Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 30, 2006
Canada must stop the killing in Darfur, says Dallaire
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Senator Romeo Dallaire says Canada has a responsibility to help stop the killing in Darfur, where many thousands have died at the hands of the Sudan government's militias.
"Our responsibility is clear; we have to stop the slaughter," he said. "We are one of the top countries in the world and we can't just sit around and watch the world go by."
Canada is well positioned to lead a mission to Darfur because of its reputation. "We have no ambition of dominating any country," Dallaire said. The only motivation to go into Darfur would be to relieve suffering.
"What makes us (Canadians) react to human suffering? A sense of respect for human dignity and the sense that all humans are human (regardless of where they live)," said Dallaire, who gave the closing speech Oct. 22 at the conference Building World Peace - The Role of Religions and Human Rights.
Dallaire is the retired Canadian general who led the ill-fated United Nations force during the genocide in Rwanda.
Hutu extremists killed about 800,000 Tutsis during the 1993-94 Rwandan genocide.
Darfur is widely acknowledged as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, yet there has been little movement on the part of the international community to address the tragedy, he said.
"Do you have the moral courage to send your youth to save 2.5 million people from a government that's killing them?"
Dallaire said the Church failed to act in Rwanda. "They could have prevented the genocide but the Church itself was divided along ethnic (lines)."
Can the Church help to prevent genocide? "Absolutely," he said in an interview. "If religion preaches the respect, the love of neighbour, it has to do something to stop the horror."
Rwanda is a country that was 90 per cent Christian and within hours it shifted to different tribes slaughtering each other.
"You've got to wonder about the depth and the commitment to (Christianity)."
"It is my humble opinion that if in fact love and respect are preached, not power, not influence, but just moving the people and staying in community with the people they will be able to overcome the differences and the frictions and the ethnicities."