Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Friday, February 18, 2005

Seminar: "The Rwandan Genocide - What Have We Learned?"
For those in Cape Town on Monday, the UCT Centre for Conflict Resolution has an interesting talk by U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Rwanda's head, General Romeo Dallaire.

General Dallaire witnessed unspeakable horrors in Rwanda, as extremist Hutus massacred over 800,000 Tutsis and Hutus in the space of a few days in 1994.

General Romeo Dallaire did everything he could, pleading for 2000 more peacekeepers to be added to his insufficiently-equipped 3000-man force. If they had answered General Dallaire's pleas, the U.N. could have stopped the slaughter of hundres of thousands of Rwandans.

Instead, following the deaths of 10 Belgian Peacekeepers assigned to protect the Rwandan president, his forces were cut down from 3000 to a mere 500 men, who had to watch helplessly as one of the most horrific genocides in human history unfolded before them.

Frustrated, and disheartened by the U.N.'s passive attitude, General Dallaire nonetheless stood for his beliefs, repeatedly confronting his superiors who did nothing to prevent the horrific events. In 2002, he was honoured with an award for his work.

General Dallaire is now working on the problem of war-affected children, and has visited countries where children are used as soldiers or are being sold into sexual slavery. He has written a book, reviewed by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for the Washington Post, and published several articles on his experiences.

Main Speaker:
General Romeo Dallaire (Former Commander of the United Nations Forces in Rwanda)
Fathima Hajaig (Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on International Affairs)
Cedric de Coning (Research Fellow, African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, ACCORD, Cape Town)

Date: Monday, 21 February 2005
Time: 17h00 - 19h00
Venue: CCR Offices, UCT Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Gardens
RSVP: Lindy Mudenda
Tel: 021 4222512
Fax:021 4222622