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Scholars’ Circle-Rwanda-Genocide-Anniversary-/-How-to-Stop-Cruelty-of-Armed-Conflict-April 19th, 2015

First, in remembrance of the 21st Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, we revisit the tragedy with retired Lieutenant-General and Senator​ ​Roméo Dallaire who witnessed the atrocities first-hand.

  • Roméo Dallaire is a retired lieutenant-general and senator. In 1993, LGen Dallaire was appointed Force Commander for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), where he witnessed the country descend into chaos and genocide, leading to the deaths of more than 800,000 Rwandans.

Since his retirement, he has become an outspoken advocate for human rights, genocide prevention, mental health and war-affected children. He founded The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, an organization committed to ending the use of child soldiers worldwide. He is the author of Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda and They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers.

Next, war and armed conflict are declining on the global level, however atrocities, cruelty and lethal violence continue in many parts of the world. What justifies human cruelty? What is driving people to commit lethal violence and what can bystanders and others do to prevent their continuation?

  • Ervin Staub is a Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Founding Director of its ​Ph.D. concentration in the Psychology of Peace and Violence. He i​​s the author of The ​R​oots of ​E​vil: The ​O​rigins of ​G​enocide and ​O​ther ​G​roup ​Violence, The ​Psychology of ​G​ood and ​E​vil: Why ​Children, ​Adu​​lts and ​G​r​​oups ​H​el​p​ and ​H​arm ​O​ther​s and his recently published book The ​R​oots of ​G​ood​nes​s​ and ​R​e​s​ist​ance to ​Evil: Inclusive ​C​aring, ​M​oral ​C​ou​r​age, ​Altruism ​B​o​r​n of ​S​uffering, ​A​c​t​ive ​B​ystandership and ​H​e​r​oism.
  • David Livingstone Smith is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England. He is the author of Less Than Human: Why we Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others.
  • John Kaag is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He is the author of Neoconservative Images of the United Nations: American Domestic Politics and International Cooperation.

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