KIGALI – Twenty years ago this week, the genocide against Rwanda’s Tutsis, the most brutally efficient killing spree in history, began. As the international community looked on – capable of intervening but unwilling to act – more than one million Tutsis and others who stood in the way of the atrocities were slaughtered. I count many in my own family among them.
The anniversary is wrenching for Rwanda, and yet we owe it to the victims and survivors – and to ourselves – to reckon squarely with the events of 1994. The genocide against the Tutsi was neither entirely unforeseen nor spontaneous. It was not a savage outburst of innate African tribalism. It was the outcome of a methodical, state-orchestrated campaign over decades to dehumanize Tutsis as a means to amass power.