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A conference titled “Shadows of Rwanda” focusing on the Rwandan genocide and featuring a keynote address by Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire (Ret.), whose character was played by Nick Nolte in the recent film Hotel Rwanda, will take place at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, April 1-3. Registration by March 30 is encouraged, especially for students seeking accommodations.
The student-initiated and student-organized conference is attracting national interest. Hundreds of concerned students — some from as far as Tennessee — will convene at Colby to examine how genocide has occurred in the past and how the international community can work to prevent it in the future.
The conference will include workshops and a panel discussion with three distinguished Colby professors, Catherine Besteman (anthropology), Kenneth Rodman (government) and Ariel Armony (government). Dabas Rugaba, an ex-soldier from the Rwandese Patriotic Army who served during the genocide, will also speak.
Highlights of conference events on Saturday include the keynote address by Dallaire, commander of UN peacekeeping forces during the 1994 genocide, at 6:45 p.m. in Page Commons Room, Cotter Union; the talk by Rugaba at 2 p.m.; and the faculty panel discussion on International Court Systems and Comparative Cases at 3:30 p.m. in Given Auditorium, Bixler Art and Music Center.
While the film Hotel Rwanda opened many eyes to the Rwandan genocide of 1994, many are unaware of — or unprepared to act on — similar atrocities currently being committed, namely in Sudan. The motive force behind the conference, Colby sophomore Huseyin Akturk, said “People need to expose genocide, a topic that is much neglected and silently destructive. Also, to understand Sudan, we have to understand what happened in Rwanda, Somalia, and Bosnia.”
While registration is free, $30 payment is required for on-campus meals from Friday night to Sunday morning. For more information about the conference, online registration, and details about accommodations, visit http://www.colby.edu/shadowsofrwanda.