Monday, October 1, 2007

Paris Hilton to go to Rwanda

I'm Baaaaaaack [and of course we won for the 6th straight time]. But anyway, I'm heading back yesterday and heard this story on the news and thought this it was a joke, but it's TRUE.

Paris Hilton plans to visit Rwanda in November, as part of her "commitment-to-use-her-fame-to-bring-attention-to-social-causes" ish. [Not sure if she's doing it to bring attention to the causes, or to bring positive attention to herself, but lets move on.]

Paris Hilton says, "There's so much need in that area, and I feel like if I go, it will bring more attention to what people can do to help."

The 26 yr. old socialite has vowed to use her fame to bring attention to social causes after serving a 23-day jail sentence earlier this year for violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.

"I want to visit more countries where poverty and children's issues are a big concern," she says. "I know there's a lot of good I can do just by getting involved and bringing attention to these issues." [Very admirable.]

As many of you remember, Rwanda experienced a mass genocide in 1994 which accounted for hundreds of thousands of deaths across the country. This genocide was mostly carried out by two extremist Hutu militia groups, the Interahamwe and the Impuzamugambi, during about 100 days from April 6 through mid-July, 1994. At least 500,000 Tutsis and thousands of moderate Hutus died in the genocide. Wikipedia has estimated that the death toll is somewhere between 800,000 and 1,000,000. Although the movie "Hotel Rwanda" has brought a lot more attention to the area, they still need additional support to rebuid - and we all need to do what we can.

In the wake of the Rwandan Genocide, the international community, and the United Nations in particular, drew severe criticism for its inaction [sounds very similar to what's going on in Darfur NOW]. Despite international news coverage of the violence as it unfolded, most countries, including France, Belgium, and the United States, declined to prevent OR stop the massacres. Canada continued to lead the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda, United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR). Despite specific warnings and requests from UNAMIR's commanding officers in Rwanda, before and during the genocide, the UN Security Council refused to send additional support, declined UNAMIR's request for authorization to intervene, and even scaled back UNAMIR's forces and authority.

So, I cannot see any negative in Paris Hilton going to bring attention to such an important cause despite her motives. What do you all think?

Parting Quote: “Every good act is charity. A man's true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows.”

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