Moktar Gaouad : never again ?

April 7, 2024, marked the thirtieth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda. This date cruelly reminds us how the horrors of the past can recur if we do not learn from our mistakes. In this editorial, Moktar Gaouad raises essential questions about collective responsibility in the face of such events and calls for urgent action to prevent further tragedies.

By Moktar Gaouad*

April 7, 2024, marked the thirtieth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda. It reminds us once again how the animality and brutality of human beings can easily resurface. Our worst instincts are never far away. The Tutsis were massacred by their Hutu neighbors, by those who smiled at them every day. By those with whom they had always coexisted.

Instrumentalized, armed, and indoctrinated by planners who knew what they were doing, human beings massacred over 800,000 other human beings with machetes.

The unspeakable was perpetrated before the indifferent eyes of an international community. The world’s leaders turned a blind eye. They had not learned the lessons of the Second World War and the Holocaust, let alone the ethnic cleansings perpetrated after the war in Asia, Europe, and elsewhere.

What have we learned from the Rwandan lesson?

Today, thirty years later, the powers and the international press lament and say of the Rwandan genocide: « Oh if only we had done this! If only the few dozen tanks and hundreds of French soldiers on the ground had intervened! ». « And if… And if! ». They pretend that the Rwandan dead haunt them now, whereas they had draped themselves in indifference in 1994. What have we learned from the Rwandan lesson?

Instead of « Never again! », we fall back into this inexplicable indifference. Take, for example, the current war in Gaza and the massacre of tens of thousands of Palestinians. Before our eyes. I’m sure that many, many people are thinking right now about the current situation of the Palestinians and making this same parallel. Why have we abandoned them to the vengeful hands of Israel and Netanyahu? In ten, twenty, thirty years, we will say the same thing: « What if we had acted differently! What if we had stopped the massacre of Gaza’s children and women! ». Shame will always haunt us if we do nothing. Let’s save the children of Palestine. Otherwise, the famous phrase of Michel Bernanos will never have been truer. « Man is above all a coward, often preoccupied with finding a justification for his cowardice, » said the resistance writer.

Moktar Gaouad* is a media personality. His journalistic career began in Paris in 1995 at Radio France Internationale, then as a correspondent in Paris for Voice of America. In 2001, Moktar joined TV5 Monde to anchor the news before becoming editor-in-chief. In 2007, he joined France 24, also as editor-in-chief.

In 2009, Moktar Gaouad joined the African Development Bank Group. Since February 2022, Moktar Gaouad has been based in Brussels, where he continues his consulting activities in his areas of expertise.

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