Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

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Shake Hands with the Devil Book Cover Shake Hands with the Devil
Roméo Dallaire, Brent Beardsley,
Da Capo Press
January 1, 2005

A Canadian general and former United Nations peacekeeper shares his harrowing eyewitness account of the genocide in Rwanda, revealing how he and his men managed to rescue thousands of people despite the orgy of bloodletting that was erupting all around them. Reprint.

For the first time in the United States comes the tragic and profoundly important story of the legendary Canadian general who “watched as the devil took control of paradise on earth and fed on the blood of the people we were supposed to protect.” When Roméo Dallaire was called on to serve as force commander of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda, he believed that his assignment was to help two warring parties achieve the peace they both wanted. Instead, he was exposed to the most barbarous and chaotic display of civil war and genocide in the past decade, observing in just one hundred days the killings of more than eight hundred thousand Rwandans. With only a few troops, his own ingenuity and courage to direct his efforts, Dallaire rescued thousands, but his call for more support from the world body fell on deaf ears. In Shake Hands with the Devil, General Dallaire recreates the awful history the world community chose to ignore. He also chronicles his own progression from confident Cold Warrior to devastated UN commander, and finally to retired general struggling painfully, and publicly, to overcome posttraumatic stress disorder—the highest-ranking officer ever to share such experiences with readers.

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