"We must rise above race, creed, colour, religion, and national self-interest and put the good of humanity about the good of our own tribe. For the sake of the children and of our future. Peux ce que veux. Allons-y."
- General Romeo Dallaire
Lieutenant-General (ret) The Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire, O.C., C.M.M.
G.O.Q., M.S.C., C.D., L.O.M. (U.S.), B.ésS., LL.D. (Hon.), D.Sc.Mil (Hon.), D.U.
General Roméo Dallaire is a celebrated advocate for global human rights, as well as a highly-respected author, public speaker, leadership consultant, international advisor, former Canadian Senator, and founder of the Fondation Romeo Dallaire and the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace, and Security. Throughout his distinguished military career, General Dallaire served most notably as Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.
General Dallaire provided the United Nations with information about the planned massacre, which ultimately took more than 800,000 lives in less than 100 days; yet, the UN ordered him not to intervene and demanded his withdrawal. General Dallaire, along with a small continent of Canadian, Ghanaian, and Tunisian soldiers and military observers, disobeyed that order. They believed they had a moral obligation to stay, to help where they could, and to—at the very least—bear witness to what the rest of the world chose to turn its back.
Armed only with blue berets, General Dallaire saved 32,000 people from brutal massacre, while negotiating with rebels leaders to stop the killing, and begging UN member states and the international media to intervene. If he had received only a few thousand troops and some ammunition to back up his bluffs, General Dallaire likely could have put an end to the bloodshed. Instead, two million human beings were displaced and upwards of a million slaughtered.
General Dallaire’s courage and leadership during this mission earned him the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, the United States Legion of Merit, the Aegis Award on Genocide Prevention, and the affection and admiration of people around the globe.
Whether as military commander, humanitarian, speaker, or author, Roméo Dallaire works tirelessly to bring national and international attention to situations too-often ignored, whether the prevention of mass atrocities and the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on veterans and their families, or strategic solutions for lasting peace.