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mia farrow

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April 10, 2010

There are sorrows that do not fade

Ntarama church where 5000 people were killed

David Mugiraneza age 10
Enjoyed Making people laugh
Dream: Becoming a doctor
Last word "UNAMIR (United Nations Mission in Rwanda) will come for us"
Cause of death: Tortured to death

Yvonne and Yves Mugisha
Yvonne age 3, Daddy's girl
Yves age 5 Mummy's boy
Cause of death: Hacked by machete at Grandma's house

I took the photograph of human skulls at the Ntarama church, the others at the Kigali Memorial. One of the patrons of the Memorial is William Jefferson Clinton who was US president during the 100 day genocide in which as many as a million people were butchered. He did not try to halt the slaughter.

This spare account is displayed on the walls of the Memorial:
There was a lot of talk about "something very big" happening in both the intelligence community and in the national press.
Then on April 6 1994 the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi were flying into Kigali when at 20:23 the plane was shot down on its approach to Kigali airport.
By 21:15 road blocks had been constructed throughout Kigali and houses were being searched.
Shooting began to be heard within one hour. The death lists had been prepared in advance
Genocide was instant. Roadblocks sprang up right across the city with militia armed with one intent- to identify and kill Tutsis. At the same time Interahamwe (Hutu militia) began house to house searches. The people on the death lists were the first to be visited and slaughtered in their own homes.
The perpetrators had promised an apocalypse and the operation which emerged was a devastating frenzy of violence, bloodshed and merciless killing. The murders used machetes, clubs and any blunt tool they could find to inflict as much pain on their victims as possible.
It was genocide from the first day. No Tutsi was exempt.

Shortly after the plane was shot down, Commander of the UN Peacekeeeping force in Rwanda General Romeo Dallaire's faxed plea to "give me the means and I can do more" was denied.

Then under secretary general for peacekeeping operations, Kofi Annan replied, "No reconnaissance or other action including response to request for protection should be taken by UNAMIR until clear guidance is received from HQ".

Many families were totally wiped out with no one to remember or document their deaths. The streets were littered with corpses. Dogs were eating the rotting flesh of their owners.
The genocidaires had been more successful in their evil aims than anyone would have dared to believe.
Rwanda was dead.

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