Editorial: The world once abandoned us, we came out stronger

As Rwandans were wrapping up the official mourning period for victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the US, Britain and France were about to unleash a rain of missiles over Syria.

The reason for the attacks is that chemical weapons were used against civilians in one of the contested towns and the allies have reason to believe that the Syrian government was responsible.

It is not the first time that “weapons of mass destruction” have been the catalyst of merciless bombardment under the pretext of defending civilians; the disastrous aftermath is well too familiar in Iraq.

It is not the morale authority to punish someone exterminating a portion of their population that is questionable, it is the selective use of force by the self-imposed world policemen. Why isn’t the same force being used against Boku Haram, Al Shabab or some other “despot” other than the oil-rich Middle East?

Why was not even a fraction of that force used to avert or put an end to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi if saving innocent lives is what fuels the missile attacks?

The selective punishment should be our constant reminder, that as long as we have nothing of value to those who pull the missile trigger, we will always have to depend on ourselves, the same way RPF did in 1994.

Responsibility for our security begins and ends with us, and as we continue to mourn our own in silence, the same silence should not be part of our culture in the face of persecution, wherever it may be. And nothing can be more appropriate than the famous quote by Martin Niemöller can:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.


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