Dallaire begged for more troops from the international community and a broadened mandate from the United Nations to help stop the killings. But his pleas were ignored, his forces were cut and his mandate restricted to observing. The world decided to abandon Rwanda.
Why? That question has plagued many, from genocide survivors and other Rwandans to the governments and international bodies whose inactivity allowed the violence to rage. In his haunting 2003 memoir Shake Hands with the Devil, Dallaire observes that the “international community endorsed by its indifference” the “ethical and moral mistake of ranking some humans as more human than others.”
What can be done to assert the equality of the lives of those abandoned by the world in 1994? What happens to those whose family members fell below the machete blows of the génocidaires, and who must carry the memory of loved ones brutally murdered? And how might the international community be compelled to avoid repeating its negligence and worse in Rwanda?