For the first time in the United States comes the tragic and profoundly important story of the legendary Canadian general who "watched as the devil took control of paradise on earth and fed on the blood of the people we were supposed to protect." When Romeo Dallaire was called on to serve as force commander of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda, he believed that his assignment was to help two warring parties achieve the peace they both wanted. Instead, he was exposed to the most barbarous and chaotic display of civil war and genocide in the past decade, observing in just one hundred days the killings of more than eight hundred thousand Rwandans. With only a few troops, his own ingenuity and courage to direct his efforts, Dallaire rescued thousands, but his call for more support from the world body fell on deaf ears. In Shake Hands with the Devil, General Dallaire recreates the awful history the world community chose to ignore. He also chronicles his own progression from confident Cold Warrior to devastated UN commander, and finally to retired general struggling painfully, and publicly, to overcome posttraumatic stress disorder -- the highest-ranking officer ever to share such experiences with readers.
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families by Philip Gourevitch
Publication Date: 1999-09-04
An unforgettable firsthand account of a people's response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity. This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994, when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Though the killing was low-tech--largely by machete--it was carried out at shocking speed: some 800,000 people were exterminated in a hundred days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives Philip Gourevitch his title. With keen dramatic intensity, Gourevitch frames the genesis and horror of Rwanda's "genocidal logic" in the anguish of its aftermath: the mass displacements, the temptations of revenge and the quest for justice, the impossibly crowded prisons and refugee camps. Through intimate portraits of Rwandans in all walks of life, he focuses on the psychological and political challenges of survival and on how the new leaders of postcolonial Africa went to war in the Congo when resurgent genocidal forces threatened to overrun central Africa. Can a country composed largely of perpetrators and victims create a cohesive national society? This moving contribution to the literature of witness tells us much about the struggle everywhere to forge sane, habitable political orders, and about the stubbornness of the human spirit in a world of extremity. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
Machete Season by Jean Hatzfeld; Susan Sontag (Preface by); Linda Coverdale (Translator)
Publication Date: 2006-04-18
During the spring of 1994, in a tiny country called Rwanda, some 800,000 people were hacked to death, one by one, by their neighbors in a gruesome civil war. Several years later, journalist Jean Hatzfeld traveled to Rwanda to interview ten participants in the killings, eliciting extraordinary testimony from these men about the genocide they perpetrated. As Susan Sontag wrote in the preface,Machete Season is a document that "everyone should read . . . [because making] the effort to understand what happened in Rwanda . . . is part of being a moral adult."
Life Laid Bare by Jean Hatzfeld; Linda Coverdale (Translator)
Publication Date: 2007-10-15
"To make the effort to understand what happened in Rwanda is a painful task that we have no right to shirk-it is part of being a moral adult." -Susan Sontag In the late 1990s, French author and journalist Jean Hatzfeld made several journeys into the hilly, marshy region of the Bugesera, one of the areas most devastated by the Rwandan genocide of April 1994, where an average of five out of six Tutsis were hacked to death with machete and spear by their Hutu neighbors and militiamen. In the villages of Nyamata and N'tarama, Hatzfeld interviewed fourteen survivors of the genocide, from orphan teenage farmers to the local social worker. For years the survivors had lived in a muteness as enigmatic as the silence of those who survived the Nazi concentration camps. In Life Laid Bare, they speak for those who are no longer alive to speak for themselves; they tell of the deaths of family and friends in the churches and marshes to which they fled, and they attempt to account for the reasons behind the Tutsi extermination. For many of the survivors "life has broken down," while for others, it has "stopped," and still others say that it "absolutely must go on." These horrific accounts of life at the very edge contrast with Hatzfeld's own sensitive and vivid descriptions of Rwanda's villages and countryside in peacetime. These voices of courage and resilience exemplify the indomitable human spirit, and they remind us of our own moral responsibility to bear witness to these atrocities and to never forget what can come to pass again. Winner of the Prix France Culture and the Prix Pierre Mille, Life Laid Bare allows us, in the author's own words, "to draw as close as we can get to the Rwandan genocide."
Inside Rwanda's Gacaca Courts by Bert Ingelaere
Publication Date: 2016-12-06
After the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, victims, perpetrators, and the country as a whole struggled to deal with the legacy of the mass violence. The government responded by creating a new version of a traditional grassroots justice system called gacaca. Bert Ingelaere, based on his observation of two thousand gacaca trials, offers a comprehensive assessment of what these courts set out to do, how they worked, what they achieved, what they did not achieve, and how they affected Rwandan society. Weaving together vivid firsthand recollections, interviews, and trial testimony with systematic analysis, Ingelaere documents how the gacaca shifted over time from confession to accusation, from restoration to retribution. He precisely articulates the importance of popular conceptions of what is true and just. Marked by methodological sophistication, extraordinary evidence, and deep knowledge of Rwanda, this is an authoritative, nuanced, and bittersweet account of one of the most important experiments in transitional justice after mass violence.
Rwanda by Margee M. Ensign; William E. Bertrand
Publication Date: 2010-01-01
Imagine a nation with the highest proportion of women legislators in the world. Imagine a country where a democratically elected president is committed to gender equality and poverty reduction, where urban and rural schools are being wired to the Internet, and where the government is committed to becoming a middle-income country by 2020. Imagine that this country is located in the heart of sub-Saharan Africa and that this progress comes in the wake of one of the 20th century's worst genocides. Fifteen years removed from a mass genocide that resulted in the deaths of nearly one million people, Rwanda today presents a model for hope, justice, innovation and human development. In fact, Rwanda is now a leader in achieving economic, political and social progress in this beleaguered continent. A new model of governance has emerged in this poor, African country. This model, which draws on century's old Rwandan customs called Ubudehe and IMIHIGO, is inclusive, transparent, empowers the poor, and holds leaders accountable for improving the well being of people in their districts. Rwanda: History and Hope focuses on the innovative path Rwanda has taken in governance and reconciliation, gender equity, education, health and economic growth. The authors spent a decade working and researching in the country to prepare this path-breaking book.
Conspiracy to Murder by Linda Melvern
Publication Date: 2004-04-17
Between 1990-1993 one of the poorest countries in the world became the third largest importer of weapons in Africa. In April 1994 the world stood back and watched 1,000,000 Rwandan Tutsi die. It was the fastest killing rate in history - 1000 people were killed every 20 minutes. Today the killers still walk as free men.
The Order of Genocide by Scott Straus
Publication Date: 2006-11-14
Winner of the Award for Excellence in Government and Political Science (AAP) The Rwandan genocide has become a touchstone for debates about the causes of mass violence and the responsibilities of the international community. Yet a number of key questions about this tragedy remain unanswered: How did the violence spread from community to community and so rapidly engulf the nation? Why did individuals make decisions that led them to take up machetes against their neighbors? And what was the logic that drove the campaign of extermination? According to Scott Straus, a social scientist and former journalist in East Africa for several years (who received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his reporting for the Houston Chronicle), many of the widely held beliefs about the causes and course of genocide in Rwanda are incomplete. They focus largely on the actions of the ruling elite or the inaction of the international community. Considerably less is known about how and why elite decisions became widespread exterminatory violence. Challenging the prevailing wisdom, Straus provides substantial new evidence about local patterns of violence, using original research?including the most comprehensive surveys yet undertaken among convicted perpetrators?to assess competing theories about the causes and dynamics of the genocide. Current interpretations stress three main causes for the genocide: ethnic identity, ideology, and mass-media indoctrination (in particular the influence of hate radio). Straus's research does not deny the importance of ethnicity, but he finds that it operated more as a background condition. Instead, Straus emphasizes fear and intra-ethnic intimidation as the primary drivers of the violence. A defensive civil war and the assassination of a president created a feeling of acute insecurity. Rwanda's unusually effective state was also central, as was the country's geography and population density, which limited the number of exit options for both victims and perpetrators. In conclusion, Straus steps back from the particulars of the Rwandan genocide to offer a new, dynamic model for understanding other instances of genocide in recent history?the Holocaust, Armenia, Cambodia, the Balkans?and assessing the future likelihood of such events.
The Genocide Archive of Rwanda Collection contains oral history testimonies, photographs, publications, documents, and other materials related to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide that are held at repositories across Rwanda.
The Rwanda Documents Project was started by Professor Peter Erlinder of William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota as a result of his work as a defense attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The goal of the Project is to collect and make available primary source materials from international and national agencies, governments, and courts that relate to the political and social history of Rwanda from 1990 to the present.
On these pages, MIGS provides the transcripts from a large number of the radio broadcasts from before and during the 1994 genocide. They are available in English, French and Kinyarwanda and are in in PDF format.