ratelt aan een stuk door terwijl hij me met groot vertrouwen door de bergen van Burundi voert. Hij is een Hutu uit het noorden en kent deze streek op z'n duimpje. "De groep is een probleem in Afrika," zegt hij peinzend. " Individueel hebben wij, Hutu's en Tutsi's, niets tegen elkaar. Maar in groepsverband laten we ons meeslepen, scheppen we een klimaat van angst voor elkaar. Dan denken we niet meer zelfstandig, nemen we geen individuele verantwoordelijkheid meer voor onze daden. Dan wordt alles vertaald in termen van "wij" en "zij" en "zij" dat is een andere soort, een ander ras, dat zijn geen levende wezens.
Els De Temmerman (De doden zijn niet dood. Rwanda, een ooggetuigenverslag.)
When the press characterized the Simpson trial as the trial of the century, in a century in which the Nuremberg trials had occurred, were they saying that this one blonde was worth more than all the victims of the Nazis? That this trial was more important than tribunals for the murderers from Serbia and Rwanda?
Ishmael Reed (Juice!)
It’s Dad’s decision.” Maybe this is how it happened in Germany with the Nazis, in Bosnia with the Serbs, in Rwanda with the Hutus. I’ve often wondered about that, about how kids can turn into monsters, how they learn that killing is right and oppression is just, how in one single generation the world can change on its axis into a place that’s unrecognizable.
Christina Dalcher (Vox)
Rwanda in 1949 was a land of enchantment—a wilderness where people and animals lived in harmony untouched by the outside world. Shepherds led their cattle to drink at the lakes and pools until evening, when elephants began to migrate toward the watering holes to drink and bathe. Time was told by the sun, and the moon was the calendar. A house could be built in a few days, made from trees and bamboo gathered from the forests and roofed with grass. Men prayed that the weather would be favorable for their crops, young boys dreamed of owning large herds of cattle, and little girls cradled and sang to their dolls made of spiky flowers called red-hot pokers, imagining a baby of their own. The markets were social gathering places and trading centers where a finely woven grass mat was exchanged for forty pounds of potatoes or a basket for storing grain.
Rosamond Halsey Carr (Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda)
You want to know the meaning of life? This is your highest calling: You are called into the dynamic co-creation of the cosmos. This breath is your canvas and your brush. These are the raw materials for your art, for the life you are making. Nothing is off limits. Your backyard, your piano, your paintbrush, your conversation, Rwanda, New Orleans, Iraq, your marriage, your soul. You’re making a living with every step you take. —Jon Foreman
Emily P. Freeman (A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live)
I know there is a God because in Rwanda I shook hands with the devil. I have seen him, I have smelled him and I have touched him. I know the devil exists and therefore I know there is a God.
Lt-Gen. Roméo Dallaire
My goal is to work towards making the MTN brand a powerful catalyst for social change in Rwanda.
Ebenezer Asante CEO MTN Rwanda
There is surely no reason for Western civilization to have guilt trips laid on it by champions of cultures based on despotism, superstition, tribalism, and fanaticism. In this regard the Afrocentrists are especially absurd. The West needs no lectures on the superior virtue of those "sun people" who sustained slavery until Western imperialism abolished it (and sustain it to this day in Mauritania and the Sudan), who keep women in subjection, marry several at once, and mutilate their genitals, who carry out racial persecutions not only against Indians and other Asians but against fellow Africans from the wrong tribes, who show themselves either incapable of operating a democracy or ideologically hostile to the democratic idea, and who in their tyrannies and massacres, their Idi Amins and Boukassas, have stamped with utmost brutality on human rights. Keith B. Richburg, a black newspaperman who served for three years as the Washington Post's bureau chief in Africa, saw bloated bodies floating down a river in Tanzania from the insanity that was Rwanda and thought: "There but for the grace of God go I . . . Thank God my nameless ancestor, brought across the ocean in chains and leg irons, made it out alive . . . Thank God I am an American".
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society)
In contrast, it would have made no sense for China to invade California and seize Silicon Valley, for even if the Chinese could somehow prevail on the battlefield, there were no silicon mines to loot in Silicon Valley. Instead, the Chinese have earned billions of dollars from cooperating with hi-tech giants such as Apple and Microsoft, buying their software and manufacturing their products. What Rwanda earned from an entire year of looting Congolese coltan, the Chinese earn in a single day of peaceful commerce.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Still, I did not regret for a moment leaving the bright lights of Manhattan behind in favour of night skies so dark the stars seemed close enough to be street lights. In the recycled cabin air of the long flight back, I physically longed for Rwanda, its rich red earth, the smell of its wood fires and its vibrant humanity.
Roméo Dallaire (Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda)
The people of Rwanda were not an insignificant black mass living in abject poverty in a place of no consequence. They were individuals like myself, like my family, with every right and expectation of any human who is a member of our tortured race. I was determined to persevere.
Roméo Dallaire (Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda)
Pastor Philippe to Jason Stearns: I asked him whom he blamed for their deaths. He shrugged. "There are too many people to blame. Mobutu for ruining our country. Rwanda and Uganda for invading it. Ourselves for letting them do it. None of that will help bring my children back.
Jason K. Stearns
I used to think that wrath was unworthy of God. Isn’t God love? Shouldn’t divine love be beyond wrath? God is love, and God loves every person and every creature. That’s exactly why God is wrathful against some of them. My last resistance to the idea of God’s wrath was a casualty of the war in the former Yugoslavia, the region from which I come. According to some estimates, 200,000 people were killed and over 3,000,000 were displaced. My villages and cities were destroyed, my people shelled day in and day out, some of them brutalized beyond imagination, and I could not imagine God not being angry. Or think of Rwanda in the last decade of the past century where 800,000 people were hacked to death in one hundred days! How did God react to the carnage? By doting on the perpetrators in a grandparently fashion? By refusing to condemn the bloodbath but instead affirming the perpetrators’ basic goodness? Wasn’t God fiercely angry with them? Though I used to complain about the indecency of the idea of God’s wrath, I came to think that I would have to rebel against a God who wasn’t wrathful at the sight of the world’s evil. God isn’t wrathful in spite of being love. God is wrathful because God is love.[11] Were
Michael Reeves (Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith)
What Rwanda earned from an entire year of looting Congolese coltan, the Chinese earn in a single day of peaceful commerce.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Xenophobic propaganda can take another sinister form. Its progenitor is that favorite taunt of the playground bully: “You’ve got cooties.” Grown-up bullies are notorious for fomenting hatred by branding the target of their aggression—usually a vulnerable minority—a parasite or other vehicle for transmitting infection. This tradition has deep roots. The ancient Romans vilified outsiders as detritus and scum. Jews—history’s favorite scapegoats—were depicted by the Nazis as leeches on society, setting the stage for the Holocaust. Meanwhile, in the United States, law-abiding Japanese American civilians were called “yellow vermin”—a slur that became a rallying cry for imprisoning them in internment camps. In 1994, Rwanda erupted in a genocidal bloodbath when Hutu extremists incited their followers to “exterminate the Tutsi cockroaches.
Kathleen McAuliffe (This Is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society)
the problem with statistics is that they don't activate our moral emotions. The depressing numbers leave us cold: our minds can't comprehend suffering on such a massive scale. This is why we are riveted when one child falls down a well but turn a blind eye to the millions of people who die every year for lack of clean water. And why we donate thousands of dollars to help a single African war orphan featured on the cover of a magazine but ignore widespread genocides in Rwanda and Darfur. As Mother Teresa put it, "If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will
Jonah Lehrer (How We Decide)
Still, at its heart the Rwandan story is the story of the failure of humanity to heed a call for help from an endangered people. The international community, of which the UN is only a symbol, failed to move beyond self-interest for the sake of Rwanda. While most nations agreed that something should be done they all had an excuses why they should not be the ones to do it. As a result, the UN was denied the political will and material mean to prevent the tragedy.
Roméo Dallaire (Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda)
Even the punishment, the regimentation, and the excessive brutality operative in the prison are often largely more intense versions of the regimens and practices that are found in the general population. The terror that law can work is not limited to the prisons, police violence, and the death penalty. As anthropologist Christopher Taylor observed about even the genocidal terror in Rwanda in 1994, “the culture of terror does not depart radically from the culture of ordinary sociality. It is the same, only more so.
Mark Lewis Taylor (The Executed God: The Way of the Cross in Lockdown America)
Strict Father morality is not just unhealthy for children. It is unhealthy for any society. It sets up good vs. evil, us vs. them dichotomies and recommends aggressive punitive action against “them.” It divides society into groups that “deserve” reward and punishment, where the grounds on which “they” “deserve” to have pain inflicted on them are essentially subjective and ultimately untenable (as we saw in the last chapter). Strict Father morality thereby breeds a divisive culture of exclusion and blame. It appeals to the worst of human instincts, leading people to stereotype, demonize, and punish the Other—just for being the Other. Blaming and punishing the Other for being the Other has led, in the worst cases, to the vilest of horrors: the Holocaust and the ghastly tragedies in Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia, and so many other places. In this country it led to the KKK, and it is what many people fear from the militia movement. But even if there is no killing, a culture of blame is not one that is pleasant or productive to live in. In does not make for a harmonious society or for social progress. Insofar as Nurturant Parent morality can encourage cooperation and provide the incentive, the training, and the environment in which the largest number of citizens can work together productively and cooperatively, it seems by far the better choice.
George Lakoff (Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think, Third Edition)
The only contry in the world where there's a majority of women in parliament is Rwanda. Rwanda. That's when women get power, real power - if the men are either dead or in prison.
A.L. Kennedy (Serious Sweet)
Diane Louise Jordan Diane Louise Jordan is a British television presenter best known for her role in the long-running children’s program Blue Peter, which she hosted from 1990 until 1996. She is currently hosting BBC1’s religious show, Songs of Praise. Also noted for her charity work, Diane Louise Jordan is vice president of the National Children’s Home in England. We all need to be loved--whether we admit it or not. All of us. A friend of mine recalled how, when in Rwanda a few years ago, he was taken to visit a lady in the slums. She was in agony because of an AIDS-related illness and had just hours to live. He described the inadequate dirt-floor shack that was her home among unbearable squalor. And yet he said it wasn’t the intense poverty or painful illness that struck him most, but rather the compassion of her friend who kept vigil. A friend who used no words, just silent tears, to express the deep feelings she had for her dying companion. In a similar way, it wasn’t words that stirred international attention, but the silent image of two people holding hands. One an HIV/AIDS sufferer and the other a “fairy-tale” princess. When Diana, Princess of Wales, held the hand of that seriously ill man back in the 1980s, many boundaries were crossed, many stigmas defeated. At that time, fear of death by AIDS had gripped the world so savagely that we were in danger of losing our humanity. Yet all it took to crush the storm of fear was a simple loving gesture. Princess Diana was good at that. She had the courage to follow her instincts, even if it meant being countercultural. She made it her job to be kind and loving.
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best)
However, Roméo Dallaire, the Canadian general in charge of the UN peacekeepers, refused to obey his orders to leave and remained with a couple hundred soldiers. He was a brave and moral man, but he was also alone in a sea of killers. We heard him often on the radio begging for someone, anyone, to send troops to Rwanda to stop the slaughter, but no one listened to him. Belgium, our country’s former colonial ruler, had been the first to pull its soldiers out of the country; meanwhile, the United States wouldn’t even acknowledge that the genocide was happening!
Immaculée Ilibagiza (Left To Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust)
Au Rwanda, comme dans le reste du monde, le Malheur tisse inlassablement la trame de la vie humaine : la mort frappe les petits enfants, la peste décime les vaches, la sécheresse provoque la famine, la guerre ravage les collines. Bien sûr, on voudrait savoir d’où provient le Malheur et surtout qui nous l’envoie. Les suspects sont nombreux.
Scholastique Mukasonga (Ce que murmurent les collines)
Many countries today already totally ban private gun ownership, with Rwanda and Sierra Leone as two notable examples. With more than a million people hacked to death with knives and cleavers over the last seven years, were the citizens of Rwanda and Sierra Leone better off without guns to defend themselves?
John R. Lott Jr. (The Bias Against Guns: Why Almost Everything You'Ve Heard About Gun Control Is Wrong)
Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that so much well-crafted writing comes from the incarcerated when we consider that, hardly to our credit, the United States locks up nearly 25 percent of the world’s prison population, while having only 5 percent of the world’s overall population. Or, in other terms, the United States incarcerates more than 2.2 million individuals, a far higher rate per capita than any other nation. (According to the International Centre for Prison Studies, the US is number one, with St. Kitts and Nevis just below at two; Rwanda at six; South Africa at thirty-seven; Iran at thirty-nine; Israel at sixty-four; the UK at 104; China at 127; and Canada at 135.)
Joyce Carol Oates (Prison Noir)
I’d later confess to one of the donors, Raj Fernando, an algorithmic trader in Chicago, that I felt guilty about how much the Times had paid to send me on the Clinton Foundation trip—a six-night swing through Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, plus a pit stop in Cyprus so Clinton could deliver a paid speech. “Believe me,” Raj said. “I paid more.” It was the summer of 2012, right before Clinton’s
Amy Chozick (Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling)
The old-fangled cynicism that the Clinton administration wanted to do away with made way for a new-fangled cynicism: humanitarian in its intentions, highly naive in its analyses and therefore disastrous in its consequences. There was no long-term vision. The confusion was great, the policy off the cuff. The backing for Rwanda and the rebels would unleash years of misery. Kabila must have found it rather amusing: thirty years after being assisted by Che Guevara, he was now suddenly receiving support from the Satan of Imperialism itself.
David Van Reybrouck (Congo: The Epic History of a People)
It never occurred to Brown that a genocide comparable to Rwanda had taken place in Darfur in western Sudan in 2003, and the wired world had done nothing to stop it.
Nick Cohen (You Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom)
I’ve never subscribed to the notion that poverty is quaint or that isolation is somehow ennobling. And anyway, this is Rwanda. There is very little innocence left to lose.
Will Ferguson (Road Trip Rwanda: A Journey Into the New Heart of Africa)
Helena's telling Sorcha that the media are OH! MY! GOD! totally ignoring what's going on in Rwanda, we're talking four years on from the genocide, with thousands of unarmed civilians being extrajudicially executed by government soldiers - 'It's like, HELLO?' - while almost 150,000 people detained in connection with the 1994 genocide are being held without, like, trial. She goes, 'I'm not even going to _stort_ on the thousands of refugees forcibly returned to Burundi. It's like, do NOT even go there.' Sorcha's saying that President Pasteur Bizimungu SO should be indicted for war crimes if half of what she's read on the Internet is true. She's there, 'It's like, OH! MY! GOD!' but I'm not really listening, roysh, I'm giving the old mince pies to Amanda, this total lasher who's, like, second year Orts.
Paul Howard (The Miseducation Years)
This lack of hope in the future is the root cause of rage. If we cannot provide hope for the untold masses of the world, then the future will be nothing but a repeat of Rwanda, Sierra Leone, the Congo and September 11.
Roméo Dallaire
Scholars note that human reasoning is limited not only by imperfect information and innate intellectual capacities but also by the broader culture that subsequently shapes the very optics that individuals use to categorize the world.
Michael Barnett (Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda)
Perhaps this is why an institution is unlikely to feel or admit to shame; it may be unable to countenance the possibility that at root it is not what it purports, even to itself, to be. (quoted by Michael Barnett in Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda)
Elizabeth Spellman
Thanks to Rwanda’s lack of minerals, the world’s most powerful nation was content to let 800,000 people have their faces chopped off with machetes.
Nathan Robinson (Superpredator: Bill Clinton's Use and Abuse of Black America)
In his recent guest editorial, Richard McNally voices skepticism about the National Vietnam Veteran’s Readjustment Study (NVVRS) data reporting that over one-half of those who served in the Vietnam War have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or subclinical PTSD. Dr McNally is particularly skeptical because only 15% of soldiers served in combat units (1). He writes, “the mystery behind the discrepancy in numbers of those with the disease and of those in combat remains unsolved today” (4, p 815). He talks about bizarre facts and implies many, if not most, cases of PTSD are malingered or iatrogenic. Dr McNally ignores the obvious reality that when people are deployed to a war zone, exposure to trauma is not limited to members of combat units (2,3). At the Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centre of the Canadian Forces in Ottawa, we have assessed over 100 Canadian soldiers, many of whom have never been in combat units, who have experienced a range of horrific traumas and threats in places like Rwanda, Somalia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. We must inform Dr McNally that, in real world practice, even cooks and clerks are affected when faced with death, genocide, ethnic cleansing, bombs, landmines, snipers, and suicide bombers ... One theory suggests that there is a conscious decision on the part of some individuals to deny trauma and its impact. Another suggests that some individuals may use dissociation or repression to block from consciousness what is quite obvious to those who listen to real-life patients." Cameron, C., & Heber, A. (2006). Re: Troubles in Traumatology, and Debunking Myths about Trauma and Memory/Reply: Troubles in Traumatology and Debunking Myths about Trauma and Memory. Canadian journal of psychiatry, 51(6), 402.
Colin Cameron
Dehumanization has fueled innumerable acts of violence, human rights violations, war crimes, and genocides. It makes slavery, torture, and human trafficking possible. Dehumanizing others is the process by which we become accepting of violations against human nature, the human spirit, and, for many of us, violations against the central tenets of our faith. How does this happen? Maiese explains that most of us believe that people’s basic human rights should not be violated—that crimes like murder, rape, and torture are wrong. Successful dehumanizing, however, creates moral exclusion. Groups targeted based on their identity—gender, ideology, skin color, ethnicity, religion, age—are depicted as “less than” or criminal or even evil. The targeted group eventually falls out of the scope of who is naturally protected by our moral code. This is moral exclusion, and dehumanization is at its core. Dehumanizing always starts with language, often followed by images. We see this throughout history. During the Holocaust, Nazis described Jews as Untermenschen—subhuman. They called Jews rats and depicted them as disease-carrying rodents in everything from military pamphlets to children’s books. Hutus involved in the Rwanda genocide called Tutsis cockroaches. Indigenous people are often referred to as savages. Serbs called Bosnians aliens. Slave owners throughout history considered slaves subhuman animals. I know it’s hard to believe that we ourselves could ever get to a place where we would exclude people from equal moral treatment, from our basic moral values, but we’re fighting biology here. We’re hardwired to believe what we see and to attach meaning to the words we hear. We can’t pretend that every citizen who participated in or was a bystander to human atrocities was a violent psychopath. That’s not possible, it’s not true, and it misses the point. The point is that we are all vulnerable to the slow and insidious practice of dehumanizing, therefore we are all responsible for recognizing it and stopping it. THE COURAGE TO EMBRACE OUR HUMANITY Because so many time-worn systems of power have placed certain people outside the realm of what we see as human, much of our work now is more a matter of “rehumanizing.” That starts in the same place dehumanizing starts—with words and images. Today we are edging closer and closer to a world where political and ideological discourse has become
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
How can I refuse to forgive you when I did not make you? Your crime--" she paused, forming her thoughts carefully--"Your crime was against God, who created the people you killed.
Catherine Claire Larson (As We Forgive: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda)
[A] clear picture came into John's mind. He could see Jesus hanging on the cross: stripped, beaten, mocked, despised, nails tearing through his flesh, and a crown of thorns on his head. And John could hear Jesus cry, from within the pain, "Forgive!" John realized his message was for him and for his fellow Rwandans. He understood that neither he, nor they, could wait until the pain was over in order to forgive. Jesus had cried out for the forgiveness of his killers when he was still in the midst of the pain.
Catherine Claire Larson (As We Forgive: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda)
Were height the measure for determining race, as arbitrary a measure as any and less arbitrary than some, the Dutch people of the Netherlands would be the same “race” as the Nilote people of South Sudan or the Tutsis of Rwanda, as they are all among the tallest in our species, even the women averaging well over six feet. On the other end, the Pygmies and Sardinians would be their own separate “race,” as they have historically been among the shortest humans.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)