The genocide in Rwanda was an emblematic failure of the international community. The world has since made important strides in acting on those lessons, but this work still faces setbacks. The international community cannot claim to care about atrocity crimes and then shrink from the commitment required to prevent them – whether in the Central African Republic or Syria.
Rwanda is the best success story of state-building in Africa in the last 20 years, despite its autocratic habits.
The progress Rwanda has achieved since its genocide may be the most significant example of human development of the past 20 years. Its governance should not be the subject of criticism, but should stand as a model for other nations seeking reconciliation.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame continues to blame France for its role in the 1994 genocide by extremists Hutus, prompting another diplomatic row on the eve of a memorial ceremony.
The 20th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide should focus as much on how the African nation worked toward reconciliation through forgiveness as on the mass slaughter itself.