Monday, February 25, 2013

Rwandan Genocide Asylum Case & Benaron's Running the Rift

Continuing the blog's recent Africa theme (we touched on Zimbabwe and South Africa earlier this week), here's Friday's BBC story "Rwandan woman stripped of US citizenship after lying about genocide:"
A Rwandan woman who won political asylum in the US after hiding her family's role in the 1994 genocide has been convicted in a New Hampshire court of lying about her own part in the mass killings. Beatrice Munyenyezi, 43, was immediately stripped of the US citizenship she had gained a decade earlier in the same courthouse where she was found guilty on Thursday of making false statements to officials in order to cover up how she selected Tutsis to be raped and murdered. She faces up to 10 years in prison and then likely deportation to face a trial in Rwanda for genocide.

For a novel based on the Rwandan genocide, try Naomi Benaron's award-winning Running the Rift:
Having worked extensively with genocide survivor groups in Rwanda, Benaron clearly acquired a very lucid sense of her characters' lives and of the horrors they endured. Her story tells, with compelling clarity, of Rwandan Tutsi youth, Jean Patrick Nkuba—who dreams of becoming Rwanda's first Olympic medalist. It's a dream he must postpone for more than a decade as the internecine savagery, Hutu vs.Tutsi, slaughters millions and derails the lives of countless others. While it would be counterintuitive to pronounce this a winning, feel-good story, there is something to be said for hope restored. (Review from Daily Beast.)

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