Ghosts of Rwanda

Ghosts of Rwanda

2004, Military and War  -   76 Comments
Ratings: 8.07/10 from 71 users.

Ghosts of RwandaWhen the United Nations sent peacekeepers to this small, Central African nation -- with the full support of the U.S. government -- most of the policy-makers involved believed it would be a straightforward mission that would help restore the U.N.'s battered reputation after failures in Bosnia and Somalia. Few could imagine that, a decade later, Rwanda would be the crisis that still haunts their souls.

Ghosts of Rwanda, a special two-hour documentary to mark the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide -- a state-sponsored massacre in which some 800,000 Rwandans were methodically hunted down and murdered by Hutu extremists as the U.S. and international community refused to intervene -- examines the social, political, and diplomatic failures that converged to enable the genocide to occur.

"With the perspective of time, the Rwandan crisis can be seen as a crucial test of the international system and its values -- a clash between the ideals of humanitarianism and the cold logic of realism and national interest," says FRONTLINE producer Greg Barker.

Through interviews with key government officials, diplomats, soldiers, and survivors of the slaughter, Ghosts of Rwanda presents groundbreaking, first-hand accounts of the genocide from those who lived it: the diplomats on the scene who thought they were building peace only to see their colleagues murdered; the Tutsi survivors who recount the horror of seeing their friends and family slaughtered by Hutu friends and co-workers; and the U.N. peacekeepers in Rwanda who were ordered not to intervene in the massacre happening all around them.

The documentary features interviews with Canadian Gen. Romeo Dallaire, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and former National Security Adviser Anthony Lake as well as haunting interviews with the Hutu killers themselves, and a powerful interview with BBC journalist Fergal Keane who traveled through Rwanda as the genocide was drawing to a close.

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Marijke Mannak
9 years ago

I lived in Rwanda with my husband and daugther for 7 years, we left in 1990.... already the tense in Rwanda, was already there. It is a very good documentary. Feel ashame that 'never again'is not true. The world is watching Syria... and DONING NOTHING!! Feel sad, feel ashame...

9 years ago

I'm not a politician, and I admit I can be quite ignorant about things, and I admit the United States if flawed, but we're not the only ones. When us from the United States defend our country we're ignorant and selfish and horribly labeled, Americans are often seen as biased and ignorant but believe it or not there are plenty of Americans who try to learn about things from other perspectives, and know not to listen to our biased media sources, but from what I can see when others defend their county their patriotism is alright. There are plenty of other genocides that have gone in Europe itself that have nothing to do with the United States. Here in Rwanda we were not the only ones to blame, we are not the only ones who pulled out the support, we are not the only ones who left Rwandans to die. So stop pointing fingers. The United States may only have "interests" but can you support the fact that the other governments in Europe or Asia or Africa aren't the same way? No our government isn't perfect and I disagree with a lot of things that our government does, but you could be just as ignorant of our country as we are of yours.

Bruce Unser
10 years ago

You hear over and over again that the US Gov't didn't realized how bad and fast this genocide occurred, and that when they finally did realized how bad it was, it was too late to do anything. Let's hope the speed of the internet and cell phones will prevent these atrocities from ever happening again. "Never again"!

11 years ago

When the world turned their backs, Canada stayed. That is why I'm proud to be a Canadian.

11 years ago

"The U.S has no friends...Only interests"=a perfect quote from this documentary that applies to the decisions made during this situation and others such as the oil focussed INVASION of Iraq!

11 years ago

Well said Savage Henry. I too am sick of seeing the mindless, knee-jerk anti-US
rhetoric. European nations have done far more mercenary colonialization over the centuries and they deserve most of the blame for the horrors happening in places like Rwanda. I hate it when the US goes in to clean up messes created by other nations such as the Japanese mess in Korea and the French mess in Vietnam and winds up looking like the bad guy.We have made a lot of mistakes but we have yet to produce a Hitler, Stalin, Hirohito, Pol Pot or Mussolini and I hope we never do. The rest of the world should hope so too.

11 years ago

It is the world community not just United State at fault. For situations like Rwanda Darfur or even in Europe in the 80s 90s and now in 21st. The point is just because this kind of things r happening in far away land does not mean it’s not going to happen in America. We need stop promoting hatred and bias. Most of all we need to educate our self. One day the table might turn and America might be the one asking the rest of the world for help. So one child die here in America another child died in Africa or Middle East it should hold the same value. We r in no position to say American lives are more valuable.

12 years ago

After returning from Rwanda, I had a totally different perspective. I found the people to be friendly and kind and very interested in reconciliation.
As for the genocide, I have come to refer to it as the Rwandans do; as a war.
Further, it is easy from the other side of the world to condemn the killers, but after being there, getting to know them and taking in the situation they live in I couldn't help but realize, or think, that what happened in a natural result of tyranny.
If you have a minority that has all the opportunities, the power, the hope and the prosperity and you have a minority that is being told they are subservient, that their children have no opportunity, then such a thing as the genocide is much more understandable.
The oppressed will usually eventually rise up and demand equal opportunity. In Rwanda it was a brutal, savage, hand-to-hand affair. The Belgians created the environment by falsely assigning tribal status based on the amount of possessions one hand ( if you had more than ten cows you were a Tutsi, and if you had less you were a Hutu ).
Instead of realizing our own role in the carnage in Africa, the western white world just stands back and says " oh, what a bunch of animals. "
Pretty sad really. How many African or Middle East borders existed before world war one?
I feel like the Rwandans have been traumatized and jacked over by their interactions with white people in the past and that we have a responsibility to help them now to make up for it.
The Hutu/Tutsi division was encouraged by the Belgians who just saw an easy way to manipulate and exploit them. Divide and conquer. It seems like the attitude of the western worlds political and corporate class ( as if there is any difference ) has always been " the less Africans there are, the better. "

12 years ago

Those Rawandans are some sick fu(ks to do that to one another.

12 years ago

Very good. Sad statement about the world's and our country's view of the worth of human beings and how we decide whether to intervene in genocides or not. This is Clinton's worst mistake in my opinion.

12 years ago

If you watch this documentary and dont shed a tear,please consult your cardiologist because you might not have a heart.
Thats all there is to be said about this........

12 years ago

These coments are great!!
When the US intervened in Somalia (another country without oil) and killed civilians the haters of America all came out in force"Look what the evil americans have done". America then responded that they were pulling out of Africa and will no longer intervene where they have no interests due to Somalias internation condemnation. A few months later Rwanda happened and the same people that condemned America for their action in Somalia blamed them for their inaction in Rwanda.
When America intervenes they are accused of being oil thieving genocidal animals when they don't get involved they are accused of racism and not caring. The crazy thing is the Belgian (White) general who begged the UN for help was refused by Annan(black) and still the race card was pulled on the international comunity. When I visited Rwanda in 2008 the country seems normal but locals will freely tell you of their ordeal and they are in no way over what happened but they now live side by side in relative peace for any of you who care about them and are not just using them as a weapon for your anti American idealogy.
This is what happens when evil prevails!!!
RIP to all those in Rwanda, I will never forget the feeling of sorrow when I was there

12 years ago

Thankfully a few of you have already acknowledged that the US did not kill these innocent people. This took place quickly, in a foreign jungle. We (US) sent troops into a foreign jungle (a territory, situation and people we didn't understand) in the 60's and we finally accepted defeat following a brutal war; troops returned maimed, psychologically scarred and shunned by fellow US citizens. All of you blame-tossing keyboard activists, including you, Ms. Superior Genius Conqueror of Egypt, are very generous with American lives as if they are immune to the brutality and potential death they face when we send them on a mission, such as this. (You sound like a smart young woman SGCOE, too bad this is the best you're doing with your knowledge).

This documentary speculates that racism was a factor in evacuating Americans from this situation. Were we racist because we pulled our citizens out of Japan after the tsunami, or out of Egypt or Libya?? Or were we simply protecting our people, because, at the end of the day, OUR tax dollars prepaid for this service. We are not given this "luxury" for free and that includes all Americans - not just the whites! We lost 600,000 Americans during our cival war defending what we believe in - human rights, the rights of black people, specifically. Did we ask you to send your innocent young men to help us? Moreover, did anyone volunteer the young men of other nations to assist us and minimize our bloodshed?

Additionally, we Americans, as a whole, are NOT responsible for the misguided or intentional f***-ups that take place within our government. That is an elementary generalization. If you have a perfect government, then you should get off your a$$ and petition them to perform these jobs. Otherwise, perhaps you can understand that most of us are working our a$$es off just trying to make ends meet, too busy -keeping food on our tables and gas in our cars so we can get to work and school- to invest our days/nights micro-managing a government. Our government lies to us just as yours lies to you.. Do you think we voted on the invasion of Iraq? Do you think we knew we were making the lives of those people worse than Hussein? In the event your simple-minded response is "yes". I have a revelation for you: we didn't know! Yes. We need political and economic reform. And we are quickly realizing that more and more attention must be paid to who is in office and what they do there.Thankfully, the generation of conservative right wing idiots who have been outweighing our votes at the polls are dying off. But with the time you have to b**** and moan, you could surely invest some in making change yourself, instead of pointing your fingers and making Americans responsible for everything that goes wrong around the world.

OF COURSE we have "interests"! Without oil and other resources we secure through foreign policy, we wouldn't have come as far as we did in the 20th century! Without these resources, by the way, the US would NOT have an ice cube's chance in fictional hell to help other countries when they need it!

Furthermore, most of us, who do not make up the 1-3% of the wealthy elite are very generous with our money and our time to help people when we can. America is not the best country in the world.. but I ask, which one is?? This is the one I call home and I'm thankful to be here. Certainly we are shamed and feel deep sadness when our leaders dupe us into a war we don't belong in or commit a ponzi scheme crippling the global economy. But among my few fortunes, I was fortunate enough to be born here. Do I wish we could help every single person here and around the world who needs it? Of course I do, and I think most rational Americans would agree. But it's impossible. And, I reiterate what has already been said here: we're damned if we do and damned if we don't it's so damn easy for the world to look at us with disdain, as if we don't, never have nor never will perform humanitarian missions that have saved the lives of many.

One final revelation: 99% of Americans were not born into wealth... we work for what we have, we earn it, we dedicate great portions of our lives to create a "sense of security" and opportunity for ourselves and our families. American citizenship is not a golden ticket to a life of luxury and we're not sitting on fortunes, living in palaces, turning a blind-eye to the unfortunate souls around us.

The sad truth is that hundreds of thousands of innocent lives were taken by sick people who believed they had a worthy mission to carry out in Rwanda. The US didn't conceive nor carry out this mission. This didn't happen over a period of 10 years, it happened in a matter of mere days. It's unthinkable that we could have known the magnitude of this massacre and how to resolve it without a potential loss of American troops on an equally massive scale in such a short time. We do learn from our mistakes, again using Vietnam as an example. The lives of American troops should not be viewed as expendable to the rest of the world because we are a "super-power". And again, it's an elementary concept to believe we are ready to tackle any mission, anywhere at anytime, on a moments notice. This type of remiss use of "super-power" should be blamed on Superman, Batman (and Robin, of course), Wonder Woman, Spider Man and Rambo.

12 years ago

Curious tha in the backdrop against sebernica no one intervened. It was clear that the Tutsi's suffered becasue of the cowardice of the world's powerful leaders in the face of evil. If you want to be a superpower that comes with a price of intervention even when there are no oil, nuclear arms or power at stake. This was a failure not of a people but of humanity..

12 years ago

In the end,3 words in french= LE GROS BONSENS !

12 years ago

BRAVO USA,No oil no weapons,gold,goverment interests and so on...... = inactions !! At least Canada and some others tried to do the difference.F&?%$ USA,im Canadian and proud that wee really seems to have ampathie....1 000 000 peoples dies there.I know its not comparable to the WTC 3000 or 4000 death made there.The september horror is a for sure tragedie,but it seems like all the world have to found a solution for them,but 1 million killed in a foreing ''BLACK'' country can wait.US GOV wouldnt send help,they need there mans for other most important missions...GOD bless you ARMOREDRICA.

12 years ago

Connie-please get your fact straight. The US did not pull out of Rwanda-they were never there. There was a UN peacekeeping force led by General Romeo D'Allaire. He had a small number of troops from Canada, Belgium, Pakistan and other small countries. Despite repeated requests, the UN would not change the mission mandate. If they had, General D'Allaire and the UN force could have confiscated weapons caches before the slaughter began. More troops would have helped as well as equipment. The US chose to send neither. To this day, it is one of Bill Clinton's greatest regrets that he did not act to help stop the genocide in Rwanda.

12 years ago

6 million jews? what about the other 44 million people who died in WWII...? Talk about the squeeky wheel getting the oil.
And after watching Black Hawk Down I'm glad the US pulled out of Rwanda. War and genocide are the horrible realities of what every person is capable of. Face it peoples, the human race is not nice. The only reason we are all here is because our ancestors somewhere along the line were the stronger.

12 years ago

DG, you pontificating i@#$%. Why dont you join the red cross or red crescent and do something about it. You have all that time to write that drivel. Use it in a better way.

12 years ago

Excuse me. I did not proof read before posting. What I meant to say is this was really appalling to watch in regard to the politicians who were involved and the inaction of all of the governments that had requested aid and did not get the support that was asked of them. The terror that the people of Rwandans suffered, reminded me of the Holocost. To me a human is a human weter white, black or any color, relegion. It daddens me so insofar as te past atrocities seemed to be forgotten. Five hundred thousand plus people murdered.Tutsis cried for help from them only for their cries to fall on deaf ears as all that was “black” was not entitled to be rescued. It is disturbing!!!Propaganda from Hutu leaders was a big catalyst in this genocide and the leaders should face justice for their crimes.
I hope these crimes will not be forgotten or repeated in the 21st century, by Gods grace. RIP to all who died needlessly. Genocide is a crime,lest we forget and is dehumanizing to the killers and its victims. Six million dead Jewish people should have taught the world that.But unfortunately it didn't.

12 years ago

his was appaling to watch inreguards to the politics. What was the whole point of this genocidal slaughter. Why did not any other governments help. The whites were evacuated. This sickens me. Humans are humans white, black ,yellow, brown.

Taharqua (Conqueror of Egypt)
12 years ago

@ matt
Look Mr. matt I would have spelled your name with a capital "m"
but since you made that disrespectful comment on the mighty continent of Africa (motherland of all people) I decided not to. And by the way based on your judgment I can tell that you are one of those republicans who think Africa is a country like sarah pallin did. You need to stop reading Non-euro-centric books or unbiased history books before posting any comments on here. Then maybe you'll start making educated judgments.

This site is made for intelligent and well mannered civilized people with culture. You mentioned civilization where the hell do you think you got your whatsoever civilization from. Again if you had read non Euro centric books like "Black Athena" by Martin Bernal then may be you will hopefully start understanding what civilization actually means.

I wonder how you will feel if after your DNA results came out and discovered that your ancestor was indeed from Rwanda then maybe you would have a different perspective on this topic. Hint Hint...

Well mr. whatever your name is first of all you got to understand that the west ows EVERYTHING not only to the whole African continent but to the rest of the post colonial world as well as African Americans in the U.S. And yes the U.S. did participate in the Berlin Conference of 1884 which led to the mischievous partitioning of the African Continent strictly for EXPLOITATION PURPOSES.

I hope this will future on here soon. Once again if you read books like "Scramble of Africa" or "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" then you would understand why the west has keeps pouring money to resolve these ongoing conflicts. Don't come on this website with your narrow minded philosophies and make backward comments like this.

Imagine if the U.S. was a direct neighbor to middle eastern countries do you think these ongoing conflicts shall be resolved overnight?!?! Do you think you will be leaving in peace in your so called peaceful country and making comments such as these?? I don't think so.

Do you know that the greedy Belgian king, leopold II who raped and seized the vast colony of Congo as his private fiefdom in 1885 can account alone for about 10 million murders?? Now that's what you call holocaust or genocide.

King Leopold II used his mercenary army under the name of christian-ism and civilization to force slaves into mines and rubber plantations. He burned entire kingdoms and carried out sadistic punishments including dismemberment and mass murder which resulted to almost 10 million deaths and robbery of vast resources which largely surpasses what ever the so called Aid or help the UN or the West throws at Congo or Rwanda.

That's why Authors such as Adam Hochschild (King Leopold's Ghost) became an investigative journalist and initiated an international Congo Reform Movement. Hochschild (The Unquiet Ghost) documents the machinations of Leopold, who won over President Chester A. Arthur and bribed a U.S. senator to derail Congo protest resolutions.

Again mr. matt i'm so amazed how individuals like you seem to lack information and common sense of foreign policy, yet you are surrounded by vast resources of honest and non biased information which could help purge out your brainwashed euro-centric way of reasoning.

It is not always about pouring money to the problem. It goes far beyond that mr. matt. I feel like I can open a special curriculum in various Universities all over the U.S. to re-educate backward, retarded and racist people like you. Don't think you can just make any undereducated comments on the African Continent. African topics are way beyond your intellectual assessments and capabilities.

Hopefully one day you will come back from your delusional world and educate your kids the right and unbiased way for a better tomorrow!!

Not enough said
Keep up the good work Vlatko!!!
Taharqa (Conqueror of Egypt and last Pharaoh of African lineage of Pharaohs)

12 years ago

Shame on the white west! I bow down!

12 years ago

@ matt just for the record I completely blame the people who committed these atrocities, all I blame the UN for is lying about their intentions. ghosts of Sudan should be an interesting watch in a few years time.

@ EJ
What abou the people (He created) who were crazy and violent enough to do all the killing? If God did exist would these people exist?
Its all semantics in this case though, what it comes down to is:
"We are people and one of our greatest features is that we can make choices. U and I have made a choice to love humankind, some have chosen otherwise and some have chosen to do nothing"
true facts there buddy

12 years ago

DG, Stop crying. Don't blame the genocide on God. That is a cop out and completely unrealistic. The crimes that happened in rawanda were the actions of men, and men only. It is the very human race that you describe that commit crimes of this magnitude on a regular basis, only to have people turn the other cheek and curse God, the UN or America while the real criminals wake up the next day to do the same thing again. I just don't understand this way of thinking. God leaves mankind responsible for world affairs as he gave them dominion over the earth. It means exactly that. An order of laws were made clear, and it is on us to obey. He does not swoop down and referee, or bail out humankind from every problem they create. Our quality of life and our saftey on this planet are only as good as we make it, and we will be judged for our actions accordingly by God, while the innocent are spared. If you believe in God, then you must believe that there is a life after death that is much happier than our earthly existance. It is the only life that matters because it is eternal, where the wicked will be punished and the rightous rewarded. Evil and evil people should be blamed for the genocide in rawanda, but they always seem to get away with it all, while God is blamed for everyone's screw-ups. Have you noticed, because I have for sure, that people publically blame God for all the evil in the world, but never thank him when the good things happen? Sorry for the biblical cliche', but Africa has reaped what it has sown.

12 years ago

And to Ocelot, your comment on the subject is complete c@#$, and it doesn't take a historian or an educated individual to say so. Even if the German and Belgian colonists did transfer power into one side, it is still the responsibility of the Hutu clan whether or not they decide to start murdering people.

Fighting to even the playing field is one thing, but committing complete genocide isn't necessary to establish this, and goes way over the mark in vengeance and retribution. These are crimes of pettiness, jealousy and anger, not necessity.

Don't try to blame everything on the white man, which has been Africa's go to excuse for everything. If the African people are mentally and culturally equal with whites and all others (which I believe that they are) they should be able to understand when they are being manipulated and held responsible for their subsequent actions.

This trying argument that every terrible thing that has happened in Africa is the result of the white man coming in and fooling around with the politics makes the black African race sound inferior, childish and easily toppled. People wonder why racial issues never improve. Take responsibility for your own actions!!!

12 years ago

It's funny that I see no one blaming the genocide on the people that actually committed the crime. Instead blame it on the Americans, or the UN. Bullsh*t. This is a typical blame-shift, and is why huge crimes like this (especially in Africa) continue to occur.

They don't have to worry about being held accountable for their actions. It isn't the US responsibility to mediate these f@#$%^& lunatics. This is a huge reason America is left with a crumbling economy and a huge unemployment/welfare line, because we waste money and effort in foreign sh*tholes like Africa, where our past billions in aid and resources have obviously solved nothing, while the domestic climate plunges.

Moreover, when we do actually decide to get involved in another nation's business, we are seen as "nosey Americans" and criticized for "trying to control world affairs", only to be universally despised. It's about time someone started holding Africa accountable for their consistent bullsh*t and inability to come together as a stable civilization.

We have been throwing money at their problems for decades and nothing has improved. If I new that I was going to be pampered every time I committed a crime, and responsibility shifted onto someone else, I'd probably start killing people too.

12 years ago

how prophetic "america doesn't have friends it has interests"

why they don't have friends?

nik_kcin....when people are struck with horrific things or experiences that is the place they go. It is a human trait to rely on faith when all is lost. I go with Carl Sagan in that we are all just part of the Cosmos. If there is a god it controls nothing but we as humans create God for various reasons with the hope that He/She/It controls our fate.

13 years ago

Iam completely disturbed. Rwanda is our neighbour and although i used to watch CNN news at that time 1993 when it all begun and saw bidies floating on rivers, it is now that i have understood the depth and magnitude of mass killings as they occurred at the time after watching this Doc. The most didturbing scene are not the bodies all over the place but the moment the foreing governments ,such as US, Beligum etc sent it Planes to evacuate their cizens successfully as the Tutsis cried for help from them only for their cries to fall on deaf ears as all that was "black" was not entitled to be rescued. It is disturbing!!!Propaganda from Hutu leaders was a big catalyst in this genocide and the leaders should face justice.

13 years ago

What the? Americans......Just another war crime from them. They're just as bad if not worse than the extremests that carried out these murders for not doing anything. Ive said it before and ill say it again.World would be a better place without the money hungry Americans

13 years ago

Rwanda dismisses UN report detailing possible Hutu genocide in Congo
Rwanda responded angrily to a leaked UN report that said the country’s Tutsi-led Army might have carried out a Hutu genocide in the Congo.
Christian Science Monitor--circa 30 Aug 2010.
also found on the web--reports from 2 anthropologists going back to 1860, stating that the killings have been going on
for a long time and that 1994 was just the tip of the ice-
berg. and the beat goes on

Damn Yankee
13 years ago


You are right, to a degree. Just a Marine home after two tours, plus, in the sand...still trying to make sense of the many clusterf#@ks I've been witness to and why IEDs are so random in their cruelty. One thing I've learned: Superman ain't real. Next time I'll post sober. Semper Fi...with scars and peace.

Policy and execution are both tangled and ugly...the former is regrettable; my conduct and involvement in the latter is beyond reproach, though haunting and painful...forever.

13 years ago

@Damn Yankee
With great power comes great responsibility.
Don't the phrases 'Never Again' or 'A power for democracy and freedom in the world' mean anything to you?! If you set yourself a hard task don't complain if people actually expect you to comply. Imo it's ridiculous to create certain expectations and then say that the world expects to much.

13 years ago

As a historian I wanted my beliefs to be based on gathering facts and trying to understand the events that occur though researching the history behind them. There is no point to compare revolutions that appeared in France and Russia on the other side and the GENOCIDE which appeared in Rwanda, or Armenia, or in Nazi Germany. There is a big difference! There musn`t be no apologies for genocides. It is the worst crime possible! Genocide is about TOTAL ELIMINATION of certain ethnic group by trying to destroy every member of it, and we cannot explain this extreme events by compare it with "kicking the dog, who will one day bite you". It must be much bigger cause that the simple enmity which we can see every day between nations all over the world.
The routs of Rwandan genocide are very complex ones! No history is painted black and white and Rwanda is no exception. You cannot say that Hutus had the right to eliminate Tutsis just because Tutsi aristocracy was ruling the Rwandan kingdom for centuries. This was just the kind of philosophy which was adopted by Hutu extremists prior genocide.

There are many books you can read on this subject: the most notable ones in my opinion are
• Mamdani, M. (2002): When victims become killers. Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda
• Semujanga, J. (2003): Origins of Rwandan genocide

13 years ago


If you could supply me with the names of some reference books
on the history of Rwanda to backup your beliefs then I would
gladly hike it over to the library to order out these books.
I am sure that others making comments on this subject would
also be interested. Thanks RK

13 years ago


"What is that that you believe in?"
I believe that if you kick a dog long enough and hard enough that one day he will bite you. I also believe that goes double for people as the revolutions in France, Russia and other place have aptly demonstrated.

13 years ago

Ras Khafila, you say that you believe this missionary who was on the Hutu side in the 1980s... What is that that you believe in? That Tutsis were long time the "masters" of Hutus? That Hutus were oppressed by the Tutsi minority for centuries. If you believe in that, than you are correct. No one denies that Tutsis were the ruling class even in precolonial Rwanda, but than their power was NOT made by racial differences, but mostly with the fact that they possessed cattle herds. And in precolonial East Africa it was common that who possessed cattle herds, was the leader of the land. The same thing happened with Massai tribe in modern Kenya, for example. And because they had the herds, they were able to fight successfully than agriculturist Hutus, so Tutsis were the only one in kingdom who were allowed to warfare. Only because of that Tutsis were "rulers" of Rwandan kingdom, but Hutus were not as oppressed as Hutus were made to believe by media later in independent Rwanda. If they succeeded to acquire cattle herds, than they had the same privileges as Tutsis had. Even intermarriages were not uncommon at all!

The problems begun when colonizers started to see this social differences as "racial ones", because ruling Tutsis were big and strong compared to smaller and darker Hutus. It was than that that fameous "Hamitic" theory occurred, but again, it was NOT made by Tutsis them self, but by (first) Germans and Belgians, who wanted to lean their colonial power on Tutsi minority. And it was the colonizers who first made Hutus nearly slaves, but than in 1950s they changed their colonial philosophy, moved away from Tutsi minority and gave all the power into the hands of Hutus, who soon revenged against the hated Tutsis. They believed in that "Hamitic" mythology which were tought in schools and when they took the power after the independence the hatred against Tutsis was at the peak.

So Tutsis were in 80s, when you spoke with missionary, for years the oppressed minority, whose status were already not good at all. They were allready "paying" for the sins which were primarily made by colonizers. The mythologized past, which was created by colonizers, was the main reason of the conflict that in 1994 eventually outgrown in tragic genocide.
Knowing Rwandan past, man can see the comparison between Rwanda in Holocaust. In Germany there were also created that mythic history of Semites in Europe. And that mythology eventually evolved into genocide.

13 years ago

I have yet to view the video but circa 1984 I was in Mai Sai
Thailand and met a 7 Day Adventist missionary, a big black
Amerikan for Los Angeles who had lived and worked in Rawanda
for 2 years circa 1980. He told me all about the Hutus and Tsusis plus the situation as he saw it.He said there would be a blood bath in that country when the Hutus, the slaves,
rose up against their masters.He was definately on the side
of the Hutus. The world's newspapers may paint a different
view but, for me, I believe the missionary.

13 years ago

Very good documentry.
For those wanting more background on what started this conflict "Shake hands with the devil" will make good viewing.
Belgium introduced the identity cards that were the death of many Africans.Before this Africans cared little about being Tutsi or Hutu.Indeed many didnt know which they were.
The French had much to gain from the conflict and helped to flush out tutsis ,collect IDs and hand them to the militia to be killed.
The catholic church could have helped stop it but were typically silent.
It's more than just the world turning its back on Africa,its about Keeping It In Conflict so as to reap its rewards.

13 years ago

@ nick_kcin

God was always present, his presence was evident in the fact that they were people (He created) who were brave and compassionate enough to risk their own lives and do something. People who saved lives, people who died saving lives (like Captain Mbaye), people who left the comforts of their homes to make this story known to us, people who are now making an effort to build Rwanda. If God didn't exist would these people exist? We are people and one of our greatest features is that we can make choices. U and I have made a choice to love humankind, some have chosen otherwise and some have chosen to do nothing. This is why in the end we will all be judged based on choices we made that lead to our actions.

13 years ago

and @Afriye

"I am so grateful that there is a God"

Sorry but I have no idea how that could be one of the first things to come to your mind after watching this. like that guy saying that he prayed after seeing the statue of Jesus, I don't know what he was thinking, where the f--k had god been that whole time? If you believe in god then hes more to blame than the Hutus or the UN or anyone.

I'm sure its just desperation and trying to find hope and all that but come on people, we have to face reality with situations like this, no god would stand by and watch his children do this to each other

13 years ago

United abominations is right, this is one of the most depressing things I've ever seen. lucky we all learned our lessons, the US and the UN and the rest of the free world.

Darfur? oh no thats different, thats not genocide

13 years ago

I hear many people blaming the US for this tragedy, but no-one blaming the actual killers or the people who ordered the killings.
Africans are to blame, no-one else.
They are blood thirsty barbarians.

13 years ago

So touching to see an extremely small handfull of people (africans and non-africans) support and save the lives of teh women, men and children of the frequently abandoned continent of Africa. I fully endorse the comment made that "America has no friends, only interests" and would add futher that they have interests and EMNEMIES. I am so grateful that there is a God and people have been placed on Earth as a witness to each other, to test wether we will invoke our evil or compassionate side. I pray abundantly that all those who suffered at the hands of an oppressor are given their place in paradise, and that all those who were indirectly allowing the genocide to continue are held accountable both in this world and the hereafter. May God show His mercy to whom ever he pleases.

13 years ago

People will always put c** on the Americans whether they try to help or pull out

13 years ago

Well said.

13 years ago

Yes, Mary, today especially Romeo Dallaire, a comander of UNAMIR in Rwanda during genocide, is considered to be some kind of "heroe", and today he is often shown on documentaries about rwandan genocide. One documentary, "Shake hand with the devil", made in 2004, is based directly on his own story. He also wrote a book with the same name as the documentary, I must say that is is very good! Today he is heroe especialy in his own Canada and he was even chosen (among others) for bringing the olympic flag in this years olympic games in Vancouver.
But genocide left a big mark on his psyhology. For years he was blaming himself for tragedy and he even tryed to take his own life.

Tthe biggest problem that can be seen with the role of UN and international "peacekeepers" - USA, GB, France and others is, that the interest to intervene is almost everytime driven by political, strategic or (and mainly) economic interests of these world superpowers. In Rwandan case, practicly none of soperpowers was seriously motivated to go there and end the civil war, because Rwanda doesnt have none importand natural resourses whatsoever. It was considered as some marginal country, whose problems are best left alone and let its people to deal with it. Today, interestingly, the situation has changed. Of course, Rwanda is still very poor on resourses, but today it is, together with Uganda, considered to be a strong stronghold for bloching the expand of extreme islamic groups to the south. So therefore it has the backing of USA, which allows Rwanda and Uganda to be importand factors in illegal trade of coltan, cobalt and others importand metals, which can be found in east Congo.

13 years ago

Ridiculous that we pay for an entity that has proven pointless over and over again. Abolish the UN!!!!

13 years ago

well this is a very good example that a weak willed goverment(clinton administration) is also a bad thing.

maybe thats the reason why the neo conservatives gain power in washinton.. maybe they always made rowanda/mogadesue as an example of how the americans need to "police" the world.

actually if they've moderately done their plan without conspiracy. they could have been a well and good maybe also heroic administrator.

13 years ago

Belgian cowards. You made this bed, lie in it.