This is a book review of the Rwanda Genocide that took place April-June 1994.
One evening, 20 years ago, the genocide that claimed the lives of more than a million men, women and children in Rwanda began. And the chilling fact of this horror was that all this happened in the time span of 100 days.
That is 10, 000 people being slaughtered on a daily basis. Or more than 400 human beings an hour. Or 60 souls slain in a minute. Or one person murdered per second in Rwanda! For 100 days, second after second.
In the book, Thomas Kalimindi has just turned 33, and is about to celebrate both his birthday and his quitting from the biased ‘Radio Rwanda’, where he has worked for a decade. His wife, Jacqueline has baked him a cake.
Kalimindi is in the bathroom when his wife comes pounding at the door, telling him radio station RTLM has just announced the death of the president, Juvenal Habyarimama. The head of state’s plane has been shot down by a missile and crashed into his own palace’s backyard.
By the next day, the genocide will go into high gear; neighbors killing neighbors, workers going to work with machetes to hack down colleagues, doctors killing wounded survivors of the massacres in hospitals, and extremist school teachers killing their young pupils in cold blood.
If you really want to understand how human beings turned wild animals from April-June 1994 in Rwanda then you need to have a copy of Philip Gourevitch’s book.
Author of Book: Philip Gourevitch
This book review was written by Tony Mochama and it first appeared on The Standard Sunday Magazine. The book is also available on amazon