Rwanda : Rwanda remembered: Samantha Power reconciles past and present on genocide anniversary

Clyde C Coger Jr

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In the Spirit of Sankofa,



... Hats off to President Obama, for real.



Rwanda remembered: Samantha Power reconciles past and present on genocide anniversary

Power Players

It was a problem from hell.

That’s how Samantha Power summed up the United States’ failure to respond to Rwanda’s 1994 genocide in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide” – and in so doing, Power made a name for herself as a critic of U.S. foreign policy.

Now the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, the former critic-turned government insider is in Rwanda to mark the 20th anniversary of the genocide as the United States’ official representative.

President Obama wanted us to come back and pay our respects and show that even if it's 20 years later, this genocide is something that stays with us,” Power told “Power Players” during an interview in Rwanda’s capital of Kigali.


suggested reading and video viewing:
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/power-p...resent-on-genocide-anniversary-015214194.html




 

Kadijah

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"This genocide is something that stays with us."

I watched a PBS program about the 20th anniversity of the genocide. It spoke of Rwanda's way of healing itself, modeled on South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Committee. "Something that stays with us?" It was so soul scraping I had to almost clutch one wrist with the opposite hand to keep from turning the horror off. Over and over again, my insides screamed: TURN IT OFF! The pain was that great, and so intense, it was almost physical.

No, not pix of the butchery - survivor stories of the butchery. Looking into the faces of the beautiful Rwandan Tutsi women whose lives were devastated. The survivor who was raped during the massacre.... when she was about 5.... who wonders if she will ever be able to marry, i.e., have conjugal relations. The survivor who was raped and is living with an STD from the rape (AIDS? They didn't say, but no one cries like that about chlamydia!).... forgiving the man who killed her husband and 3 beloved children, while she took care of his pregnant wife, e.g., seeing that she had the proper medicine, the victim taking her victimizer's wife to doctor appointments, etc. Oh, the horror of the tales. The tears I leaked when the young girl said her entire family was killed and the 3 families that took her in, one by one, ALL treating her like a burden, or like the woman she thought loved her and whom she was starting to call 'mother,' treated her as a maid. But the worst, the most heart-breaking was when she said that other Rwandans LAUGH at her and other survivors. They say cruel things like "Haven't you stopped crying yet?"

The best thing to come out of that heart-twisting, gut-wrenching film of women survivors speaking gently, quietly, and the male killers of their families and destroyers of EVERYTHING material they owned that could have sustained them (what they didn't "steal" of course :rolleyes: ), some of whom went to prison for their murders and who were afraid or felt unworthy (they were) to ask for forgiveness.... being forgiven. Unlike in other war-torn African countries or for Black citizens of the U.S. who witness hood and school brutality, the Rwandan government has set up counseling services in Healing Centers for survivors that seem to making a difference. Something special, and real, is going on Rwanda today.

Ending on a "happier" note: The girl who won't stop crying who was raped and lost her entire family went to university and is now a lawyer.
 
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Clyde C Coger Jr

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Gut-wrenching! It truly was :facepalm:
Thanks for the PBS tip ...


"This genocide is something that stays with us."

I watched a PBS program about the 20th anniversity of the genocide. It spoke of Rwanda's way of healing itself, modeled on South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Committee. "Something that stays with us?" It was so soul scraping I had to almost clutch one wrist with the other to keep from turning the horror off. No, not pix of the butchery - survivor stories of the butchery. Looking into the faces of the beautiful Rwandan Tutsi women whose lives were devastated. The survivor who was raped during the massacre.... when she was about 5.... who wonders if she will ever be able to marry, i.e., have conjugal relations. The survivor who was raped and is living with an STD of the rape (AIDS? They didn't say, but no one cries like that about chlamydia!) forgiving the man who killed her husband and 3 children, taking care of his pregnant wife. Oh, the horror of the tales. The tears I leaked when the young girl said her entire family was killed and the 3 families that took her in, one by one, ALL treating her like a burden, or like the woman she thought loved her and whom she was starting to call 'mother,' treated her as a maid. But the worst, the most heart-breaking was when she said that other Rwandans LAUGH at her and other survivors. They say cruel things like "Haven't you stopped crying yet?"

The best thing to come out of that heart-twisting, gut-wrenching film of women survivors speaking gently, quietly, and the male killers of their families and destroyers of EVERYTHING material they owned that could have sustained them (what they didn't "steal" of course :eyeroll: ), some of whom went to prison for their parts and who were afraid or felt unworthy (they were) to ask for forgiveness.... being forgiven. Unlike in other war-torn African countries or for Black citizens of the U.S. who witness brutality, the Rwandan government has set up Healing Centers for survivors that seem to making a difference. Something special, and real, is going on Rwanda today.
 

writer33

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It seems the mainstream media failed, or more likely refused, to get to the depths of the Rwandan genocide. Movies like "Hotel Rwanda" and one I liked better, "Sometime in Spring" which showed more of the brutality, but neither of which got into the political causes at work underneath it all.

According to reports I have had for some time, both the US and France were involved stirring up the opposite sides of this tragedy. From a Global Research report from 1997, some key quotes from it:

"The militarization of Uganda was an integral part of US foreign policy. The build-up of the Ugandan UPDF Forces and of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) had been supported by the US and Britain. The buildup of the Ugandan external debt coincided chronologically with the Rwandan and Congolese civil wars. In fact, Uganda had no outstanding debt to the World Bank at the outset of its “economic recovery program”. By 1997, it owed almost 2 billion dollars solely to the World Bank."

"A similar process of financing military expenditure from the external debt had occurred in Rwanda under the Habyarimana government. In a cruel irony, both sides in the civil war were financed by the same donors institutions with the World Bank acting as a Watchdog."

"The focus of Rwandan-U.S. military discussion had shifted from human rights to how to combat an insurgency. At stake in these military operations were the extensive mining resources of Eastern and Southern Zaire including strategic reserves of cobalt — of crucial importance for the US defense industry....with several US and British mining companies including American Mineral Fields (AMF), a company headquartered in President Bill Clinton’s hometown of Hope, Arkansas."

"Rwanda was a brutal struggle for political power between the Hutu-led Habyarimana government supported by France and the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) backed financially and militarily by Washington. Ethnic rivalries were used deliberately in the pursuit of geopolitical objectives. Both the CIA and French intelligence were involved."

This discussion literally got me banned from a discussion on Linkedin about it. A gentleman, presumably a businessman, had posted about "opportunities" for business investment in Africa. I posted the above information, in addition to the Bush administration's creation of AFRICOM which I said appeared hardly "humanitarian," but rather opportunistic and exploitive. My comment sat in "review" for about a week. It was never published.

I wrote one of the participants in the discussion, a South African gentleman who kindly passed along my thoughts as he, too, was wondering why my comments were being disallowed. This incident spread to other discussions, and everything I attempted to post went to "review" and never saw the light of day.

I also found it interesting about Bill Clinton's recent remarks of his regrets he didn't send in US troops. According to Global Research, the CIA was already in there doing its covert destabilization operations, as noted above, while the French supported the "other side" and stirring up the hostilities that resulted in the deaths of a million or more Africans, not recalling the numbers reported.
 

Kadijah

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The U.S., but mainly the French and the Catholic Church fomented, aided and abetted the Rwandan genocide.

Some excerpts from "The Cross and the Genocide" on the 100 days of massacre and atrocity wherein almost 1,000,000 Rwandans, mainly Tutsi, were killed:

http://www.afrol.com/features/10600

"On 7 May 1994 soldiers and militias arrived at Shyogwe Diocese aboard a red pick-up vehicle to transport civilian Tutsi refugees to the killing sites. "On that day Bishop Samuel Musabyimana was present and, addressing the soldiers and militias, publicly stated that he did not oppose the killing of Tutsis, but that he did not want killings at the Diocese and that the Tutsis should be taken to Kabgayi to be killed." (Indictment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda against former Anglican Bishop Samuel Musabyimana)."
Again, from the same source, a short history:
As in most African ex-colonies, the missionaries in Rwanda also embarked on a policy of divide and rule, in close cooperation with the colonial administration. In the Belgian Trust Territories of Rwanda and Burundi this meant creating the ethnicities of Hutu and Tutsi and promoting the Hutu majority against the ruling Tutsi.
This was confirmed by the PBS program on Healing, that there was little diff between the Hutsis and Tutsis before the coming of the divide-and-conquer French Europeans, that intermarriage between the 2 tribes were common and there were no hositilities.

The Catholic Church, effectively supporting the creation of a Hutu identity and nationalism, thus became part of the Hutu movement. The mission was rewarded by mass conversions of Rwandan Hutus, making Catholicism the dominant religion in Rwanda. As the radical Hutus gained power in Rwanda at independence in 1962, Catholic and other clergymen found themselves with personal friends in all levels of governance and with good access to the centres of power.

Unlike most African countries, however, the succeeding Hutu-dominated governments of Rwanda were gradually radicalised. The government institutionalised discrimination against the Tutsi and periodically used massacres against this targeted population as a means of maintaining the status quo. Resistance was organised by the growing number of Tutsi refugees, mostly hiding in Uganda, and grew strong through the 1980s and early 1990s.

"In 1959 "PARMEHUTU (Le Parti du Mouvement de l'emancipation Hutu) is established under the guidance of the Catholic church by the proponents of delayed independence. PARMEHUTU was also openly sectarian and anti-Batutsi," again according to the Rwandan government. The same year, the first massacres of thousands of Tutsi is organised by radicalised Hutus, "under Belgian supervision". "
First person accounts of the genocide of Tutsis by survivors:

"On 22 April 1994, Séraphine Mukamana had hidden herself in a garage when militias attacked a convent in Sovu in southern Rwanda. "We sought refugee in the garage and closed and barricaded the doors. Outside a bloodbath is going on. Suddenly an orphan begins to weep as it gets to hot in the garage. At once, the killers approach the garage." As the refugees refuse to come out, the militia leader Emmanuel Rekeraho decides to burn them alive in the garage. "'The nuns are coming to help us. They are bringing gasoline,' I heard [Rekeraho] say. Looking through a hole that the militiamen meanwhile had made in the wall, I indeed saw Sister Gertrude and Sister Kisito. The latter was carrying a petrol can. Shortly upon that, the garage is set on fire." Testimony against two Catholic nuns, Sisters Gertrude and Maria Kisito in a Brussels court, May 2001. "

It was not just the Catholic Church that participated in the genocide of the Tutsis:

The accusations against clergy of the Free Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist and Seventh-Day Adventist Churches are equally shocking. According to survivors, Bishop Aaron Ruhumuliza, head of the Free Methodist Church in Gikondo, Kigali, helped the militia carry out a massacre in his own church on 9 April 1994. Michel Twagirayesu, the President of the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda and a former vice-president of the World Council of Churches, is alleged to have worked closely with the killers in the Presbyterian stronghold of Kirinda, Kibuye, betraying parishioners and fellow-clergy alike, according to a report by African Rights. "

"A statement regarding the guilt of the Churches as institutions is however missed. "They have been less willing to comment upon the specific accusations against certain clergymen," according to African Rights. This has proven especially true regarding the Catholic Church, which in June 2001 stated its "surprise" over a Belgian court convicting two Rwandan nuns for aiding in the slaughter of at least 5,000 civilians. The Vatican spokesman could not understand why the court picked on the two nuns "seeing the grave responsibility of so many [other] people and groups involved." The Vatican has taken no steps towards excommunicating the nuns from the Church."
 

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