The Skull beneath the Skin: Africa after the Cold War

By Mark Huband | Go to book overview

8
MYTHS, CHIEFS,
AND CHURCHES

Rwanda

WAITERS POURED DRINKS behind the glass doors of the lounge bar. The hairdresser made appointments, while chatting to her friend who ran the tourist clothes shop next door. The Belgian chef walked across the redecorated hotel lobby in his white uniform, nodding and smiling. "It's been a long time since you were last here," he told me. A year beforehand, on 11 April 1994, had seen him and the hotel manager leave without saying good‐ bye. The lobby had been where terror hung in the air like ice. People had stood in the lobby, so weakened by terror that they could only walk with a drifting, wavelike step. There was a Yugoslavian woman with her Tutsi husband. He was a small, young man. He wore a brown, zip-up jacket and had thick spectacles. For days he never spoke. His fear had made him dumb. He only watched, barely moving his eyes, for fear he might catch the gaze of one of the government spies lurking in the lobby waiting to take people away to murder them on the road outside.

Blood had oozed onto the road from government lorries fueled with petrol provided by the Red Cross, as they drove by to deliver the bodies slung inside to mass graves. On 13 April I watched them haul six people out of a car there and shoot them on the roadside. The following day the French troops who had been sent to Kigali to evacuate foreigners and the Belgian

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The Skull beneath the Skin: Africa after the Cold War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Prologue viii
  • Part One - Empty Promises i
  • 1 - Sell the Silver, Steal the Gold 3
  • 2 - The Skull beneath the Skin 31
  • 3 - Great Game, Dirty Game 57
  • Part Two - The Time of the Soldier 79
  • 4 - Whispers and Screams 81
  • 5 - A City on the Lake 97
  • 6 - Juggling the Juntas 115
  • 7 - The Deadly Harvest 137
  • Part Three - Blood of the Ancestors 159
  • 8 - Myths, Chiefs, and Churches 161
  • 9 - Genocide 184
  • 10 - The Spit of the Toad 217
  • Part Four - New World, Old Order 249
  • 11 - Rogue States and Radicals 253
  • 12 - The Mogadishu Line 277
  • 13 - France, Africa, and a Place Called Fashoda 307
  • Epilogue - The Center Cannot Hold 327
  • Notes 335
  • Bibliography 355
  • Index 361
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