April 1994 marked a gruesome turn of events in a relatively quiet Rwanda.
The assassination of Presidents Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi sparked a cycle of violence that has since come to be known as The Rwandan Genocide, acts of unspeakably appalling horror that continue to haunt people of the entire world, let alone a nation!
I first heard of this heinous outbreak on The World this Week, a focus program by the NDTV. Prannoy Roy and the Late Appan Menon were bringing us some very updated but awfully uncomfortable images and data pertaining to the merciless killings of Tutsi natives and all those who were inclined to a peaceful Rwanda.
But this post is not to gloss over unpardonable actions of a few barbaric cowards because of whom millions in the hope and quest for a peaceful life were cut down, neither is this to serve as an almanac of events that dominated the troubled Rwandan social system and government apparatus. All of that simply cannot be summed in one mere blog-post!
This post has been made to pay rich tributes to the persons of Pierantonio Costa, Antonia Locatelli, Jacqueline Mukansonera, Paul Rusesabagina, Carl Wilkens and André Sibomana, all of whom have well beyond their human capacities performed feats that would equal in measure and will only to acts of God. In their concerted efforts to halt the genocide they saved and subsequently sheltered hundreds of Tutsi people and brought upon themselves great danger. But for the remarkable efforts of these wonderful people, humanity would never have known the intricacies of dignity, fellowship, brotherhood and compassion, all of which were grievously periled in the midst of the genocide.
The following video, titled One Million Voices is a reflection of hope in the backdrop of war and ruin in Rwanda. It is an adaption from the now popular movie titled Hotel Rwanda. Take a good look at it and do follow the words of the soundtrack, which will surely move you a great deal. It is hoped that the likes of the Rwandan Genocide do not find place in our times ever again, for the sake of our children who deserve nothing less than a world built on the foundations of peace, happiness and compassion! We owe that bit to them - a great deal!
As is always the case in the aftermath of such events, there has been no consensus with regards to the number of people who perished during the genocide in Rwanda. The official figures published by the Rwandan Government estimated the number of victims of the genocide as 1,174,000 in merely 100 days of violence. That accounted for 10,000 people murdered every day, 400 every hour and 7 every minute!
The wounds will live on, for more than a lifetime!