goldmourn (amberdawnpullin) wrote,
goldmourn
amberdawnpullin

literally in the middle of the slaughter

It is time that I tell the story from where I stood ---- literally in the middle of the slaughter for weeks on end. A public account of my actions, my decisions and my failings during that most terrible year may be a crucial missing link for those attempting to understand the tragedy both intellectually and in their hearts. I know that I will never end my mourning for all those Rwandans who placed their faith in us, who thought the UN peacekeeping force was there to stop extremism, to stop the killings and help them through the perilous journey to a lasting peace. That mission, UNAMIR, failed. I know intimately the cost in human lives of the inflexible UN Security Council mandate, the penny-pinching financial management of the mission, the UN red tape, the political manipulations and my own personal limitations. What I have come to realize as the root of it all, however, is the fundamental indifference of the world community to the plight of seven to eight million black Africans in a tiny country that had no strategic or resource value to any world power. An overpopulated little country that turned in on itself and destroyed its own people, as the world watched and yet could not manage to find the political will to intervene. Engraved still in my brain is the judgment of a small group of bureaucrats who came to "assess" the situation in the first few weeks of the genocide: "We will recommend to our government not to intervene as the risks are high and all that is here are humans."

- LGen. Roméo Dallaire with Major Brent Beardsley, Shake Hands With The Devil: The Failure of Humanity In Rwanda
Tags: excerpts
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