the friend online
09 September 2005


Lessons for humanity from the depths of destruction - preview

Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, by Romeo Dallaire

As the man powerless to stop the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, Romeo Dallaire is well placed to prick our consciences, particularly in the lead-up to a crucial UN meeting in New York, which could see world leaders committing to better protect us from crimes against humanity

  • Despite repeated pleas to the UN, Dallaire was not given the mandate to intervene as the genocide began in 1994
  • Instead of sending reinforcements, there were calls to withdraw peacekeepers as the relentless slaughter of nearly one million Rwandans took place
  • He left Kigali in August of 1994 and, after trying to continue his military career, suffered post traumatic stress disorder and was discharged in 1999
  • Out of his experience, he has now written Shake Hands with the Devil: the failure of humanity in Rwanda, a title that refers to his meetings with the Genocidaire
  • Writing the book meant it was necessary for Dallaire to relive the whole experience and face his own guilt about the Rwandan victims as well as those under his command that were killed

  • Clare-Marie White

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