Monday 29 May 2017

The broken pledge of 'never again'

Barry Egan recalls the scenes of utter horror he witnessed in Rwanda after the genocide there 20 years ago

A Rwandan refugee girl stares at a mass grave where dozens of bodies have been laid to rest in this July 20, 1994 file photo. April 7, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide which killed 800,000 people.
A Rwandan refugee girl stares at a mass grave where dozens of bodies have been laid to rest in this July 20, 1994 file photo. April 7, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide which killed 800,000 people.
Preserved human skulls are seen on display at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Rwanda, as the country prepares to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide in the Rwandan capital Kigali. An estimated 800,000 people were killed in 100 days during this genocide. Photo: REUTERS/Noor Khamis
A Rwandan woman collapses with her baby on her back alongside the road connecting Kibumba refugee camp and Goma in this July 28, 1994 file photo. April 7, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide which killed 800,000 people.
Visitors look at images documented from the killings of the 1994 genocide inside the Kigali Genocide Memorial Museum as the country prepares to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the genocide in the Rwandan capital Kigali on April 5, 2014.
Rows of human skulls and bones that form a memorial to those who died in the redbrick church that was the scene of a massacre during the 1994 genocide.
A boy covers his face as the bodies of men, women and children lie on the ground in Rwanda in 1994
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Last Monday was the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. It was an almost methodical attempt to wipe out the country's Tutsi minority over a hundred days of hell. Hutu death squads using machetes slaughtered into bloody oblivion almost a million innocents.

After the Second World War, the international community made a solemn promise that there would never be another genocide like the Nazi mass killings of Jews.

That promise was broken in Africa 20 years ago.

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