On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, I think it would be a good idea to understand what happened that ignited the attacks and what didn’t happen that allowed them to go on to such an obscene extent. So I’m directing interested folks to one of the two best sources of local African news and opinions (thereby giving up one of the unique elements of my blog).
APPROACHING THE HEART OF A RAGING FIRE
Firoze Manji, Fahamu
This 150th issue of Pambazuka News is dedicated to the international mobilization on Remembering Rwanda. This marks the 10th anniversary of a human catastrophe of gigantic proportions that led to the massacre of nearly a million people in Rwanda in the space of a few months. It was an event that was made all the more shameful for the criminal negligence of the international community, in Africa and beyond, to intervene – despite their full knowledge of what was happening. 1994 marked a tragedy that unfolded in Rwanda whose repercussions continue to be felt throughout the Great Lakes Region.
The focus on Rwanda is important not only as an act of solidarity with the survivors of the genocide. It should also be a reminder of the unfolding tragedy in the Great Lakes, particularly in the DRC, when many millions more have been and are being massacred.
Rwanda has been, as Mahmood Mamdani says in ‘When Victims Become Killers’, the “epicentre of the wider crisis in the African Great Lakes. Tied together by the thread of a common colonial legacy – one that politicized indigeneity as a basis for rights – the region has little choice but to address the Rwandan dilemma, if only to address its own dilemma. … [This] will require a regional approach through a regional agenda that approaches the centre as firefighters would approach the heart of a raging fire, from outside in.”
With the recent establishment of the Pan African Parliament there exists the potential mechanism for fighting the raging fires that consume both DRC and Burundi. But will there be a sufficient political will to engage?
This issue of Pambazuka News takes a different format from usual. We have a series of editorials from a number of international experts and activists, and provide resource materials for those wishing to learn more about Rwanda and what is being done for the anniversary of the genocide being commemorated this month.
In addition, jimmyT at The Joint came up with one of those symbolic blogger gestures that I think appropriate:
Wednesday, the Joint will be dark in remembrance of over 800,000 murdered human beings.
I don’t know how to spread the word, and would love to see a few other people join me. Maybe I’ll post around a bit, make the suggestion, see if anyone with a webpage will take theirs down for the day.
Have to figure out the html code to make a quiet, black screen, to replace my index file. Maybe just a message, and a couple links.
If you have a site, send a message to the Rwandan people. Show them that we haven’t forgotten them again, that there are people in the world thinking of them on Wednesday. As it turns out, other than Belgium, no high level diplomats will be attending memorials in the country next week. Again, the Rwandan people feel as if the world doesn’t care.
I’m gonna show them that I do care.
Honestly, I won’t shut down Prometheus 6 for the day. But then, Rwanda had been a near daily subject over there for a week or so and will be a daily subject through the week.Powered by Sidelines