We Cannot Forget: Interviews with Survivors of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda

We Cannot Forget: Interviews with Survivors of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda

We Cannot Forget: Interviews with Survivors of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda

We Cannot Forget: Interviews with Survivors of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda

Synopsis

During a one-hundred-day period in 1994, Hutus murdered between half a million and a million Tutsi in Rwanda. The numbers are staggering; the methods of killing were unspeakable. Utilizing personal interviews with trauma survivors living in Rwandan cities, towns, and dusty villages, We Cannot Forget relates what happened during this period and what their lives were like both prior to and following the genocide.

Through powerful stories that are at once memorable, disturbing, and informative, readers gain a critical sense of the tensions and violence that preceded the genocide, how it erupted and was carried out, and what these people faced in the first sixteen years following the genocide.

Excerpt

In one hundred days, between April 6 and July 4, 2004, extremist Hutu and their followers murdered between five hundred thousand and one million Tutsi in Rwanda. The genocide was largely carried out with rudimentary farm tools (such as machetes; massues, a traditional weapon fitted with nails sticking out from the head of the club; and hoes) versus modern, high-tech weapons, thus its appellation, β€œthe machete genocide.”

While many leaders and officials around the world, including those at the United Nations and in the United States, claimed that the genocide happened so quickly that it could not have been prevented, such claims are now perceived as disingenuous at best, and unconscionable lies at worst. In fact, throughout the early 1990s, Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented the ever-increasing tension and violence in Rwanda, and in doing so, issued one report after another that could, and should, have served as genocide early-warning signals to the international community. Unfortunately, and sadly, most of HRW reports and warnings went unheeded.

In this book we present the first-person accounts of eleven survivors. They reside in different parts of Rwanda and endured different experiences. What they have in common is continuing sadness and difficulties in daily living, but also amazing resilience.

EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE GENOCIDE

Genocide is a complex phenomenon, and no genocide erupts out of a vacuum. While no genocide is inevitable, all have antecedents. In the case of Rwanda, one has to reach back at least 125 years to even begin to understand what contributed to the ever-changing conflict between the Tutsi and the Hutu.

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