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I know there is a God because in Rwanda I shook hands with the devil. I have seen him, I have smelled him and I have touched him. I know the devil exists, and therefore I know there is a God.
There was no way to laugh anymore, to love, to care, and there was a sense of guilt in having survived when others had been killed. I turned into a worse workaholic than I had already been by trying to work myself into the ground.
PTSD has a terminal side to it that calls for more urgency.
I felt it absolutely essential that we plant the U.N. flag in Rwanda and plant it in a place of significance to show all the political entities, all the signees of the agreement and the Rwandans... that the international community were here and we're here to stay and we're going to be doing our job.
I promised never to let the Rwandan Genocide die because I knew the Rwandans didn't have much power internationally and certainly didn't have the resources. I felt it was my duty having witnessed it, and having stayed to witness it, that I had to talk about it and keep it going.
Now, in this U.N. stuff, the commander, although he has troops, they don't really belong to him. They're loaned by the country to the U.N. to be used, but each of these countries provide a contingent commander, a senior guy who communicates directly back to his capital.
Death became a desired option. I hoped I would hit a mine or run into an ambush and just end it all. I think some part of me wanted to join the legions of the dead, whom I had failed.
The night I flew out from Rwanda, I landed in Nairobi, and I was on my way back home, and my left side started to paralyze and remained paralyzed with pain, and the stress and so on began to appear physically.
I think the only value of 'Hotel Rwanda' is the fact that it keeps the Rwandan genocide alive, but as far as content, it's Hollywood.
The first breath of air of Africa - it felt like you were in another continent - you were, you were - and it was different.
Kofi Annan was the U.N. Under-Secretary General for peacekeeping operations. He had the responsibilities in regards to the mounting and operation of peacekeeping missions around the world.
More and more, we have been able to present the argument that recruitment of child soldiers is a social breakdown that leads to atrocities, because that's why they get them.
Those who are mastering more and more the communications revolution, those who realize that there are no borders in the world, are the ones who are going to leap ahead.
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Lester B. Pearson
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