Lesson of Rwanda Genocide: Amnesty International

Rwanda’s genocide began in April 1994, triggered by a plane crash carrying then-President Juvenal Habyarimana. Soldiers set up roadblocks, and open calls went out over the radio for neighbors to attack neighbors. “Between the start of the genocide on 7 April 1994 and the end of the massacres in July the same year, around 800,000 people were killed,” explains Joan Nyanyuki of Amnesty International. “Thousands of people were tortured, raped and subjected to other forms of sexual violence. The victims were primarily Tutsi who had been singled out for elimination, as well as Hutu opposed to the genocide and the forces that directed it.” Nyanyuki points out that ethnic hatred had been building over years, with populist rhetoric, scapegoating, distribution of propaganda and training in the use of arms. The international community failed to intervene, Nyanyuki explains, reducing peacekeepers in Rwanda two weeks into the genocide. Societies must mobilize early when government representatives violate international law and engage in the tactics of exclusion. She urges an end to divisive politics and demonization, with citizens holding their leaders accountable, and concludes by pointing to “the transformative power of standing up collectively and refusing to be cowed by a hateful ideology.” – YaleGlobal

Lesson of Rwanda Genocide: Amnesty International

Politics of demonization, division and exclusion are as dangerous as ever 25 years after Rwanda genocide – and citizens must hold their leaders accountable
Joan Nyanyuki
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Read the article from Amnesty International about the Rwanda genocide.


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