MANY EVENTS are taking place in the run up to commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Among them was the International Conference of Prevention of Genocides that took place in Brussels this week.
The significance of it taking place in Belgium should not go unnoticed; not only was Belgium the architect of Rwanda’s ethnic divisions, it is also home to many perpetrators of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
Many in the audience raised the question; 20 years down the road, has the world taken any lessons from the Genocide? Are there foolproof mechanisms to avert a repeat of organised mass killings? The answer is that the world is a slow and reluctant learner as the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in the Central African Republic (CAR) shows.
World powers have always been quick to point out that the Rwandan catastrophe unfolded too quickly for them to make any decisive action; others like France have said it was an issue of “lack of appreciation”.
There is no doubt that CAR has given ample danger signal and there never could be a better forum to call for CAR’s salvation than this week’s Africa-EU summit that also precedes the 20 anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda
CAR should not become another laboratory to gauge the intensity of human atrocities. Rwanda served that purpose two decades ago, when political and ideological interests out-weighed common sense and decency.