Ideas, Stories, and Profiles

Today, it is still a necessity to highlight the importance of reading and learning about the Genocide against the Tutsi that occurred in 1994.

Following is a list a few books I recommend, some of which were written by survivors who have been courageous enough to share their testimonies, and others by foreign observers, researchers and journalists.

“Left To Tell” by Immaculée Ilibagiza

More than just a testimony by a survivor, Left to Tell is a bigger story; one about the courage to forgive. While writing, Immaculée stays true to her voice. She is horrified but prayerful; one can almost hear her.

“We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families” by Philip Gourevitch

A youthful Gourevitch documents the events that led to the genocide, its occurrence and the aftermath in this attention-grabbing book. A deeply educative narrative that evokes emotion by examining the darkest sides of humanity there can be.

I wrote a longer review of the book last year — it can be found here.

“Our Lady of the Nile” by Scholastique Mukasonga

In a fictitious setting, a few years before 1994, Mukasonga inspects some of the factors that led to the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 in this book. In an all-girl school, that is supposedly preparing and transforming them into the future women of Rwanda, tensions are actively cultivated among students. The plot weathers quietly into a thought that a horror most certainly awaits.

“Shake Hands With the Devil” by Romeo Dallaire

Though an incredibly long-read, Shake Hands With The Devil eventually details the events of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. While it is non-negotiable that the U.N. mission, for which Dallaire was the head, failed to ensure smooth “transition of power,” it remains a question how and why the international community turned its back on Rwanda.

“Conspiracy To Murder” by Linda Melvern

Melvern displays her findings, from 1990; when the leadership in power at the time actively planned and sensitized that the Tutsi population be exterminated to when it actually turned catastrophic in ‘ninety-four. She stands by the fact that some foreign governments funded the weapons and tools used during the genocide, and that some others shut their eyes at the eventuality and dismissed existing evidence.

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