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Rwanda Stage 5


Canadian Armed Forces members leave Rwanda. Despite Canadians’ efforts being restricted during the genocide, they saved many Rwandans.




When people think of peacekeeping, they may not realize, in some circumstances, how little “peace” there often is to “keep”. The risk of harm is very real. About 130 CAF members have died in the course of international peacekeeping efforts. One soldier lost his life in Rwanda. The effects of serving in these missions can be psychological as well as physical. Seeing the widespread death and suffering in Rwanda took a great toll on a number of our Veterans. Some of our peacekeepers who served there went on to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.


Controversy surrounded the mission and hundreds of thousands of people died. But the UN efforts in Rwanda made a difference. Even though Canadians’ efforts were restricted during the genocide, they rescued many Rwandans. Canadian peacekeepers assisted countless Rwandans in the aftermath of the killing. They provided help through communications, logistical, medical and mine clearing efforts.

In the words of Major-General Dallaire, these CAF contributions to the people of Rwanda were “...nothing less than a godsend.” Our country recognized the great efforts of the Canadian generals who commanded the UN peacekeeping missions in Rwanda. Major-General Dallaire and Major General Tousignant both earned the Meritorious Service Cross for their leadership in the face of some of the worst conditions imaginable.

Rwanda today

Rwanda still continues to recover from its violent past. The country has seen much economic growth, and today it is much more peaceful. Rwanda has two public holidays to mark the 1994 mass killings, and denial of the genocide is a criminal offence.

The Rwandan crisis helped spur the creation of the International Criminal Court. It investigates claims of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes—like those that the world saw so clearly in Rwanda in the 1990s.

Classroom materials

Classroom materials main page

Lesson plan: 12-18

Humanitarian aid tree

historical sheet


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