Home News Stories 2012 August New Genocide and War Crimes Webpage In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

One of our GWCU agents recently returned from a trip to Rwanda to assist with an ongoing FBI investigation and work with Rwandan investigators.

“Like most visitors to Rwanda, I found myself fixated on the unimaginable violence that left over 700,000 people dead during the 1994 genocide. The Rwandans we encountered didn’t shy away from discussing this painful chapter of their national history, but they all beamed with pride at the amazing progress the country has made since that time.

Underlining all discussions about the ongoing work of turning the page was the notion of justice…Rwandans saw accountability as the most important cornerstone to healing and continued progress. And I was really struck by this notion when I had the occasion to encounter some of jailed perpetrators of the Genocide. The polite demeanors of these men seemed irreconcilable with the unspeakable horror that they had authored, but nonetheless, they were being held accountable for their actions, under the rule of law.”

A GWCU intelligence analyst recently traveled to Poland to take part in the Raphael Lempkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention, sponsored by the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR).

“The week-long seminar brought together diplomats and justice officials from around the world. The benefit of an international group like this was that we all brought with us our own unique experiences and we spoke about them freely during the lectures and between courses. It was incredibly encouraging to see such a diverse group come together for a common goal: to learn to identify warning signs of atrocity and to come up with genocide prevention strategies.

AIPR has crafted a remarkable curriculum, drawing on experts from a variety of backgrounds. And dovetailing seamlessly with the curriculum is the setting, particularly when students venture outside the classroom to tour the grounds of the concentration camp and are instantly transported from the theoretical realm into the real location where one of the most horrific examples of genocide was carried out.”