Reading two-week-old 13-page New Yorker articles about Rwanda probably isn’t your favorite thing to do, but if you’re a subscriber, I’d urge you to check out Philip Gourevitch’s fascinating article about what’s been happening in Rwanda in the fifteen years since the genocide. It’s a complicated situation (boldface mine):
On the fifteenth anniversary of the genocide, Rwanda is one of the safest and most orderly countries in Africa. Since 1994, per-capita gross domestic prduct has nearly tripled, even as the population has increased by nearly twenty-five per cent, to more than ten million. There is national health insurance, and a steadily improving education system. […] Most of the prisoners accused or convicted of genocide have been released. The death penalty has been abolished. And Rwanda is the only nation where hundred of thousands of people who took part in mass murder live intermingled at every level of society with the families of their victims.
Like I said, complicated. This is the best thing I’ve read in the New Yorker in a long while.
Update: As We Forgive is a documentary film about the Rwandan reconciliation.
Can survivors truly forgive the killers who destroyed their families? Can the government expect this from its people? And can the church, which failed at moral leadership during the genocide, fit into the process of reconciliation today? In As We Forgive, director Laura Waters Hinson and narrator Mia Farrow explore these topics through the lives of four neighbors once caught in opposite tides of a genocidal bloodbath, and their extraordinary journey from death to life through forgiveness.