On April 11th 2006, at 5pm GMT, I will be walking five miles from Kigali to Nyanza in Rwanda, with my son Alexander Wells and survivors of one of the most heinous acts of genocide in living memory.
On April 11th 1994, 2500 Tutsi men, women and children who had sought sanctuary at a Catholic-run school, the Ecole Technique Officielle (ETO) in Kigali, were abandoned by protective UN forces and left to the mercy of the genocidal interahamwe militia. They were marched from the sanctuary of the school 5 miles to Nyanza, in what was a pre-meditated ³death march². In Nyanza they were then left huddled together to ponder their fate for 30 minutes before they were slaughtered in a mass execution. Those who survived did so by ³playing dead² under the corpses of those who perished.
At 7pm Kigali time, approximately when the killing began, we will pause for a moment of silence and prayer to honor those who perished. We will also ask for healing for this and all other genocides. I will be joined by Dr. Abdulrazig Ibrahim Guma¹a, a Darfuri doctor, Cpt. Brian Steidle, Rabbi Lee Bycel and other fellow-witnesses to the on-going genocide in Darfur. The mourners will stay all night for a candle-light vigil.
7pm Kigali time will be: 7pm Paris/Rome, 6pm London/Dublin, 1pm NYC, Washington, Toronto, 12 noon Houston/Bogota, 11am Aspen, 10am Los Angeles/San Francisco, 8am Honoloulu, 8pm Nairobi/Jerusalem, and 3am Wednesday in Sydney.
I ask you to consider taking one minute out of your activities to join us wherever you are and either pause, meditate or pray for those who have lost their lives to genocide, those who are facing genocide today and those whose lives are forever scarred by the greatest crime against humanity.
Please pass this message on to anyone you know who would like to join us in a collective act of healing.
You can find a longer description of what happened that day in Nyanza here.
You can learn more about my work here.