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BBC OnePanorama


Last Updated: Friday, 2 April 2004, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Your comments

Your comments on the Killers programme.

Due to the high number of e-mails we get we cannot guarantee to publish every single message we receive. We may also edit some e-mails for legal reasons and for purposes of clarity and length.

The views expressed on these pages are not necessarily the views of the BBC.

The e-mails published will be reflective of the messages we have been sent.

A signed version of Panorama: The Killers will be broadcast in the early hours (0120 BST) of Friday morning, April 9 on BBC One.

I would like to thank you for opening the eyes of so many people in the programmes that you show. The programme about the Rwandan massacre was exceptional as so many people turned a blind eye to what was happening there and so many didn't care about the lives that were lost. Also many did not even know of it. This programme opened the eyes and hearts of people by showing the truth, without limits. Thank you.
Carine Mbidika, UK

Comments have been made that the 'blood is on the hands of the international community whose leaders failed to act', but is it not true that the blood is on the hands of the people who live in countries like Britain and the U.S who in 1994 allowed their leaders to sit by and do nothing. We live in a democracy, and if there had been more public outrage expressed at the time of the needless slaughter, maybe the international community's leaders would have been forced to act.
Michael Gibbs, Cardiff

Very good programme and well put together. What is most evident and something which was not touched upon enough, was the rest of the world's total disregard for what was happening, for to me this reason was nothing short of complete racism. If the people of Rwanda were European or American this genocide would not have happened. I have been to Rwanda in 1999 and I have seen first hand what had happened. The UN, America and Europe should hang their heads in absolute shame for what they allowed to happen.
Trevor Byrne, Ballymun, Ireland.

Words nearly fail me. I feel very small and humble having watched such a shocking programme. It's almost as much a crime for the Western world to have done next to nothing than it was to be holding a gun or machete in those 100 days. Mankind's greatest failing is ignorance in its many forms. From ignorance is bred hatred and misunderstanding... and needless loss of life. Rest in Peace and may the rest of us learn and act in future.
Alex, Scotland

I wanted to say that I thought that your documentary was very well done. I was in Rwanda during the genocide and I think you have captured many aspects of the surreal atmosphere in the country during those months. I am a Canadian aid worker and at the time, I lead Medecins sans frontieres (MSF) Holland's covert exploratory mission into the north from Uganda. I was lucky enough to have been able to negotiate access across the border and my team (a doctor and I) traversed the front lines making our assessments and reporting back as the RPF advanced south to Byumba and then cleared the countryside around Kigali, finally capturing the capital. After the war, I spent the next few years working in Rwanda, Zaire, Burundi managing camps and directing NGO operations... Finally, I was brought back from Liberia / Sierra Leone as CARE International's Emergency Regional Director when Kagame took Zaire and the refugees returned at the end of 1996.

It would be good to see a series of documentaries covering the whole story: the genocide; refuge in Zaire and Tanzania; the return; and the "world war" of the last few years.
Christopher Cushing, Silverdale, Lancashire

As a Survivor myself I'm deeply moved by the reaction of British public from last night programme. It shows how important it is to inform and tell the truth. As to those who wonder how they can help survivors I would like to tell them that today we have more than 400 of them living in the British society and many of them still need help moral/material despite being in the UK. You can help or support those at home (Rwanda) as well by going through different charities based in the UK. Thank you to the BBC and to all who made time to react to this programme. At least it shows that there are some people with heart.
Rwatubyaye Bell, London, UK

What a fantastically moving documentary. I cried and could barely sleep last night as the words and pictures were still with me. The programme was an excellent piece of broadcasting - I have never before sent an email about a programme which has moved me like this. The only gap for me was the responses during the time of the Western leaders - I would have like to hear their reasoning about why they did not feel the need to take action whilst this genocide was taking place. The programme highlighted in graphic detail the evil that one man can do to another. Thanks BBC.
Sharon Scott, Derby, England

As a Rwandan, I was really touched by the program. It brought back bad memories. I still can't understand why no one, UN, US, UK,...came to the rescue of my people? Why? Maybe if we had oil, the situation would have been different?

The Rwandan problem is a every complex one. If nothing is done to heal wounds, bring justice and democracy to that little country many more lives can be lost again. When I say justice, it means that any one who has blood on his hands has to be brought to justice, whether Hutu or Tutsi. Many people died (Tutsis and Hutus alike) before, during, and after the events of 1994. True justice is the key to healing the wounds of all Rwandans and bringing about genuine reconciliation.
Robert Karenzi, London, UK

I don't know what disturbs and haunts me more: the appalling lack of action to stop this horror; or the inability of otherwise sane, normal men to kill their neighbours. I wanted to ask them what could have made them do this. Surely their humanity overcomes the imploring of those in power. Yet it continues...what sort of species are we??
Martin Kay, London, UK

Unfortunately I missed the first 20 minutes of the programme, the programme MUST be shown again and again, how can I see the beginning, (and video the whole programme), this was compulsive viewing. As a relative newcomer and visitor to Africa (I am now 60 years of age) I wish to increase my knowledge and understanding of this wonderful and tragic continent. Keep up the excellent work.
Paul G Collinge, England

Panorama calls itself a Current Affairs programme and yet it has just dedicated a full hour to the horrors of the genocide that happened 10 years ago without giving more than a fleeting hint at the real, current story: the rebuilding of the country. Fergal Keane's "return to Nyarabuye" missed an opportunity to tell the world a positive story: that from the darkness of the tragedy of the genocide, Rwandans are working extremely hard - and in phenomenally difficult circumstances - to rebuild their country and learn to live with their neighbours.

The preference to show lurid images and tell a negative story once again overrides the moral obligation to tell a positive story that gives hope. The decision to ignore this story and retell events of 10 years ago is irresponsible, a betrayal to the survivors and a deep disappointment to those who try to focus on the stories that will actually help. It is no wonder that westerners have such a negative view of Africa when they are never told the positive stories. Your report has set Rwanda's recovery back dramatically. Tourism will play a vital role in rebuilding Rwanda. By bringing your account of those events to our living rooms, you are perpetuating the negative and delaying the country's recovery.
Craig Rix, England

The cynical amongst us will say there was no oil, resources or riches worth getting involved for whilst the blood of nearly a million people is on our hands
Ian Jones, UK

I am touched very much by the Panorama programme regarding the genocide in Rwanda. While watching the programme, however, I kept asking if the world has learnt a lesson from the Rwanda genocidal massacre. I strongly think that it has not.

There are still several African dictators that are playing with racial/ethnic differences to extend their life in office. The West is supporting such dictators, not caring for the possible consequences of their action. What has happened in Ethiopia in recent weeks and the role government (forces) played in the genocide there has not been given any attention by the wider world. As always, maybe the world will hear more about the latest genocide from the BBC after 10 years.
Haile, Ethiopia/UK

I have just watched the programme by Fergal Keane revisiting the scene of the Rwandan genocide. With my wife and two young sons asleep upstairs I did something I have not done in a while, I cried. It was one of the most thought provoking, shocking and real programmes I have ever watched. I would like some comment from the politicians as to why we stood by and let it happen. Please continue to kick our collective conscience into life.
Steve Green, England

We sat in total silence watching the programme tonight and after hearing Fergal's interview last week on the BBC Five Live show I knew I was in for an uncomfortable viewing. What hadn't prepared me was the visual effects of seeing so many butchered people on screen.

The anger in the voice of the Red Cross Director whilst not audible was evident. His testimony was a damning indictment on the UN and the so called civilised world and their reluctance to intervene. Martin Luther King once said "Evil prospers when good men do nothing" Never was this more true than in 1994 in central Africa.

The cynical amongst us will say there was no oil, resources or riches worth getting involved for whilst the blood of nearly a million people is on our hands.
Ian Jones, UK

We should be ashamed to call ourselves 'a civilised society'
Tony Forbes, Scotland

Tonight I sat down to watch Panorama, and I was really sad to see what happened to these innocent people who did nothing wrong. It made me even more angry to find out that the government sat back and let it happen. The United States did not get involved either. it makes me sick to see that no-one in the West gave a toss. It makes me sad to be English.
Julie Panther, Scotland

This is the first time I have learned of the Rwanda genocide, while I cannot understand how this took place -humans slaughtering humans, what I cannot understand further is how the UN, Britain and the most powerful country in the world - the USA dared not to help those calling for mercy. I am disgusted.
Hasnara Begum, UK

I watched Panorama tonight, the first time in years as I work shifts. I am going to say my prayers tonight for the Tutsi survivors in Rwanda. I didn't know what happened there till tonight. My prayers also go with Fergal. We carry everything with us in our minds and memories so I pray for you that you can close your eyes and sleep at night. I am a 48 -year-old lorry driver who has at most lived blissfully ignorant. I would like to try to sponsor a youngster who survived this massacre but I don't know where to start to try. My wife and I have been together for 16 years. We haven't been able to have children of our own. I would like to try to help. Once again Fergal may God go with you. You are the eyes and ears for us.
Steve Burrows, England

A harrowing but moving report of what happened in Rwanda ten years ago. What can an ordinary viewer, like me, do? Middle aged fit (I hope) and compassionate. Can I go to visit the country and, for my part, ask forgiveness from those caught up in this evil situation. To talk to victims/killers and survivors alike, as our leaders failed to do.
Trisha Owen, Bath, UK

I have just watched Panorama's Rwanda 10 years on programme. I cannot believe the international community did nothing to intervene in this senseless slaughter of human life. We should be ashamed to call ourselves 'a civilised society'.
Tony Forbes, Scotland

Thank you for a distressing but necessary programme
Lizzy Williamson, York, England

I found this programme somewhat of an anti-climax. I had read Fergal Keane's book on the subject and I found his words much more powerful in that medium than in the programme I saw. At the end of the programme, I felt that the questions originally posed in the book were simply repeated. No answers were evident in the programme as to why the world stood idly by and, through their inaction, were complicit in what happened - rather like the Jewish genocide, in fact.
Guy Liddell, Halifax UK

My God, what kind of world have we created?
Stephen Ward, London, England

Thank you BBC for making this programme. I find it incredible the hypocrisy of Western governments, particularly the USA. This programme has painted a very pessimistic view in my head of the "International Community", as Michael Domeney (Portugal) said. It's a pity Rwanda didn't have oil reserves instead of banana plantations.
Michael, Ireland

I came away from the programme tonight with a deep sense of sadness and despair. Forget all the social and psychological explanations; I cannot comprehend how one person can kill like this. Yet it is beneath our entire race: this capability of savagery when under perceived threat and given permission by authority and the mob. We have to do all we can to prevent repeating the violence in our history, and this means remembering: remembering the past and remembering that we can change the future. Thank you for a distressing but necessary programme.
Lizzy Williamson, York, England

Thank you for bringing back into the minds of our nation the horrors of our fellow human beings. It is quite humbling to realise just how we, as human beings, even have today, the attitude of "Out of Sight, Out of Mind". Please carry on the great work Fergal and his team have done, and lets ensure that the eventual sentence handed down by the courts is brought to the attention of us all.
Eddie Connell, Blackburn Lancashire

It's during politically charged times like this that people need to be reminded of what has happened in the past and that it is only by learning from what has happened that we can make sure that this doesn't happen again
Navida Ullah, London

Thank you, Mr Keane, Without your lucidity and commitment to doing what real journalists do best - telling the truth, without any agenda bar that of letting the world know what is happening - we would be a poorer society. What can we do now, 10 years on... say all those things about learning from history, repeat the oft quoted anodyne statements that this can never happen again? In my humble opinion until the whole world really does police the whole world, we are just waiting, holding back the fear and the tears, until the next time. May there be more like yourself Fergal, who do go in where angels fear to tread. Thank you BBC.
Susie Chandler, Emsworth, Hampshire, England

Having studied the conflict in Rwanda for A-level history, I thought that the programme wouldn't have anything to tell me that I didn't already know. However I was surprised when I found myself holding back the tears during the last few minutes of the programme. I must say a big thank you to all those who made the programme and to the BBC for showing it. It's during politically charged times like this that people need to be reminded of what has happened in the past and that it is only by learning from what has happened that we can make sure that this doesn't happen again.
Navida Ullah, London

As a Rwandan Survivor of Genocide living in the UK, I'm happy to see that the BBC is trying to bring the attention to the World and particularly to the British people about the true life survivors are going through. 10 years on the world, still doesn't understand or recognise its part in 1994 Rwanda genocide failure. Peace for all.
Musangwa Eric, UK Rwandan Survivors of Genocide Community, UK

The world stood by and watched those people die. We Africans should seriously consider whether being part of the United Nations is what we want. This is exactly one of the few reasons it was formed but these reasons do not apply when it is Africans calling for help. Serbia and the swift response to Milosevic's regime is a good example. God have mercy on those who suffered such cruelty and for those who caused it. May their souls rest in peace.
Ashley Millin, Croydon, UK

The world needs such reminders about the horrors of Rwanda - thank you. However, the programme fell short in commenting on who at the UN took responsibility for the withdrawal and instructions for non-intervention. How many UN officials lost their jobs because of the decisions - or are they less capable of admitting culpability than some of the Hutus who committed the atrocities?
W J Curnow, Shrewsbury, UK

You have lucidly shown what could be called the truth, and this truth is so embarrassing for all of us. It also questions the human nature and the impact of the animalistic instinct that still possesses us at times
Sebastien-Bernard Degardin, Germany

I was only a child when the Rwanda genocide took place, but later on I was shocked to find out it had happened, or rather, been allowed to happen. The killers are maybe being brought to justice 10 years on, but what about the world leaders who overlooked the shocking events, leaving the small number of peacekeepers and aid workers alone.
Dale Haslam, UK

The world community stood by while hundred of thousands of Rwandans were slaughtered, yet we now all proclaim that after September 11th 2001 the world changed. The double standards the "civilised" world often displays are sickening.
Greg Roumeliotis, Glasgow, UK

I am deeply shocked on viewing your documentary on the Rwandan Genocide, feeling a mixture of grief and sorrow, but of anger as well. I am feeling at this moment incapable of really understanding what happened in this country, and in particular what has been consciously omitted by the United Nations, the guilt of not reacting to what could be seen. You have lucidly shown what could be called the truth, and this truth is so embarrassing for all of us. It also questions the human nature and the impact of the animalistic instinct that still possesses us at times, the evil that still is secretly at work in man. We just can have one consequence: not to surrender to it and, in future, intervene in such cases, to avoid any form of paralysis.
Sebastien-Bernard Degardin, Germany

Fergal Keane's programme was simply fantastic. Speaking as someone who saw and worked in Rwanda after the massacres, it brought home the horror that I saw there and also the complete lack of action to prevent this genocide. One can only hope that the UN and the general international community never let events like this happen again.
Kieran Conlon, Newbridge Ireland

A very disturbing reminder in Fergal Keane's revisit to Rwanda about the terrible slaughter of half a million Tutsis ten years ago. I remember these terrible events and have always wondered why the rest of the world did not take action or intervene to try and stop this slaughter. We heard terrible accounts by some of the men who took part in this mass slaughter.

The United Nations should have done more, in my opinion, to assist potential victims. Had they done so, many lives I am sure would have been saved. I am left wondering after watching the programme what this slaughter has achieved. Fergal Keane for Panorama is to be highly praised for revisiting this horrific scene and reminding us of the cruelty of fellow human beings against other human beings. I fear until now, this mass slaughter had been forgotten by the rest of the world.
Steve Fuller, Hove, England

Those monstrous murders can not excuse themselves by saying, that insanity (or the devil) has driven them to massacre their fellow-people
Falk Guthert, Coventry, UK

How was this allowed to happen? Why was this allowed to happen? For God's sake, when will the Western world wake up and realise that we cannot turn our back on atrocities like this.

If the Western world had acted then this could have.........this would have, been stopped. There is blood on the hands of every leader that made a decision to do nothing. I hope that they have watched this superb piece of journalism with shame and horror in the knowledge that they could have saved the lives of men, women and children.
Michael, Guildford, UK

For me - Tutsis and Hutus are just two different names, but so is for me being Jewish and Christian - just 2 different names. It is for me incomprehensible, how people can let themselves be driven to so much evil? Those monstrous murderers can not excuse themselves by saying, that insanity (or the devil) has driven them to massacre their fellow people.
Falk Guthert, Coventry, UK

The most important lesson for the International community 10 years after the Rwanda Tragedy is that we must not hesitate when our sense of humanity is called upon. It troubles me to think that the international community was aware of the situation before it unfolded, and did little to stop it. Sadly the real tragedy is that Africa still is at the bottom of the global agenda. We do not have to look any further than Rwanda itself where, without much needed medicinal supplies, many of the victims of brutal rapes are dying, having contracted AIDS from their assailants.
Leslie, Sheffield, UK

After looking at the Panorama documentary, it appears Rwanda's greatest failing was not being blessed with oil riches. If they had, the USA and UK may have done something to stop the killing. As it happens nobody cared - USA, UK, Belgium, French, the lot.
Michael Domeney, Cascais, Portugal

Man is still a beast. Civilisation is skin deep. Scratch it and you will find a genocidal maniac who has been killing for thousands and thousands of years. It will take thousands of years more for man to become human - that is if he has not managed to exterminate himself.
Shahid Rashid, Alexandria, Virginia, USA

The killers
02 Apr 04 |  Panorama
'Taken over by Satan'
02 Apr 04 |  Panorama
'Living among the dead'
02 Apr 04 |  Panorama
When good men do nothing
30 Mar 04 |  Panorama


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