Rwanda Twenty Years Ago kick-off event a huge success

October 16, 2013

image On Wednesday October 16th, the law school’s International Legal Studies Program and Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law collaborated with the Department of Anthropology, the University Libraries, and the Josef Korbel School of International Studies to host a panel of Rwandans who discussed their perceptions of the events leading up to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in which 800,000 women, children and men perished. imageNoteworthy speaker Medard Nduwamungu is a genocide survivor and contributor to the 1999 Alison Des Forges book “Live None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda” and later translated that book into Kinyarwanda. Mr. Nduwamungu, who now works for the Canadian Department of Justice’s War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Section, spoke of the many early warning signs to the genocide. In a powerful statement Mr. Nduwamungu stated: “World leaders know the political environment in countries. They know when atrocities such a as genocide are being committed. And they ought to be ashamed that they allow the atrocities to occur.”

Other panelists included Mr. Adolphe Kajangwe, a local Rwandan who grew up in neighboring Burundi, and Ms. Francoise Mbabazi, another local Rwandan who grew up in neighboring Uganda. image Both had family members perish in the genocide, and both provided valuable insights with regards to the pre-genocidal culture, context and colonial legacy that stirred historical conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi populations that spanned across the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda.

The panel was part of a larger series of events and activities designed to commemorate the anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. For more information, please visit our blog, www.rwanda20yearsago.com.