Vintage Canada ed. paperback cover
|Cover artist||CS Richardson|
|Publisher||Random House Canada|
|ISBN||978-0-679-31171-3 (0-679-31171-8) / 978-0-679-31172-0 (0-679-31172-6)|
|LC Class||DT450.435 .D35 2003|
Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda is a book by Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire of the Canadian Forces, with help from Major Brent Beardsley. It was first published by Random House Canada in September 2003.
The edition published in French is entitled J'ai serré la main du diable: La faillite de l'humanité au Rwanda.
The documentary film Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire (2004) and a 2007 dramatic feature film are inspired by and in part based on the book. Dallaire was consulted in the making of both films.
More than 800,000 people are believed to have been killed in 100 days in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire witnessed these massacres. In Shake Hands with the Devil, he describes the dilemmas and atrocities to which he was exposed.
In the book Dallaire explains how, after arriving in Kigali in August 1993, he warned the UN high authorities that he lacked sufficient equipment and manpower to carry out his mission. However, a lack of clarity in the UN's intervention procedures coupled with the international community's apparent lack of interest in Rwanda meant that Dallaire's calls for help went unanswered.
From day to day the situation deteriorates until eventually the general's forces are left on their own, without fuel, money or adequate equipment. Meanwhile, encouraged by the ethnic hate propaganda of the Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), Hutu militiamen attack their Tutsi victims while an army of exiles begins a civil war, from the northern border of the country, to take power. In Kigali, corpses of civilians killed by machetes begin piling up and many of the moderate politicians with whom Dallaire had the mandate to negotiate are also murdered.
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