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A Good Man in Rwanda

29 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 05 April 2014

On 7 April 1994, Mbaye Diagne, a Senegalese captain working with the UN’s peacekeeping mission in Kigali, helped save the lives of five children. They were the children of Rwanda’s moderate Hutu Prime Minister, Agathe Uwilingiyimana, who had just been murdered by Hutu extremists.

Mbaye Diagne was to carry out many further acts of heroism during the genocide, which claimed the lives of well over half a million people, mainly ethnic Tutsis. Most were bludgeoned and hacked to death with clubs and machetes at the behest of the Hutu government which had just taken power.

Mark Doyle travels to Rwanda, Senegal and Canada to meet the people who knew Mbaye Diagne. He meets the man who commanded the UN peacekeeping force, General Romeo Dallaire. He meets Diagne’s wife and one of his closest comrades in arms. And, he meets the people whose lives he saved, some of whom have never told their stories before.

"I saw evil in Rwanda in 1994" says Mark Doyle, "but I also saw extraordinary acts of courage by people who simply knew what was right and what was wrong. Mbaye Diagne was just such a person – a good man in Rwanda".

(Photo: Captain Mbaye Diagne. Credit: RNW Africa)


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