In This Review

Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda
Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda
By Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch, 1999, 771 pp

The definitive study to date of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, when more than half a million people died in a three-month campaign of politically orchestrated mass murder. Adding detail and perspective to accounts published soon after the events, this work by Rwanda historian Alison Des Forges offers new information on the warnings that preceded the genocide, the redistribution of the victims' property, the Hutus who tried to resist participation in the slaughter, and retaliation killings by the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front (rpf). The study also lays bare the pathetic performance of the U.N. bureaucracy throughout the crisis. The business-as-usual attitude of the Security Council was relieved only by the perception of four nonpermanent members (the Czech Republic, Spain, Argentina, and New Zealand) that a disaster was occurring. France, Belgium, and the United States, who could have headed off the disaster through forceful U.N. diplomacy, shirked all responsibility. France went so far as to furtively support the genocidal regime in the hope of forestalling a takeover by the anglophone rpf. Even for those inured to the multiple forms of human perversity, this is a sickening tale.