Inside Geneva: Witnessing The Rwandan Genocide And Trying To Stop It

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) The world is marking 30 years since the Rwandan genocide. Inside Geneva talks to those who witnessed it.

This content was published on April 16, 2024 - 09:30 2 minutes

Imogen Foulkes reports from Geneva for SWI swissinfo as well as the BBC.

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“We came to one village where there were a few survivors and a man came to me with a list and said 'look, the names have been crossed out one by one, entire families, they were killing everybody from those families,'” says Christopher Stokes, from Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

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Charles Petrie, former United Nations (UN) humanitarian coordinator, recalls:“She thought there was a good chance that the Interahamwe [militia] would find the kids, the children, and she said, 'pray that they don't hack them to death, pray that they shoot them'”.

Why was it not prevented?

“The paralysis of the UN system, the paralysis of all the major players to respond to what was pretty clearly a massive genocidal operation,” says Gareth Evans, former Australian foreign minister.

Senior diplomats worked to make the UN stronger in the face of atrocities.

“Instead of talking about the right to intervene, we talked about the responsibility to protect. There are some kinds of behaviour which are just inconceivably beyond the pale, whatever country we live in, and just do demand this response,” says Evans.

Has“responsibility to protect”, or R2P, worked?

“I don't think there's been significant progress. I would say actually that we went from perhaps a hope, an illusion that something would be done to actually not expecting anything at all now,” says Stokes

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