“1994 Rwandan genocide” by British Red Cross. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Twenty-seven years ago today, President Juvénal Habyarimana’s plane was shot down as he returned from peace talks in Tanzania with the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). This event sparked the genocide where at least 800,000 people were butchered by people they had known all of their lives. People picked up machetes and killed friends, family, and coworkers.

Paul Rusesabagina was a hotel manager for the Sabine Hotel franchise and worked at the Hotel des Milles Collines. He didn’t set out to be a hero. He has said that the question shouldn’t be why he acted the way he did but why…

It’s never fun to say “I told you so” but we told you so.

At the beginning of the trial in the iconic film, A Few Good Men, Kevin Bacon’s character starts his opening statement by saying, “These are the facts of the case and they are undisputed.” He is referring to how the character William Santiago died. In the case of Rwanda vs. Paul Rusesabagina, there are also facts that are not in dispute. The facts in question here are that Rusesabagina was kidnapped and taken to Rwanda.

Everyone working on Rusesabagina’s behalf has been making this argument since he was kidnapped last August. You can only imagine how happy I was when…

Paul Rusesabagina and Don Cheadle
Paul Rusesabagina and Don Cheadle

In 2014, Rwanda and the world commemorated the 20th anniversary of the genocide. At the time, Paul Rusesabagina was living in Texas and enjoying what he thought were the protections afforded to him as a Belgian citizen and permanent U.S. resident. Today, as he sits in jail and on trial for crimes he did not commit, this piece he wrote back then carries a different significance.

By Paul Rusesabagina

Rwandans can’t remain silent on human rights abuses

I wish I could be in Kigali. This month especially I wish I could be in Kigali for the commemoration of the 20th…

Paul Rusesabagina and Don Cheadle
Paul Rusesabagina and Don Cheadle

I make no secret of the fact that I neither trust nor like Paul Kagame. At one point, I thought he was the hero of the story. That’s the narrative he likes to promote. It is the only narrative he will allow in Rwanda where you can be convicted of treason if you say anything against him. Let that sit in. If you have any issue, any issue at all, with Kagame’s policies or positions it is considered treason. If you still think Rwanda is a free country, you may want to leave this page now.

Yesterday, CNN has this…

For many people, especially in the United States and Europe, Myanmar may feel like a very far away place. You may ask yourself, What can I do to help? A lot!

Last week, people all around the United States signed petitions, took to the street to protest and spent time communicating with their reps in Congress and with President Joe Biden. These actions were successful! The U.S. announced that it will impose sanctions on the Burmese military. If you need proof that you can make a difference, that is it!

While this is an important victory, it is not the…

What is happening in Rwanda? Apparently, nothing good. This week, Genocide Watch sent out an alert for the country. They sent out a “genocide watch” for Rwanda and noted “there are signs of continued discrimination, polarization and denial between the main ethnic groups, the Hutu majority and Tutsi minority. Ethnic distrust continues despite significant progress in Rwanda’s post-genocide peacebuilding.”

According to the report:

Rwanda’s National Unity law severely restricts free speech. Allegations of genocide denial, ‘genocide ideology,’ and ‘divisionism’ are used to clamp down on criticism of the Rwandan government. Reference to ethnicity is illegal. People are only allowed to…

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, flanked by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., left, and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., right, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has broken the 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. The commandment was first issued by Ronald Reagan in his 1966 gubernatorial campaign in California. Well, as sacred as Reagan’s words are for Republicans. Mitch broke that rule, indirectly, yesterday when he told the Hill this:

“Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality,” McConnell said in a statement first shared with The Hill.

My favorite part of American history is the revolution. After thousands of years of rule by monarchies, people decided they had enough and developed their own form of government. These were not perfect people and the government they created was set up to become “a more perfect union.” They had no illusions that they were creating perfection.

I live in a part of the country that was central to the forming of the new nation. Fans of Turn: Washington’s Spies, which chronicled the work of the Culper Spy ring in Setauket, Long Island (the next town over) have seen the…

Skulls and bones from the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Photo by DFID
Skulls and bones from the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Photo by DFID
Photo by DFID of skulls and bones from the 1994 Rwandan genocide

Genocide may not be the topic on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days but it should be. Genocide Watch lists 18 countries as being vulnerable to or in the middle of an active genocide. After the Allies discovered the extermination camps set up by the Germans in World War II, they pronounced, “Never again,” but the world has yet to live up to that promise. It seems like as much as the world dislikes genocide, it dislikes dealing with it even more.

Many people think of genocide as something that happened a long time ago in a country far…

Paul Rusesabagina, human rights activist and humanitarian
Paul Rusesabagina, human rights activist and humanitarian
Paul Rusesabagina, human rights activist and humanitarian

On December 10, the world recognizes International Human Rights Day. This is the perfect time to release human rights activist and humanitarian, Paul Rusesabagina. His heroism was documented in the film, “Hotel Rwanda.” He has been credited with saving 1,268 people during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. In 2005, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom “remarkable courage and compassion in the face of genocidal terror.”

On August 27, Rusesabagina was kidnapped, bound, tortured, and taken to Kigali, Rwanda, where he was arrested and initially charged with “criminal mischief.” …

Alyson Chadwick

I am a sports and news junkie, writer and comedian. I also spent at least one lifetime working in politics and campaigns. https://bit.ly/2CUgcAg

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