CARL WILKENS : A good and decent man.

Carl Wilkens, the only lone American to stay in Rwanda following the pre-planned genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 is a good and decent man.

During those dark and bloody 100 days in April, 1994, Wilkens gave of himself and refused to join the fleeing foreigners who shamelessly left people that had worked and lived beside them for years to die on the streets of Kigali.

As this year’s keynote speaker at the recent 18th. commemoration ceremony of the genocide against Tutsi in Washington, D.C. at Georgetown University, Wilkens shamed the international community for abandoning Rwanda.

Tears freely flowing on his cheeks, Wilkens lamented about the role of the international community during the genocide, and in particular America’s cavalier attitude under the Clinton administration. It was a moral failure, above all else Wilkens said, a brutal sign of man’s inhumanity to man.

Narrating how he fearlessly sought medicines and food for the victims and survivors of this century’s worst genocide, Wilkens almost flooded the hall with tears of the 700-strong audience who attentively listened as he told of horrific acts he witnessed that have left him a broken man, but for his faith.

There is a lesson to learn from this soft-spoken and humble man who refuses to let the world forget the genocide against Tutsi. There is no greater sin for good men to see evil and do nothing.

And Carl Wilkens can sleep better than most. He did his best, and unlike many, Rwandans included, he has not commercialised the genocide for personal gain.

I looked in his eyes and saw decency and amazing faith.

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2 responses to “CARL WILKENS : A good and decent man.

  1. As much as the International community abandoned us the bulk
    of the moral failure should weigh in on the so-called expats who
    lived and worked in Kigali before the turmoil. They lived well as a priviledged class and made “friends” with a lot of the Tutsi locals only
    to abandon them at the first sign of trouble.

    The current crop of “expats” should be reminded of their predecessors
    indifference to our plight.

  2. The Carl Wilkens of this world are, unfortunately, extremely rare indeed. The most common reflex when disaster occurs anywhere is for expats to recall that, thankfully, the affairs of the affected country concern the people of that country first and foremost and not themselves. They might feel bad for their friends from the country without their own options to get out of harm’s way, but few if any will feel disposed to share whatever misfortune might be in the offing. This is not a cynical reaction; it is the way people are generally programmed to save themselves and let God take care of everybody else. Which leads me to the unavoidable conclusion: decisions critical to the future wellbeing of a country’s people should never be ceded to those who have the option not to have to face the consequences. Only those that will be affected by those decisions should be allowed to have a say in what they should be and how they are implemented.

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