Remembering the Survivors

3 May 2011

Remembering the Survivors of Genocide in Rwanda by Noam Schimmel is a remarkable call to action. Published by Dissent Magazine, the article sets out the importance of expressing more than platitudes and consolations for survivors, but the importance of material support to enable the rebuilding of their lives destroyed by the genocide.  Schimmel writes:

If the UN is to have moral credibility, and if international human rights and humanitarian law are to have real meaning, the Responsibility to Protect must be extended to provide support for survivors of genocide who struggle in its aftermath. It is the very least that the UN and its member states owe to survivors who lost families and friends and suffered horrific violence and devastation because of the failure of the United Nations to stop the genocide.

Survivors hear the same statements of solidarity each year on the April 7 anniversary of the genocide. And each year, after that day ends, very little has changed for them. This year, instead of platitudes and ephemeral words of support, Rwandan survivors deserve the resources that the UN General Assembly has repeatedly called for to enable them to realize their rights, restore their dignity, and achieve a measure of restorative justice.

SURF supports in particular the call on the United Nations to support survivors in Rwanda. SURF will continue to work to echo and hopefully amplify Schimmel’s call!