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Twenty years ago this month, 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 1 million Tutsis and others who stood in the way of the atrocities were slaughtered. 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 is impossible to overstate the magnitude of the challenges that Rwanda confronted in the aftermath of the genocide.For good reason, the international community expected nothing more from post-genocide Rwanda than state failure marked by total aid dependency and unrelenting ethnic violence.Because slow moving Western-style courts could not possibly manage the load, Rwanda turned to traditional Gacaca courts to hear more than 2 million genocide-related cases.The task of confronting the causes and consequences of genocide is imperative for people everywhere. The international community, whose response to the unfolding slaughter in Rwanda was to withdraw peacekeepers and evacuate expatriates, should not avert its eyes from its moral and political failure.
Rwanda must reap the dividends of a durable peace
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