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Lt.-Gen. Romeo Dallaire visits U of M

January 20, 2015 — 

On Thursday, January 22 at 12:00pm UMSU will host a special event with Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire in the Engineering Atrium. This free event is open to the entire University community.

Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire’s Bio:

Roméo Dallaire is a retired lieutenant-general, Senator, and celebrated humanitarian. Lieutenant General (LGen) Dallaire is President of the Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire Foundation; founder of The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, an organization aimed at eradicating the use of child soldiers; an outspoken advocate for human rights, particularly war-affected children, women, the Canadian First Nations, and military veterans; a respected champion of genocide prevention initiatives, the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, and nuclear non-proliferation, as well as a best-selling author.

Throughout his distinguished military career, LGen Dallaire served in staff, training, and command positions through North America, Europe, and Africa, rising in rank from Army Cadet in 1960 to Lieutenant-General in 1998.

Most notably, LGen Dallaire was appointed Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) prior to and during the 1994 genocide.  LGen Dallaire provided the United Nations with information about the planned massacre, which ultimately took more than 800,000 lives in less than 100 days yet permission to intervene was denied and the UN withdrew its peacekeeping forces.  LGen Dallaire, along with a small contingent of Ghanaian soldiers and military observers, disobeyed the command to withdraw and remained in Rwanda to fulfill their ethical obligation to protect those who sought refuge with the UN forces.

LGen Dallaire is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec, and a Commander of the Order of Military Merit.  He is the recipient of the United Nations Association of Canada’s Pearson Peace Medal, the Arthur Kroeger College Award for Ethics in Public Affairs from Carleton University, the Laureate of Excellence from the Manitoba Health Sciences Centre, and the Harvard University Humanist Award.

He is author of two best-selling books.  His harrowing experiences in Rwanda are detailed in Shake Hands with the Devil – the Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2004 and the “Shaughnessy Cohen Prize” for political writing awarded by the Writers’ Trust of Canada.  It provided the basis for an Emmy Award-winning documentary as well as a major motion picture of the same name; it has also been entered into evidence in war crimes tribunals trying the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide.

 

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