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Kuki Ndiho partners with community organizations, schools of all levels, religious and cultural institutions to gather, collect and ship much-needed clothing items to its orphans in Rwanda. Please write us if interested in learning more at Please include photos of yourself or your family to include with the individual clothing items so that we can thank you on our web site and so those to who receive the items will also know. snd

Annual Sneaker Drive

Seventh and eighth grader at the Christian Formation Student at St. Vincent Martyr Catholic Church in MADISON, NEW JERSEY are holding a sneaker drive for Rwandan Orphans through the holiday season. They will be collecting new or gently used sneakers in all sizes now. Please contact teacher Henry Page at EMAIL HERE


August 2020
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Genocide is a term used to describe violence against members of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group with the intent to destroy the entire group.

The word came into general usage only after World War II, when the full extent of the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime against European Jews during that conflict became known.

In 1948, the United Nations declared genocide to be an international crime; the term would later be applied to the horrific acts of violence committed during conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and in the African country of Rwanda in the 1990′s.


The word “genocide” owes its existence to Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-Jewish lawyer who fled the Nazi occupation of Poland and arrived in the United States in 1941. As a boy, Lemkin had been horrified when he learned of the Turkish massacre of hundreds of thousands of Armenians during World War I.

Lemkin later set out to come up with a term to describe Nazi crimes against European Jews during World War II, and to enter that term into the world of international law in the hopes of preventing and punishing such horrific crimes against innocent people.

In 1944, he coined the term “genocide” by combining genos, the Greek word for race or tribe, with the Latin suffix cide (“to kill”).


In 1945, thanks in no small part to Lemkin’s efforts, “genocide” was included in the charter of the International Military Tribunal set up by the victorious Allied powers in Nuremberg, Germany.

The tribunal indicted and tried top Nazi officials for “crimes against humanity,” which included persecution on racial, religious or political grounds as well as inhumane acts committed against civilians (including genocide).

After the Nuremberg trials revealed the horrible extent of Nazi crimes, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution in 1946 making the crime of genocide punishable under international law.


In 1948, the United Nations approved its Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG), which defined genocide as any of a number of acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

This included killing or causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, inflicting conditions of life intended to bring about the group’s demise, imposing measures intended to prevent births (i.e., forced sterilization) or forcibly removing the group’s children.

Genocide’s “intent to destroy” separates it from other crimes of humanity such as ethnic cleansing, which aims at forcibly expelling a group from a geographic area (by killing, forced deportation and other methods).

The convention entered into force in 1951 and has since been ratified by more than 130 countries. Though the United States was one of the convention’s original signatories, the U.S. Senate did not ratify it until 1988, when President Ronald Reagan signed it over strong opposition by those who felt it would limit U.S. sovereignty.

Though the CPPCG established an awareness that the evils of genocide existed, its actual effectiveness in stopping such crimes remained to be seen: Not one country invoked the convention during 1975 to 1979, when the Khmer Rouge regime killed some 1.7 million people in Cambodia (a country that had ratified the CPPCG in 1950).


In 1992, the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina declared its independence from Yugoslavia, and Bosnian Serb leaders targeted both Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) and Croatian civilians for atrocious crimes. This resulted in the Bosnian Genocide and the deaths of some 100,000 people by 1995.

In 1993, the U.N. Security Council established the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague, in the Netherlands; it was the first international tribunal since Nuremberg and the first to have a mandate to prosecute the crime of genocide.

In its more than 20 years of operation, the ICTY indicted 161 individuals of crimes committed during the Balkan wars. Among the prominent leaders indicted were the former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and the former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic.

While Milosevic died in prison in 2006 before his lengthy trial concluded, the ICTY convicted Karadzic of war crimes in 2016 and sentenced him to 40 years in prison.

And in 2017, in its final major prosecution, the ICTY found Mladic—known as the “Butcher of Bosnia” for his role in the wartime atrocities, including the massacre of more than 7,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebenica in July 1995—guilty of genocide and other crimes against humanity, and sentenced him to life in prison.


From April to mid-July 1994, members of the Hutu majority in Rwanda murdered some 500,000 to 800,000 people, mostly of the Tutsi minority, with horrifying brutality and speed. As with the former Yugoslavia, the international community did little to stop the Rwandan Genocide while it was occurring, but that fall the U.N. expanded the mandate of the ICTY to include the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), located in Tanzania.

The Yugoslav and Rwandan tribunals helped clarify exactly what types of actions could be classified as genocidal, as well as how criminal responsibility for these actions should be established. In 1998, the ICTR set the important precedent that systematic rape is in fact a crime of genocide; it also handed down the first conviction for genocide after a trial, that of the mayor of the Rwandan town of Taba.


An international statute signed in Rome in 1998 expanded the CCPG’s definition of genocide and applied it to times of both war and peace. The statute also established the International Criminal Court (ICC), which began sittings in 2002 at The Hague (without the participation of the U.S., China or Russia).

Since then, the ICC has dealt with cases against leaders in the Congo and in Sudan, where brutal acts committed since 2003 by the janjawid militia against civilians in the western region of Darfur have been condemned by numerous international officials (including former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell) as genocide.

Debate continues over the ICC’s rightful jurisdiction, as well as its ability to determine what exactly constitute genocidal actions. For example, in the case of Darfur, some have argued that it is impossible to prove the intent to eradicate the existence of certain groups, as opposed to displacing them from disputed territory.

Despite such ongoing issues, the establishment of the ICC at the dawn of the 21st century reflected a growing international consensus behind efforts to prevent and punish the horrors of genocide.

Citation Information

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Access Date

March 26, 2019


A&E Television Networks

Last Updated

August 21, 2018

Original Published Date

October 14, 2009


Madison Comes Together To Support Genocide Awareness and Reconciliation

On April 7th, the United Nations will commemorate the 15th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda. Between April and June 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of 100 days. Most of the dead were the minority Tutsis, and most of those who perpetrated the violence were the majority Hutus.

The United Nations has designated the year 2009 as The International Year of Reconciliation with the understanding that reconciliation is necessary for the establishment of firm and lasting peace.

To honor those whose lives were lost in the Rwandan genocide, and to build awareness and help foster reconciliation, the community of Madison has come together by means of educational and cultural programs.

As part of the awareness effort, the Borough of Madison has declared April 16th, Genocide Awareness and Reconciliation Day.  “With many of our community organizations such as The College of Saint Elizabeth, Madison Rotary, Drew University, The Urban League of Morris County, St Vincent Martyr Church and Madison High School engaged in the discussion of this very important issue, a proclamation declaring the support of all Madison seemed appropriate,” said Madison Mayor, Mary Anna Holden. On April 16th, there will be symposia and memorials at both The College of Saint Elizabeth and Drew University.

Both the College of Saint Elizabeth and Drew University have programs dedicated to genocide and holocaust studies. According to Professor Herm Huber of The College of Saint Elizabeth, “Our program focuses on providing students with an historical perspective of genocide, while emphasizing the processes of reconciliation and forgiveness”.

Marie Claudine dances at Ste Elizabeth College’s stage ( photo by Donna Lindemeyer Director Office of Communications & Marketing College of Saint Elizabeth College , Morris town, NJ ) Marie Claudine Mukamabano, pictured above, a Rwandan genocide survivor, performance artist and founder of the Kuki Ndiho Rwanda performance troupe, will be participating in the April 7th United Nations Rwandan commemoration. Marie Claudine will be performing native Rwandan dances and will have one of her poems read as part of the UN program. The Kuki Ndiho performance troupe also includes two other members (also genocide survivors) who play traditional Rwandan instruments and sing while wearing native attire.

“We thank the Madison community for all of their support and look forward to performing at The College of Saint Elizabeth, Madison High School and at the Madison Community House,” said Marie Claudine.

The performance at the College of Saint Elizabeth on the 16TH AT 10:00AM and at the Madison Community House at 7:30 pm will be open to the public.