From Publishers Weekly
In this important primer, Destexhe, secretary-general of the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders, assails world complacency about the tragedy in Rwanda. The term ``genocide'' has been inflated by reckless use, he states, arguing strongly that the targeted massacres of Tutsis by Hutus in Rwanda qualifies--along with the plannned exterminations of Armenians and of European Jews--as genocide. He then describes how colonial policies set Hutu against Tutsi, and states that the two peoples ``cannot really even be described as `ethnic groups' for they both speak the same language and respect the same traditions and taboos." He also recounts how Hutu leaders, in response to economic straits and calls for democratic reforms, scapegoated their rivals. He scores Western governments for providing only nominally ``humanitarian'' support while refusing to intervene to halt massacres, estimating that 500,000 Tutsis, or half the total Tutsi population, were killed. He calls for international tribunals to seek justice and suggests that, in the future, humanitarian groups should more aggressively try to force states to act.
Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Destexhe is secretary-general of Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres), the French-based humanitarian and human rights organization. Having been close to many of the human crises and disasters of recent decades, he uses that special perspective to show how the 1994 Rwandan massacres were a premeditated effort by Hutu extremists to rid the country of people of Tutsi ethnicity. Genocide in Rwanda was similar in intent to that of Turks against Armenians and Nazis against European Jews and Gypsies. The book charges the international community with failing to identify the crimes in Rwanda as genocide and to bring the perpetrators to justice. Destexhe's powerful call for political and moral justice was highly acclaimed when published in France. It deserves similar attention in the United States. Highly recommended. [Gerard Prunier's The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide is coming from Columbia University Press in November.?Ed.]?Bill Rau, Takoma Park, Md.-?Bill Rau, Takoma Park, Md.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.