The killers speak (Rwanda 2)

(Second in a series on Jean Hatzfeld’s book on the Rwandan genocide.)

Back in 1994, between April 11 and May 14, more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were hacked to death in Rwanda. They were killed in their own communities, by their Hutu neighbours.

In his three books on Rwanda (so far), Jean Hatzfeld, a French international journalist who has also written on the war in Croatia and Bosnia, focuses his attention on the Nyamata district of Rwanda, where some 50,000 Tutsis out of a population of 59,000 Tutsis (5 out of 6) were killed. In his first, (Life Laid Bare), Hatzfeld presents narratives by survivors. In his second, Machete Season: The Killers Speak, he listens to the killers. 

Machete Season, which I read first of the three, is a harrowing book. Continue reading