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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
Africa's press reflects on genocide lessons
African press graphic

The tenth anniversary of the killings in Rwanda has dominated African newspaper comment throughout the week.

Many papers reflect on the immense scale of suffering and ask searching questions about the international community's failure to stop the killings.

But a Kenyan daily accuses President Paul Kagame's government of using the genocide for its own political ends.

Today, ten years after that vast slaughter, the world watches, dumb-struck, stupefied by the thought that men - 'brothers' - smack in the golden age of science and technology, could have committed such monstrosities.

Cote d'Ivoire's Fraternite Matin

6 April begins a week of mourning in Rwanda... the beginning of what was perhaps the darkest 100 days in the country's history... Western powers remained largely indifferent to the slaughter.

Kenya's Sunday Nation

The tragic events which left close to one million people dead are an indelible smudge on the African continent and on humanity as a whole.

Zambia's Times

As we spare a moment to honour the victims of the worst form of man's inhumanity to man, we should pause and ask ourselves, why did this catastrophe happen? How did the international community allow a slaughter of this magnitude?

South Africa's Mail & Guardian

The thousands of skulls from the mass killings of 1994 stored in churches, museums, hospitals and other places, remain the eternal reminder of what really happened in the fateful 100 days when hell broke loose in Rwanda... Keeping the skulls enables Rwanda to deflect criticism of its own failures... to ensure that the genocide issue remains a cornerstone of the government policy to hold the world hostage with these images and memory of the mass killings.

Kenya's Times

The world failed the people of Rwanda by not intervening in time to stop the genocide... The world has opportunity to reflect on what happened and make a firm commitment that the world will never again witness similar occurrence.

Kenya's People Daily

Rwanda still stands as an indictment of all those who had power to act but did nothing. It remains a case study of massacres foretold, warnings ignored, and slaughter erupting under the noses of UN forces whose mandate was not potent enough to stop the killings. From the ruins of Rwanda, the world must learn a bitter lesson on the role of UN as the gatekeeper of peace.

Kenya's Standard

Could we... have done more to prevent the genocide? We probably could have... But we seem to have learned. A year later, the international community... moved swiftly to prevent genocide in Yugoslavia... and Burundi.

Uganda's New Vision

Africa has learned a lot since the Rwandan massacres... West African states have intervened rapidly and forcefully... several times in Sierra Leone and Liberia to prevent genocide... We can never turn back the clock but we can learn from Rwanda.

Zimbabwe's Herald

The current Rwandan government headed by Paul Kagame, himself a Tutsi, has done much to reconcile and unite the nation... Kagame must realize that he is presiding over a tribally sensitive nation. He should proceed seriously with his national reconciliation programme by ensuring fair representation of all the ethnic groups in his government.

Nigeria's This Day

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

Rwandan hate media - 10 years on
05 Apr 04  |  Africa

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