We should not confuse the ‘West’ with ‘world’

Editor, As FOREIGN Minister Louise Mushikiwabo so aptly said, one first has to have a conscience in order to feel the guilt, and I very much fear what the term “the West” has very little of that where darker-skinned human beings, and especially black Africans, are concerned.
A past Security Council session. In 1994, the Council withdrew UN troops from Rwanda as the Genocide raged across the country. (Internet photo)
A past Security Council session. In 1994, the Council withdrew UN troops from Rwanda as the Genocide raged across the country. (Internet photo)

Editor,

As FOREIGN Minister Louise Mushikiwabo so aptly said, one first has to have a conscience in order to feel the guilt, and I very much fear what the term “the West” has very little of that where darker-skinned human beings, and especially black Africans, are concerned.

In the story “Genocide revisionism and the revolution of the western guilt” (The New Times, April 8), you also say the “peacekeeping troops did absolutely nothing but watch...” despite Rwanda being a member of the UN Security Council at the time. 

Why does that surprise you when it is the then government, represented on that Council, which was carrying out the Genocide against its Tutsi population and massacring any Hutu who refused to join in the killings?

Finally, I am appalled a Rwandan or any African analyst would push the same claim as the dominant “West” always do that that “West” is somehow interchangeable with the “world” or the more amorphous “world international community”.

In accepting this argument, as you do by such statements as “As the WEST wasted time in useless debates”, you help to legitimise that same West's conceited assumption that it has a right to speak and act on behalf of all humanity whether or not the rest of us agree.

And yet we all know from bitter experience of our interaction with that same “West” that their actions are always driven by their interests that are frequently at variance with our own.

Their actions (France and Belgium) or inaction (the US and the UK) with regard to the Genocide against the Tutsi is the most graphic illustration of the bankruptcy of the notion that the “West” somehow acts in the best interest of humanity as a whole.

Our commentators and analysts should reflect this fact and avoid parroting the dominant Western opinion.

Mwene Kalinda, Rwanda

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