Remembering Rwanda

Written by: Andrea Dietrich

Before the blast in April's darkened sky. . . before the electrifying surge of insurgency - when trucks and tanks were used to block the roads, and when men and even boys were sought to aid in one malicious purpose. . . before the rampant slaughter - the raining of machetes down on flesh and bones and the cornucopia of corpses left like butchered carcasses on highways, nearby houses and in churches. . . before the plundering, the rapes and mutilations and the exodus of thousands to death-infested camps, there were whisperings - insidious and portentous to the ears of the wisely suspicious - and a voice on the airwaves spewing hate. Before it all, there was a brewing of resentment of a people with a history of poverty and of transitory freedom and capricious politics. And through it all, with such grave consternation, governments debated. . . waited. . . . . . . and waited, playing with semantics while thousands dead became the hundred thousand, and three long months - unrivaled for its number of atrocities - came to its completion. Seemingly, peace has been restored and punishment stingily doled out. Time moves on . . . except for half a million for whom compassion by the world was spared.