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This review is from: A Time for Machetes: The Rwandan Genocide - The Killers Speak (Paperback)
"A Time for Machetes" is a harrowing book. It is six years after the genocide in Rwanda and the journalist Jean Hatzfeld manages to persuade a group of imprisoned killers to speak to him. The interviews cover questions like how it was the first time they killed, how the killings were organized and conducted and if forgiveness is possible.
The accounts of the killers are interspersed by Hatzfeld's observations which give additional insights. Sometimes, however, he seems as perplexed as the reader by what he hears.The ten men speak of their unspeakable crimes so impassively, with so little remorse that I often found it a struggle to turn the page.
Once ordinary farmers these men take up their machetes to go "hunting" for Tutsis in the marshes, they "cut" them down and would have finished "the job" if it had not been for the advance of the rebel army. The words they use to describe their actions are chilling. Reflection on what suffering they inflicted is rare. They report no nightmares, seem not particularly distressed by what they did.
"A Time for Machetes" is an important book on the Rwandan genocide - and in its implications a very frightening one.