Rwanda Quotes

Quotes tagged as "rwanda" Showing 1-30 of 46
Christopher Hitchens
“I once spoke to someone who had survived the genocide in Rwanda, and she said to me that there was now nobody left on the face of the earth, either friend or relative, who knew who she was. No one who remembered her girlhood and her early mischief and family lore; no sibling or boon companion who could tease her about that first romance; no lover or pal with whom to reminisce. All her birthdays, exam results, illnesses, friendships, kinships—gone. She went on living, but with a tabula rasa as her diary and calendar and notebook. I think of this every time I hear of the callow ambition to 'make a new start' or to be 'born again': Do those who talk this way truly wish for the slate to be wiped? Genocide means not just mass killing, to the level of extermination, but mass obliteration to the verge of extinction. You wish to have one more reflection on what it is to have been made the object of a 'clean' sweep? Try Vladimir Nabokov's microcosmic miniature story 'Signs and Symbols,' which is about angst and misery in general but also succeeds in placing it in what might be termed a starkly individual perspective. The album of the distraught family contains a faded study of Aunt Rosa, a fussy, angular, wild-eyed old lady, who had lived in a tremulous world of bad news, bankruptcies, train accidents, cancerous growths—until the Germans put her to death, together with all the people she had worried about.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Roméo Dallaire
“Rwanda will never ever leave me. It's in the pores of my body. My soul is in those hills, my spirit is with the spirits of all those people who were slaughtered and killed that I know of, and many that I didn't know. … Fifty to sixty thousand people walking in the rain and the mud to escape being killed, and seeing a person there beside the road dying. We saw lots of them dying. And lots of those eyes still haunt me, angry eyes or innocent eyes, no laughing eyes. But the worst eyes that haunt me are the eyes of those people who were totally bewildered. They're looking at me with my blue beret and they're saying, "What in the hell happened? We were moving towards peace. You were there as the guarantor" -- their interpretation -- "of the mandate. How come I'm dying here?" Those eyes dominated and they're absolutely right. How come I failed? How come my mission failed? How come as the commander who has the total responsibility-- We learn that, it's ingrained in us, because when we take responsibility it means the responsibility of life and death, of humans that we love.”
Romeo Dallaire

John Rucyahana
“We are preaching hope, standing on the bones of the past.”
John Rucyahana, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

Christopher Hitchens
“George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as 'evil.' Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. What the president should have done, in the unlikely event that he wanted the support of America's peace-mongers, was to describe a confrontation with Saddam as the 'lesser evil.' This is a term the Left can appreciate. Indeed, 'lesser evil' is part of the essential tactical rhetoric of today's Left, and has been deployed to excuse or overlook the sins of liberal Democrats, from President Clinton's bombing of Sudan to Madeleine Albright's veto of an international rescue for Rwanda when she was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Among those longing for nuance, moral relativism—the willingness to use the term evil, when combined with a willingness to make accommodations with it—is the smart thing: so much more sophisticated than 'cowboy' language.”
Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

Rick Warren
“In all my travels, I've never seen a country's population more determined to forgive, and to build and succeed than in Rwanda.”
Rick Warren, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

John Rucyahana
“I knew that to really minister to Rwanda's needs meant working toward reconciliation in the prisons, in the churches, and in the cities and villages throughout the country. It meant feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, caring for the young, but it also meant healing the wounded and forgiving the unforgivable.

I knew I had to be committed to preaching a transforming message to the people of Rwanda. Jesus did not die for people to be religious. He died so that we might believe in Him and be transformed. I'm engaged in a purpose and strategy that Jesus came to Earth for. My life is set for that divine purpose in Jesus Christ. I was called to that--proclaiming the message of transformation through Jesus Christ.”
John Rucyahana, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

James  Riordan
“What I learned in Rwanda was that God is not absent when great evil is unleashed. Whether that evil is man-made or helped along by darker forces, God is right there, saving those who respond to His urgings and trying to heal the rest.”
James Riordan

Philip Gourevitch
“Genocide, after all, is an exercise in community building.”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

John Rucyahana
“The perpetrators of genocides are usually men of the herd, men who follow orders without questioning them. Rwanda was no exception.”
John Rucyahana, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

Jared Diamond
“(On the beginning of the mid-1990s' genocidal war in Rwanda:)

Within six weeks, an estimated 800,000 Tutsi, representing about three-quarters of the Tutsi then remaining in Rwanda, or 11% of Rwanda's total population, had been killed.”
Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

John Rucyahana
“{President] Kayibanda's government [in Rwanda] continued the persecution against the Tutsis and began to make use of the media it controlled to launch a propaganda campaign against us. In a country where more than half the people cannot read or write and very few have televisions, radio is the dominant media. The fact that some newspapers were still printing the truth didn't matter much to the part of the population that couldn't read.

Most of the literate people were already politically aware. While an educated person might question what they read or hear from the media, the uneducated tend to accept it. The uneducated are more easily affected by threats and the emotional trauma that propaganda like this can create.”
John Rucyahana, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

“In Rwanda, one person's God is another person's Satan

-Thérèse Nyirabayovu”
Karl Maier, Into the House of the Ancestors: Inside the New Africa

Christopher Hitchens
“The last time I heard an orthodox Marxist statement that was music to my ears was from a member of the Rwanda Patriotic Front, during the mass slaughter in the country. 'The terms Hutu and Tutsi,' he said severely, 'are merely ideological constructs, describing different relationships to the means and mode of production.' But of course!”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Gil Courtemanche
“You see, each country has a colour, a smell, and also a contagious sickness. In my country the sickness is complacency. In France it's arrogance, and in the United States it's ignorance."

"What about Rwanda?"

"Easy power and impunity. Here, there's total disorder. To someone who has a little money or powere, everything that seems forbidden elsewhere looks permissible and possible. All it takes is to dare it. Someone who's simply a liar in my country can be a fraud artist here, and the fraud artist gets to be a big-time thief. Chaos and most of all poverty give him powers he wouldn't have elsewhere.”
Gil Courtemanche, A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali
tags: rwanda

John Rucyahana
“...The typhoon of madness that swept through the country [of Rwanda] between April 7 and the third week of May accounted for 80 percent of the victims of the genocide.

That means about eight hundred thousand people were murdered during those six weeks, making the daily killing rate at least five times that of the Nazi death camps. The simple peasants of Rwanda, with their machetes, clubs, and sticks with nails, had killed at a faster rate than the Nazi death machine with its gas chambers, mass ovens, and firing squads. In my opinion, the killing frenzy of the Rwandan genocide shared a vital common thread with the technological efficiency of the Nazi genocide--satanic hate in abundance was at the core of both.”
John Rucyahana, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

Denise Uwimana
“I have heard that in the United States, people remember exactly what they were doing when planes hit the Twin Towers. In my country, too, we remember a plane crash that way. There is this difference: On September 11, nearly three thousand people died. In Rwanda, smaller in size and population than Ohio, the number was three times that many, every day, for a hundred days.”
Denise Uwimana, From Red Earth: A Rwandan Story of Healing and Forgiveness

“Remembering​ ​is​ ​something​ ​God​ ​asks​ ​us​ ​to​ ​do​ ​over​ ​and​ ​over​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Bible:​ ​“Remember the​ ​Sabbath​ ​day​ ​by​ ​keeping​ ​it​ ​holy”​ ​(Exod.​ ​20:8).​ ​​ ​“Remember​ ​your​ ​Creator”​ ​(Eccles.​ ​12:1).​ ​​ ​The Israelites​ ​were​ ​experts​ ​at​ ​remembering,​ ​building​ ​altars​ ​of​ ​thanks​ ​and​ ​celebrating​ ​festivals​ ​to​ ​be mindful​ ​of​ ​God’s​ ​mighty​ ​acts​ ​of​ ​provision.​ ​​ ​They​ ​had​ ​much​ ​to​ ​celebrate:​ ​​ ​the​ ​parting​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Red Sea,​ ​the​ ​supply​ ​of​ ​manna​ ​in​ ​the​ ​desert,​ ​the​ ​cloud​ ​by​ ​day​ ​and​ ​the​ ​pillar​ ​of​ ​fire​ ​by​ ​night.​ ​​ ​In remembering,​ ​they​ ​knew​ ​God​ ​was​ ​faithful,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​fortified​ ​their​ ​faith​ ​for​ ​the​ ​next​ ​battle​ ​ahead.
All​ ​of​ ​us​ ​who​ ​are​ ​Christians​ ​are​ ​asked​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​too.​ ​​ ​The​ ​violence​ ​of​ ​the​ ​cross​ ​is​ ​in front​ ​of​ ​us​ ​each​ ​time​ ​we​ ​take​ ​communion--”Do​ ​this​ ​in​ ​remembrance​ ​of​ ​Me”​ ​(Luke​ ​22:19). Though​ ​it​ ​isn’t​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​face,​ ​we​ ​are​ ​asked​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​the​ ​blood​ ​He​ ​spilled​ ​out​ ​for​ ​us.​ ​​ ​When​ ​I embrace​ ​His​ ​suffering​ ​for​ ​me,​ ​it​ ​gives​ ​meaning​ ​to​ ​my​ ​own.​ ​​ ​I​ ​know​ ​it​ ​also​ ​forces​ ​me​ ​to remember​ ​the​ ​pain​ ​of​ ​others.​ ​​ ​And​ ​God​ ​doesn’t​ ​want​ ​me​ ​to​ ​forget​ ​the​ ​innocent​ ​blood​ ​that​ ​was shed​ ​over​ ​the​ ​hills​ ​of​ ​Rwanda.​ ​​ ​The​ ​act​ ​of​ ​remembering​ ​holds​ ​something​ ​very​ ​sacred--it​ ​makes us​ ​more​ ​grateful.​ ​​ ​We​ ​have​ ​to​ ​be​ ​willing​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​our​ ​pain​ ​so​ ​we​ ​can​ ​comfort​ ​and​ ​offer​ ​a place​ ​of​ ​healing​ ​for​ ​others.​ ​(pp.​ ​152-153)”
Eric Irivuzumugabe, My Father, Maker of the Trees: How I Survived the Rwandan Genocide

Philip Gourevitch
“My own parents and grandparents came to the United States as refugees from Nazism. They came with stories similar to Odette's ...”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Philip Gourevitch
“I saw a group of museum staffers arriving for work. On their maroon blazers, several wore the lapel buttons that sold for a dollar each in the museum shop, inscribed with the slogans "Remember" and "Never Again" ... the victims of future exterminations could now die knowing that a shrine already existed in Washington where their suffering might be commemorated”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Philip Gourevitch
“The Press and many members of Congress [in America] were sufficiently revolted by the administration's shameless evasions on Rwanda ... Meanwhile, the armored personnel carriers for an all-African intervention force sat on a runway in Germany”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Philip Gourevitch
“Hutu power had presided over one of the most outrageous crimes in a century of seemingly relentless mass political murder, and the only way to get away with it was to continue to play the victim.”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Philip Gourevitch
“the humanitarian workers [in refugee camps in Goma} were treated rather like the service staff at a seedy mafia-occupied hotel: they were there to provide-food, medicine, housewares, an aura of respectability”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Philip Gourevitch
“It bothered them [humanitarian aide workers] that the camp leaders might be war criminals, not refugees in any conventional sense of the word, but fugitives.”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Philip Gourevitch
“If, in the face of genocide, governments fear placing their soldiers at risk, he said, "then don't send soldiers, send Boy Scouts" - which is basically what the world did in the refugee camps [in Zaire].”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Philip Gourevitch
“If, in the face of genocide, governments fear placing soldiers at risk, he [UN General Romeo Dallaire] said, "then don't send soldiers, send Boy Scouts" - which is basically what the world did in the refugee camps. Dallaire was in uniform when he face the camera; his graying hair was closely cropped; he held his square jaw firmly outthrust; his chest was dappled with decorations. But he spoke with some agitation, and his carefully measured phrases did nothing to mask his sense of injury or his fury.”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Philip Gourevitch
“If, in the face of genocide, governments fear placing soldiers at risk, he [UN General Romeo Dallaire] said, "then don't send soldiers, send Boy Scouts" - which is basically what the world did in the refugee camps. Dallaire was in uniform when he faced the camera; his graying hair was closely cropped; he held his square jaw firmly outthrust; his chest was dappled with decorations. But he spoke with some agitation, and his carefully measured phrases did nothing to mask his sense of injury or his fury.”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Philip Gourevitch
“The West's post-Holocaust pledge that genocide would never again be tolerated proved to be hollow”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Philip Gourevitch
“significant concentrations of Hutu Power military and militia members among the IDPs [International Displaced Persons] made the camps themselves a major threat ... As in the border camps, interahamwe agents didn't hesitate to threaten and attack those who wished to leave Kibeho, fearing that a mass desertion of the civilian population would leave them isolated and exposed.”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Philip Gourevitch
“created an assortment of new political front organizations, whose operatives were not known to have distinguished themselves in the genocide and could be presented to the world as 'clean”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Philip Gourevitch
“Sitting with Sindikubwabo [former President of Rwanda in exile in Zaire] as he offered what sounded like a rehearsal of the defense-by-obfuscation he was preparing for the tribunal, I had the impression that he almost yearned to be indicted, even apprehended, in order to have a final hour in the spotlight.”
Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

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