We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
In April 1994, the Rwandan government called upon everyone in the Hutu majority to kill each member of the Tutsi minority, and over the next three months 800,000 Tutsis perished in the most unambiguous case of genocide since Hitler's war against the Jews. Philip Gourevitch's haunting work is an anatomy of the war in Rwanda, a vivid history of the tragedy's background, and an unforgettable account of its aftermath. One of the most acclaimed books of the year, this account will endure as a chilling document of our time.
very hard—and handle three things: first to save the Banyamulenge and not let them die, empower them to fight, and even fight for them; then to dismantle the camps, return the refugees to Rwanda, and destroy the ex-FAR and militias; and, third, to change the situation in Zaire.” He was only waiting for the sort of massive provocation from Zaire that he presumed was inevitable. “And of course,” he said, “this stupid Zairean deputy governor gave us the opportunity.” So tiny Rwanda hit enormous
overlooks Mexico, and the pastor had a record of flight. THE ADDRESS I had for Dr. Eliel Ntakirutimana in Laredo was 313 Potrero Court—a suburban brick ranch house at the end of a drab cul-de-sac. A dog growled when I rang the bell, but nobody answered. I found a pay phone and called the local Adventist church, but I don’t speak Spanish, and the man who answered didn’t speak English. I had a tip that Pastor Ntakirutimana was working at a health-food store, but after making the rounds of a
Ntaki called with a new plan: we would lunch at the Laredo Country Club. Then the family lawyer, Lazaro Gorza-Gongora, showed up. He was dapper and mild-mannered and very direct. He said that he wasn’t prepared to let the pastor speak to me. “The accusations are outrageous, monstrous, and completely destructive,” he said with disarming tranquillity. “People say whatever they want, and an old man’s last years are in jeopardy.” Dr. Ntaki was a round, loquacious man with strikingly bulging eyes. He
advance—the radio, the couch, the goat, the opportunity to rape a young girl. A councilwoman in one Kigali neighborhood was reported to have offered fifty Rwandan francs apiece (about thirty cents at the time) for severed Tutsi heads, a practice known as “selling cabbages.” On the morning of April 9, Paul Rusesabagina, who had been trapped in his house by the twenty-four-hour-a-day curfew, saw someone climbing over the wall into his garden. If these people have come for me, he thought, let me
progress, and that the shame of it was a private African affair rather than a shame to all humanity. Stranger still to be told to shut up and stop acting like stupid blacks. WHEN I GOT depressed in Rwanda, which was often, I liked to go driving. On the road, the country resolved itself in rugged glory, and you could imagine, as the scenes rushed past and the car filled with smells of earth and eucalyptus and charcoal, that the people and their landscape—the people in their landscape—were as