Posted by: Martin | January 1, 2011

Hotel Rwanda?

I am realising it is giving the title of this blog a different and unintentional meaning, but I have to make one more (and hopefully last) post about genocide. There is an organisation called Genocide Watch that have an interesting text about genocide being a process that develops in eight stages “that are predictable but not inexorable”.

Here’s the description of the last stage, denial:

8. DENIAL is the eighth stage that always follows a genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the victims. They block investigations of the crimes, and continue to govern until driven from power by force, when they flee into exile.

Here’s an AFP report from 30/12/10 I found on AlJazeera:

UN: Gbagbo ‘hiding mass graves’

UN says Gbagbo’s forces are blocking access to potential mass grave sites, as thousands flee post-election violence.

The UN repeated on Thursday its allegation that security forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, the internationally isolated Cote d’Ivoire president, are blocking access to sites suspected of being mass graves, as the possibility of genocide is raised in the country.

Gbagbo’s government has repeatedly denied that any mass graves exist, but investigators believe as many as 80 bodies may be in one building that UN personnel are being disallowed to enter.

Human rights groups have accused Gbagbo’s security forces of abducting and torturing political opponents since the disputed presidential run-off poll on Nov 28. The UN says that Gbagbo lost the election and, along with the international community, recognises Alassane Ouattara as the winner.

UN investigators have cited dozens of reported cases of disappearances, and nearly 500 arrests and detentions.

They said that security forces accompanied by masked men with rocket launchers prevented UN personnel from reaching the scene of one mass grave identified by witnesses in a pro-Gbagbo residential neighbourhood on the outskirts of Abidjan, the country’s commercial capital.

A second mass burial site is believed to be located near Gagnoa, in the interior of the country, the UN said.

 

Mural in Belfast with the 8 stages of genocide

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