Rwanda, Two Decades On: What Has the World Learned?

Rwandan Genocide Memorial. Source: UNAMID, FlickrJanuary 27th marked International Holocaust Day – a day to reflect upon the terrible lessons from the past so that previous atrocities can be remembered and, hopefully, never repeated. Naturally, on this most sombre of days many will think of the murder of millions of European Jews who were exterminated by the wickedness of the Third Reich’s ‘Endlösung der Judenfrage’ (final solution to the Jewish question). Unfortunately, we need not look as far back as the Nazi death camps of the 1940s to see an example of genocide in recent history. April 7th of this year will mark the twentieth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. With conflict raging in the Central African Republic (CAR)  as well as other global flashpoints, despotic regimes and geopolitically unstable nations are all raising the possibility of genocide today, what lessons have been learned two decades on to prevent the grim spectre of genocide returning?

by Alan Cartwright