The gruesome images that made their way out of Rwanda during the summer months of 1994 are indelibly etched into all of our minds. Over a million people were killed while the world looked on and ultimately did nothing. In a media atmosphere where the world's attention shifts rapidly away from tragedy almost as soon as it ends, Rwanda in 1994 has stuck with us.
But what has happened in this small, landlocked country since then? Exactly seventeen years have now passed since the genocide occurred, and Rwanda has managed to maintain a semblance of stability, avoiding the crises that its neighbors have endured. What is the reason for this? How has this country reconciled its past, and how do victims and perpetrators alike live together in the present?
Charles Annenberg Weingarten and the explore.org Team traveled to Rwanda to answer that very question. The film that resulted from the trip, Raindrops Over Rwanda, focuses on the Kigali Memorial Centre and a young man who survived the genocide and now serves as the Centre's head guide. Link TV is bringing you the world broadcast premiere of Raindrops Over Rwanda on Monday, 5pm PT/8pm ET and Wednesday at 8pm PT/11pm ET.
Kigali Memorial Centre is more than just a museum. It is a focal point for honoring the anonymous dead, a communal cemetery for a country where there were too many bodies for most to be identified. It is a space for the community to come together for reconciliation and healing. It is a way to remember the past in the hopes that it will never be repeated.
For most foreigners experiencing the memorial for the first time, Honoré Gatera is the guide, teacher, storyteller, and historian all in one. Honoré is our guide in this film as well, providing a first person perspective on genocide that few people in the world are able to give.
After explore.org's trip to Rwanda, Honoré came to the United States for the very first time and sat down with Charlie at Link TV headquarters for a memorable interview. Stay tuned after the film as we bring you this exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how the movie was made, as well as Honoré's experiences and unique worldview. Survivors like Honoré, and the Rwandan people in general, have the ability to teach the world not only about how to avoid genocide, but also how to heal and forgive in order to live together in the future.
Watch a promo for Raindrops Over Rwanda (airing Monday, 5pm PT/8pm ET):
This week, Global Pulse is covering the controversy surrounding last week's International Criminal Court decision to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Human rights activists hope the court's action, the first against a sitting head of state, will end the bloodshed that has flared in Darfur since 2003. But many Sudan watchers worry that the warrant could set off further tensions, including a resurgence of a decades-long, north-south civil war.
The Christian Science Monitor examines how Sudan's move this week to expel 13 international aid groups cuts Darfur's humanitarian effort in half, placing over 1 million people at risk for starvation. Likewise, BBC News predicts that rising desperation in Darfur could trigger renewed conflict in south Sudan, where rebel groups have long sought political recognition from the Sudanese government.
Meanwhile, guest columnists at the Huffington Post and the Washington Post call on the Obama administration to use the ICC warrant as justification for a stepped-up military campaign in Sudan. Today's kidnapping of 3 Doctors Without Borders workers in Darfur may further stoke the fire of the military interventionists.
Should the international community enforce ICC wishes and arrest Bashir, even if by military means? Or will enforcement of the court's wishes only lead to further humanitarian catastrophe?