Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Screening of 'Shooting Dogs' at The Everyman, Hampstead.

There will be a special screening of Shooting Dogs tonight at The Everyman in Hampstead (North London).

The evening will be hosted by Geoffrey Robertson QC, who is founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers. He was recently appointed to the Appeals Chamber of the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Also in attendance will be Steve Crawshaw; the UK Director of Human Rights Watch, Oona King; who founded the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Great Lakes Region and Genocide Prevention, Elizabeth Wilmshurst and a representative from the Rwandan Embassy in London.

I’ll be there to get a full report on the evening and place a posting soon on how it all went.

Monday, February 27, 2006

- Rwanda today-

Friday, February 24, 2006

Emmanuel Mugenzira

An account of massacre & Problems with reconciliation

Once a farmer, I got a job at the provincial office but was fired because of my ethnic group. People used to live happily together, but then they were taught negative things – that Tutsi were ‘cockroaches’ and a bad tribe.

After Habyarimana’s plane was shot down, Interahamwe and soldiers started burning houses, taking cattle and killing people. On 16 April, the mayor told us to go to the school in Murambi. We were attacked on 18 April. We fought using stones. They had guns, but left because they couldn’t handle us. On 21 April, a truck arrived full of militia and soldiers. Those who attempted to escape were shot. I was shot in the head, then stripped and left because they thought I was dead. My wife, two boys and three girls all died at Murambi. I just can’t bring myself to talk about them. It took me three days to walk to Burundi, naked in the cold and rain. When I got there, my head was swollen and I had malaria. I was only saved by God. Soldiers took me to the hospital in Kayanza.

There are still people with such bestial hearts; people who killed. You can tell they would do it again. Reconciliation is not the problem. The problem is that those who killed, ate our cattle and took our things run away from us. I don’t know how we can forgive when there hasn’t been any communication between us. There are lots of people like that who look at you and wish you were dead.

-Emmanuel Mugenzira

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Historian Jailed for Denying Holocaust

-Taken from the Metro Newspaper 21st February 2006

Written by Sarah Getty

A British Historian was jailed yesterday for three years for denying the Holocaust took place.

David Irving, 67, admitted the charge which stemmed from speeches he’d made 17 years ago in Australia, where it is a crime to deny that six million Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis.

In a last ditch bid to avoid jail, he told a Vienna court he was wrong to claim there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz, adding; ‘In no way did I deny the killing of millions by the Nazis.’

But Michael Klakl, prosecuting, said ‘He is everything other than a historian. He is a dangerous falsifier of history.
In his version, there were no gas chambers, no genocide prepared and executed by the state.’

Irving looked stunned by the sentence. As he left court, he said; ‘I’m shocked and I’m going to appeal.’

Britain’s Holocaust Education Trust welcomed the conviction. Chairman Lord Janner said; ‘It sends a clear message that we must not tolerate the denial of the mass murders of the Holocaust.’

Irving has been accused of spreading anti-Semitism with his right-wing views.

He has insisted that Austrian born Adolf Hitler knew nothing about the systematic slaughter of 6million Jews and that large-scale gas chambers were a hoax.

He also claimed that there was ‘not one shred of evidence’ that the Nazis carried out their ‘Final Solution’ on such a scale that the number of Jews killed was far lower than generally accepted.

Irving was arrested in September on a warrant dating back to 1989.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rwandan Genocide suspect in Britain.

-Taken from The Sunday Times -January 29th '06

A government official accused of helping to carry out the mass murder of thousands of civilians during the Rwandan genocide has settled under a false name in Britain.

Charles Munyaneza, 47, is alleged to have urged people to massacre Tutsis, saying at one point: “All of you, men, women and girls, must take part. I don’t want to see a single Tutsi alive on this hill.”

The revelation that he is living in Britain prompted an immediate request by the United Nations international criminal tribunal for Rwanda that he be arrested and prosecuted in Britain on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

The chief prosecutor, Hassan Jallow, said that if the tribunal had not had to stop issuing new indictments so that it could complete its work by 2008 when it is due to be wound up, it would be seeking Munyaneza’s extradition.

But Jallow added that the tribunal would make available to the British courts all the evidence that it believes implicates the Rwandan in massacres.

“Given that there is this evidence against him, the British government should consider whether the British courts have jurisdiction over him to prosecute him in the UK because men like him should not be allowed to go scot free,” said Jallow.

-To see the full article published on the Suday Times website click here.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Soldier's Photo

This photo was taken by a UN Peace Keeper in Rwanda just a few days
before they were ordered out of the country.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dancilla Nyirabazungu

An account of massacre & survival

Before the genocide, Hutus favoured Hutus. Teachers, politicians and soldiers were Hutu. Tutsi kids didn’t pass the national exam. And people's race was written in their ID documents.

After Habyarimana’s aeroplane was shot down they started burning houses and taking people’s cows. Everyone gathered in the church. I was there with my entire family. On 15 April, the attackers came with guns, clubs with nails in them, grenades and axes. They broke down the walls, threw grenades into the church and shot at everyone. The Interahamwe were ready with their machetes. I hid, and kept hiding until God rescued me. On 14 May the RPF captured Bugesera. They told everyone that they were equal; that they had to be Rwandans, not Hutus, Twa or Tutsi. They had to rebuild Rwanda.

I still have my children – the ones who ran and hid with me, and I gave birth to the one I was carrying when the genocide happened. But I lost 18 members of my family. I clean, I garden, I separate the clothes from the bones left on the church floor. This place is important not only to me, but to all Rwandans – and the world as a whole. There are people who deny all this and if they came and saw the bones and corpses, they would have to believe it. If we don't maintain the place, the genocide might be forgotten.

-Dancilla Nyirabazungu

Monday, February 13, 2006

Genocide Survivors

Two young survivors of the Rwandan Genocide


This posting was sent to me anonymously by a survivor of the Rwandan genocide.

I am 26 and I am a genocide survivor. Sincerely speaking, I have got no words to express the genocide. It is something that can end on a political aspect but for survivors, this crime is everlasting. You are called genocide survivor but actually you are not! You just try to move along with others without any basis just like a shot trying to grow up without roots.

Justice depends on political interests and currently I have not seen any justice done on crimes of genocide.

I just don’t know what kind of reconciliation people talk about if I am to live with perpetrators. Actually it seems that survivors are the one who ought to create reconciliation! There can be no reconciliation without justice.
The very hard stage of genocide is the aftermath…I can only hope to go through that, to live, to work and most of all to protect myself and others against any threat of genocide.

The International Community policy is "No interest, no emergency". They left people dying during the genocide then came back after to clean the bloody place with their nutritional and medical assistance to the injured survivors…

Why should people waste time arguing on either if it is genocide or not in Darfur? Any second wasted results in a waste of lives.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Submitted to this site by Todd Huffman, M.D.

An arid and profoundly impoverished region in western Sudan known as Darfur is home to what continues to be, even after the catastrophic December 2004 tsunami in South Asia and the October 2005 earthquake in Kashmir and Pakistan, the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Since February 2003, over 400,000 men, women and children have been killed or have died from disease while another three million civilians – half the population of Darfur – have been forced to flee their destroyed homes and villages. Most have sought safety in squalid and overcrowded refugee camps, where severe shortages of shelter, food, water, and medical care place hundreds of thousands at risk of disease and a cruel and slow starvation.

Supported by the Sudanese government in Khartoum, nomadic Arab "Janjaweed" militias have been systematically clearing the region of civilians through a merciless campaign of ethnic cleansing. Following air raids by government aircraft, the Janjaweed death squads ride into villages on horses and camels, slaughtering men, raping women, burning down homes and villages, and stealing whatever they can. Crops are destroyed, and wells are poisoned with dead bodies. Many women are abducted as sex slaves.

The majority of the 400,000 civilians who have died or been killed were not part of any anti-government group. They were unarmed non-combatant men, women and children living in small tribal villages where they have subsisted off the land for centuries. Survivors are dying one thousand a day in the camps, trapped by the Janjaweed, who patrol outside the camps killing men and raping women who go in search for food or firewood.

The international response thus far has largely been indifference. The world is failing its vow of "never again" made after the Holocaust and reaffirmed after the 1994 Rwandan genocide. During past genocidal campaigns against Armenians, Jews, Cambodians and Rwandans, it was possible for the world to claim that it didn’t fully know what was going on. This time we do. And we have no excuse not to act.

Over 130 countries, including the United States, are signatories to the 1948 Convention Against Genocide, which commits countries to act to prevent genocide anywhere in the world. The state-sponsored violence in Darfur clearly constitutes genocide, which the Convention defines as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group" by, for example, "deliberately inflicting on members of the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part."

To his credit, President Bush has called the slaughter in Darfur what it is: genocide. Secretaries of State Powell and then Rice have publicly used the word. Even the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution in July 2004 urging the Bush administration to call the atrocities in Darfur "by its rightful name: ‘genocide’", which the President finally did in the first presidential debate in September 2004. The resolution even went on to urge the administration to consider "multilateral or even unilateral intervention to prevent genocide should the United Nations Security Council fail to act."

Until recently, opposition to action in Sudan hasn’t come from the United States but from the many other UN member states who prefer to respect Sudan’s sovereignty or who have oil investments in Sudan and are reluctant to alienate the government in Khartoum. The UN Security Council has for two years been dragging their feet, weakly supporting a grossly inadequate number of African Union troops on the ground in Darfur. These AU soldiers, numbering roughly 7000, patrol the Texas-sized region with limited equipment and an even more limited mandate, lacking the strength and authority to remove or disarm Janjaweed forces from Darfur and around the refugee camps. Most of Darfur remains too dangerous for international aid agencies to reach.

The African Union’s mandate expires on March 31st. The UN Security Council is soon to take up the issue of transferring responsibility for stopping the genocide and for delivering desperately needed humanitarian aid to UN peacekeeping forces. This is where the responsibility should lie – with the global community. The world, most especially the West with its high-minded rhetoric of human rights and values, has a moral obligation to do everything possible to protect civilians from genocide.

The United States is the most important presence on the Security Council. Other nations will follow our lead if we insist on a strong and clear new peacekeeping mandate for Darfur. And yet recent words from the Bush administration seem to indicate that it has backed away from its acknowledgement that the slaughter in Darfur constitutes genocide.

In November, Assistant Secretary of State Robert Zoellick mischaracterized the genocide as a "tribal war", stating that the US cannot clear Darfur because Western peacekeepers would not want to "get in the way of a tribal war of Sudanese". He went on further to state that "if people are determined to kill each other, there’s not a lot the United States can do."

However, the only parties ‘determined to kill’ are members of the genocidal government of Sudan, and members of the Janjaweed militia they have armed and employed. Zoellick’s comments represent a disturbing movement away from former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s assertion of the situation as a "consistent and widespread" pattern of genocide, and could represent a disturbing policy shift if the administration is seeking to renege on its treaty obligation to protect civilians from genocide.

Further evidence of a shift in policy came in December. The US Senate passed the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act on November 18th, and the US House was poised to pass the DPAA before the White House delayed it. Apparently, the Bush administration now objects to the continuation of sanctions on the government of Sudan, which has been called an increasingly cooperative "partner in the global war on terror."

The 20th century is haunted by the ghosts of tens of millions of innocent victims the world failed to protect. Times beyond number, the West has simply closed its minds and eyes to the madness of man’s inhumanity to man. In Darfur, will the world once again wait until genocide is complete and lament afterward that we should have done something?

-Todd Huffman, M.D.
-Eugene, Oregon

Want To Do More?

*Sign on to the Million Voices for Darfur Campaign, at www.millionvoicesfordarfur.org

*Learn more or contribute to the Save Darfur Coalition, a partnership of over 150 faith-based, advocacy and humanitarian organizations, at www.savedarfur.org

*Learn more or contribute to the Genocide Intervention Fund, a group founded by college students at Swarthmore College. Donations go directly to support the African Union peacekeeping mission: www.genocideinterventionfund.org

*Contribute to Doctors Without Borders, serving Darfur refugees in Chad: www.doctorswithoutborders.org

Todd Huffman is a pediatrician and regular columnist for the Springfield (OR) News. He is also a regular contributor to the Portland (OR) Oregonian, Eugene (OR) Register-Guard, the University of Oregon Daily Emerald, the Washington Free Press (Seattle), the Columbus (OH) Free Press, and several progressive websites, including CommonDreams.org, PeacefulAssembly.org, and SelvesandOthers.org.

Comments are welcomed at: doctortodd@att.net.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Genocide Pair freed

(from BBC News on-line)

A UN-backed tribunal has confirmed the acquittal of two senior Rwandan officials charged with genocide.

The two men were found not guilty two years ago due to lack of evidence but prosecutors appealed the verdict, saying the court had made errors.

Ex-transport minister Andre Ntagerura and ex-governor of Cyangugu province Emmanuel Bagambiki were accused of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Mr Ntagerura is the first former minister to be acquitted by the court.

Awaiting trial Italian judge Fausto Pocar of the International Criminal Tribunal (ICTR) for Rwanda rejected the prosecution's call for a new trial.

In February 2004 the court found that the prosecution had failed to prove that the two men had actively participated in the genocide in Cyangugu, in the south-west.

More than 800,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis, were killed in a 100-day wave of ethnic violence that swept through Rwanda in 1994.

The Tanzania-based ICTR has convicted more than 20 people and acquitted three since it was established in 1994. More cases are awaiting trial.

-Full story here
-BBC Africa

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Béatha Uwazaninka's testimony

Today’s testimony is a moving account of a young girl during the genocide. She talks of her struggles and fears but also of those few who tried to stand up to the killings.

'My father died when I was two. Mother remarried when I was five, and I lived with Grandma. On New Year's Eve, 1987, neighbours - people I knew - came into the house and beat Grandma on the head with a hammer. They dragged her outside and left her body in the rain. I thought they were going to kill me as well, but one of them said, "Leave her, she can't do any harm." I wondered what harm Grandma could have done. I sat with her body in the rain until it began to get light. That's when I realised some people didn't like us because we were different, but I didn't understand why. I was seven years old. I went back to Gitarama to live with Mother, who had married a Hutu. That's how it was; normally, people didn't think about separate ethnic groups. We were poor, but happy. Mother worked very hard and my childhood was good.

The morning after the President's plane was shot down I was in my uncle's house with five cousins. The Interahamwe came, saying they were going to rape the girls. Uncle Gashugi pleaded with them not to do it, but they cut him down with a machete. I ran out of the back door with the others. All the other girls were killed before they reached the gate. I'm the only one of the household who survived. I went from house to house, like a hunted animal. Sometimes I hid in the drains with the corpses, pretending to be dead myself. One day I was being pursued by an Interahamwe and fled into the house of Yahaya, a Muslim. My heart was beating so fast. The Interhamwe was banging on the gate, threatening to throw a grenade to kill everyone if the family didn't give me up. Yahaya told his daughter to open the gate. I thought I was going to die, but he took me by the hand, stood with me in his doorway and told the killer off. The same man had shot a boy the previous day in that same house. Yahaya told him that the blood was still on the yard and that God would judge him. He could have been killed for sheltering me, but he saved my life and many others. He said that in the Koran it says, 'If you save one life, it is like saving the whole world; if you take one life, it is like destroying the whole world.' He didn't know that was in the Jewish texts as well.

The saddest day was when I heard my mother had been killed, that they had thrown her into the river. My heart wanted to break. I was fourteen years old and I was now all alone. There is a saying in Kinyarwanda that if a thief steals part of your basket, you cry and tell everyone what has been stolen. But if they take everything, it is too much to talk about, too much for tears, so you keep quiet. So it is with life after the genocide. It is too big to tell. No one can really understand it. People today talk about forgetting, forgiving and reconciliation. I think it's better to remember than forget, because if you don't remember what happened, you don't have all the truth. People say you can't have reconciliation without forgiveness. But you can't have forgiveness if people don't say they are sorry. That is why justice must happen before reconciliation. I used to think that gacaca would not be very useful. It doesn't bring back the dead. But it does make people face the truth -or at least some of it. For me, memory is personal, but remembering is important for everyone. The world knew and did not stop the genocide. So everyone shares something of what happened in our little country of Rwanda.'

-Béatha Uwazaninka

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A message from Jean Pierre

My name is Jean Pierre and I am a genocide survivor. I think people should avoid those ones bearing genocide ideologies because we know what the consequences of Genocide are.
Justice is trying but there are still people having genocide ideology in the society...
Unity and reconciliation is still hard to reach because people don’t tell the truth!
I hope to see a Rwanda that will achieve great things in the future. This is possible because the government is struggling against genocide ideology.
Some people in Darfur are suffering while the government is taking profit out of it and that is not fair at all!

Fleeing the Genocide (Rwanda - 1994)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Sent by Marcel

My name is Marcel and I am a genocide survivor. I lost parents, friends and relatives during the Genocide…today I am an orphan and I have been through several hard situations and I have got to fight it by all means.
People who killed our people should be punished in a very severe way so as to fight impunity for ever.
I would simply ask the UN to fight genocide because what is happening in Darfur is horrible…it doesn’t give any value to humanity.

Nyanza Memorial

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Kigali Memorial Centre (Rwanda).
The Kigali Memorial Centre (set up by Aegis)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Dominique came into the the Genocide Memorial Centre in Kigali and looked at our site. Like many, she wanted her voice heard and asked for her views to be published on this site.

My name is Dominique and I am a genocide survivor.
For me the Genocide is something beyond imagination…it left me in loneliness and all I can wish is that it may not happen again.
Justice does not work as it should because it does not punish the criminals as it is supposed to.
I don’t think Unity and reconciliation will be possible because the perpetrators do not admit their crimes.

However, I am optimistic about the future because the government keeps on setting good plans for us…
On the other hand, I would like to ask the government to pursue the genocidaires wherever they are because they keep on hunting us!

What Aegis Trust is doing is really good because it us there for survivors and speaks on their behalf on an international level- lot of people have been denying what happened here! And The International Community hasn't shown anything yet. Even the genocidaires being held in Arusha don’t get a punishment complying with their crimes at all.
I think things will be fine in Darfur if we keep pushing on and showing courage.


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