Canada and the World, Ep. 36: Lessons learned from the genocide in Rwanda

A podcast series from OpenCanada.org and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

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April 12, 2019

Twenty-five years after the April 1994 genocide against the Tutsi began in Rwanda, this episode takes a look at the lessons learned since then, for media, peacekeepers and communities that have lived through conflict and violence. Joining host Bessma Momani is genocide survivor Régine Uwibereyeho King, author Allan Thompson and researchers Timothy Donais and Eric Tanguay. They explain why the genocide was indeed a global event, not just a Rwandan event, and what kind of wake up call it gave to journalists, media consumers and the United Nations. The gap still exists between what protection is promised to civilians in harm’s way and what is actually given, but has the gap lessened? How far have we come in learning how to prevent such an atrocity, which saw 800,000 to one million people killed in 100 days?

Our host

Bessma Momani is professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and University of Waterloo and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. She’s also a non-resident senior fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C. and a Fulbright Scholar. She has been non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and a 2015 Fellow at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. She’s a frequent analyst and expert on international affairs in Canadian and global media.

This week's guests

Timothy Donais is the director of the Master in International Policy program, associate director of the PhD program in Global Governance and associate professor in the Department of Global Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. He also serves as the chair of the Peace and Conflict Studies Association of Canada.

Eric Tanguay is a PhD candidate with the Balsillie School of International Affairs. His current research focuses primarily on the recent history of political and ethnic violence in Kenya; the politicization of ethnicity; the role of civil society organizations in shaping political consciousness and identity; and the role of memory and history in facilitating conflict resolution and post-conflict reconciliation. Eric completed his Master’s degree in history at Wilfrid Laurier.

Régine Uwibereyeho King is an associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. She has a Ph.D. from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. As a survivor of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, she has dedicated her life to social justice, human rights for all, and healthy communities.

Allan Thompson is a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, where he leads the book project Media and Mass Atrocity: The Rwanda Genocide and Beyond. Allan joined the faculty of Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication in 2003, after 17 years as a reporter with The Toronto Star.

Canada and The World is produced by Trevor Hunsberger and edited by Francy Goudreault. Each episode can be found on iTunes, Play Music, Spotify and other podcasting applications.