Monday, April 07, 2008

Rwanda: remembrance day

Note: I am remiss for having neglected to publish this yesterday.

14 years ago today, a plane carrying the leaders of Rwanda and Burundi was shot down, killing both men. The event was used as the pretext to carry a pre-planned genocide in Rwanda. At least 800,000 people were murdered in the slaughter.

A few years ago, I marked the 10th anniversary of the massacres' start with a series of essays and analyses exploring the genocide more deeply as well as addressing many myths surrounding its causes and implementation.

As i wrote in my introduction back in 2004:

Ten years ago today, the airplane carrying the leaders of Rwanda and Burundi was shot down, killed both. This was the pretext used by a group of extremists to execute a pre-planned genocide against the minority Tutsi community. It also targeted Hutu political opponents, most of whom were moderates in favor of a power-sharing deal with the Tutsis, a deal opposed by the regime's hardliners. In the slaughter, around 800,000 people were killed in only 100 days -- approximately 5 1/2 murdered every single minute of every single day for over three months. It is widely believed to be the most "efficient" mass murder in history. And far from being secretive or in the fog of war like previous genocides, this was unique in that it was broadcast around the world live and in color on CNN and the BBC.

Pieces in the series can be found:
-Pre-genocide history of Rwanda
-How the genocide unfolded
-Myths and realities about the genocide (part 1)
-Myths and realities about the genocide (part 2)
-The genocide's orphans
-Hate media and its role in the genocide
-International and American law on genocide
-Post-genocide justice
-The post-genocide government
-Lessons and conclusions

Please take a moment from your day to remember the dead.

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