What Modern-Day Genocide Looks Like

Published January 21, 2015

Footprints Rwandan Genocide

The Holocaust tends to come to mind first–and sometimes exclusively–when one thinks of genocide. But in terms of time, lives lost and capacity to rebuild, the earliest modern and most devastating genocides have occurred in Africa–namely Congo, modern-day Namibia, and Rwanda.

Following decades of Belgian colonial rule that used the law to exacerbate, ossify and entrench tensions between Rwandan tribes, an independent Rwanda erupted in a genocide that would claim the lives of 500,000 to 1,000,000 people in a matter of one hundred days.

Above is a photograph that Annie Leibovitz took in April 1994, featuring the bloodied footprints of children attempting to escape Hutu–one of the warring factions in Rwanda–slaughter.

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