Dallaire will talk about his experience dealing with the Rwandan Genocide and his humanitarian work
Roméo Dallaire is coming to Concordia’s Loyola Campus to give a speech on Feb. 22 at 10 a.m.
The humanitarian and order of Canada recipient will speak and answer questions from Concordia students about his experiences in Rwanda and his humanitarian work.
Dallaire is best known for his role as the force commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) from 1993 to 1994. During this period, Dallaire witnessed the Rwandan genocide, one of the deadliest genocides in history. The inability of the UNAMIR to mitigate the death toll had severe consequences on Dallaire’s mental health, leading him to eventually being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
In 2004, he appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to testify in the trial of Théoneste Bagosora, the organizer of the Rwandan genocide. Dallaire’s testimony was critical to obtaining a guilty verdict in that trial. In 2005, he decided to get involved in Canadian politics by becoming a senator.
Since returning from Rwanda, Dallaire has dedicated his time to advocating for military veterans and raising awareness on mental health in his book, Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. There is also a documentary version of the book, and it’s available online for all Concordia students.
In 2007, the former lieutenant general founded the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative. The organization works with Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. They try to end the recruitment of children for war. In order to do so, they work with governments by giving them the proper training to prevent the use of a child as a soldier.
Since its inception, the initiative has changed its name to the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace, and Security.
The conference will be held in the CJ building at Concordia’s Loyola campus on Feb. 22, 2023. Students who want to attend the conference must register with Concordia’s journalism department online.