Today is the anniversary of the start of the Rwandan Genocide. I’m more convinced than ever that we haven’t the learned any lessons about preventing the deliberate destruction of a people. What to do about that? Start with remembering and understanding. 1/
Comparing genocides makes little sense, but it’s important you understand that, contrary the lazy assumption that this was somehow a ‘primitive’ mass killing, that this was carefull organised and orchestrated project. Read this. 2/
You should also understand that we knew this was being planned. This was the intelligence received from a Hutu whistleblower and the telegram sent onto the United Nations. 3/
It is also important to know that we didn’t just fail to intervene. The UN had 2519 troops there. After 2 weeks their commander asked for 5 battalions (<4k soldiers) to stop the killing The UN withdrew all but a few hundred troops. The killers saw it as a green light. 4/
You should also know that the West did send troops in. First to rescue whites (and later to protect the killers). The evacuation lead to unimaginably grotesque scenes like these. 5/
You should know what the small group of UN troops left behind saw as they attempted rescue missions and diplomacy at huge personal risk. they came across scenes like these. Two snapshots of things replicated a million times over. 5/
You should also know what the brave NGOs, MSF and the Red Cross witnessed. In the end the NGOs took out newspaper adverts pleading for action “one cannot stop a genocide with medicines”, they said. 6/
African nations offered to send troops & asked the US for armoured personnel carriers. The US said they’d charge $15M. Nigeria’s ambassador to the UN said “Africa has fallen off the moral map of the world”. Reques ta to block to radio station directing genocide was refused. 7/
Tutsis were eveb abandoned by their Churches who often took an active role in killing. This desperate letter begging their Pastor for help from some of the thousands who were later massacred at Mugonero hospital. The Pastor instead transported the militia who would kill them. 8/
You should read what we adandoned hundreds of thousands of innocent people to. 9/
Rwanda is a beautiful amazing country. People there are just like you and your family. There’s nothing inevitable about genocide. It can be prevented if we care enough. When you hear excuses for inaction about genocide today, try and answer the question in this last excerpt. /10

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More from @blairmcdougall

5 Feb
When you notice something big a few minutes after you press send on your newsletter...The SNP are now going after the individual LSE academic's reputations. So a quick thread with a hell of a twist. 1/
One of them is Thomas Sampson. As well as the research on the impact of a Scotland-rUK border, earlier in the research series he also co-wrote this paper on the impact of Brexit.… 2/
This matters because on the 23rd August 2016 Nicola Sturgeon called a special press conference on brexit where she launched this document.… 3/
Read 6 tweets
20 Oct 20
Yet another SNP MSP is pretending to believe (God I hope he’s pretending) that leaving the UK is like retiring to Benidorm & that the rest of the UK will pay for our pensions. The idea is that we won’t have to pay for the single largest item of public spending. So, a thread. 1/8
Firstly, pensions are paid for from existing taxes not previous payments. 2/8
Second, even the SNP leadership aren’t daft enough to pretend that pensions would be paid by what would then be another state. 3/8
Read 7 tweets
10 Jun 20
A report has suggested today that half of coronavirus deaths could have been prevented had we locked down earlier. The Scottish Government are now suggesting they were prevented from locking down earlier. This is rewriting of history to avoid accountability. A thread... 1/
Throughout the outbreak the SNP government have taken near identical decisions to the Tories. For starters, remember that terrible press conference when Johnson went on about how he was still shaking hands? Here’s Scotland’s health minister on the same day. 2/
Similarly the Tories have been criticised for allowing large events, such as the Cheltenham Festival on 13th March, to go ahead. A day earlier, here is the Scottish Government press conference on large events. 3/
Read 15 tweets
27 May 20
Worth going back to the start of the Edinburgh outbreak story. The First Minister was very clear that she chose not to tell the public about the outbreak at a Nike conference because all contact tracing was done. Two weeks later, what do we know? 1/
We know that tour guides hired by the conference were not contacted. 2/
We know that a group of 20 delegates who were at the same hotel at the same time. They shared coffee and lunch facilities with the Nike delegates. They were not contacted. 3/
Read 10 tweets
7 Apr 20
I know everyone’s minds are on other things, but today is the anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide. Sharing this thread with the hope it makes more people think about or responsibilities to prevent genocide. 1/
Firstly, the killing of around a million people in Rwanda wasn’t ‘ancient tribal hatred’ or spontaneous violence in response to the downing of the Presidents plane. It wasn’t ‘just something Africans do’ it was efficient, planned mass murder. As Phillip Gourevitch puts it. 2/
And the world knew this was genocide. We were warned it was coming eg in this telegram from the UNAMIR commander to UN. It is really important to remember: it wasn’t that we didn’t intervene. The UN was there in Rwanda and we withdrew. 3/
Read 13 tweets

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