Left to Tell

The Misinformed Consciences in the Rwandan Genocide

For roughly one hundred days in 1994, brutal killings took place in Rwanda by the hand of morally corrupted Hutu soldiers. An estimated one million lives were lost, almost wiping out the Tutsi race. The stories told by survivors like Immaculée Ilibagiza elicit heart-wrenching emotions in the reader. When people read her story, the same word comes up over and over again: How. How were so many lives lost in such a short time? How could more than one hundred thousand peoples’ consciences have been corrupt to point that, were they isolated incidents, we might have been forced to assume that the murderer simply didn’t have the capacity to see right from wrong? It doesn’t seem possible. When we look further into what lead up to the killings, it becomes clear that, whatever the initial factors (whether political, social, or both) the Rwandan holocaust was inevitable due to the spread of misinformation. The Interahamwe and other Hutus taking part in the horrific acts had misinformed consciences and the result was the slaying of more than one million people in one hundred days.

Though it can’t be proven, it is often said that a small percentage of people “have no conscience”. When we say this, we are referring to a person’s capacity for...

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