Romeo Dallaire

Romeo Dallaire

Canadian senator, writer and retired general
Date of Birth: 25.06.1946
Country: Canada

  1. Biography of Romeo Dallaire
  2. Early Life and Military Service
  3. United Nations Mission in Rwanda
  4. Life after Rwanda

Biography of Romeo Dallaire

Romeo Dallaire is a Canadian senator, writer, and retired general. He served as the commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Rwanda from 1993 to 1994. He was born on June 25, 1946, in the Netherlands. Later that year, his family moved to Canada.

Romeo Dallaire

Early Life and Military Service

In 1964, Dallaire joined the Canadian army. In 1970, he graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada with a Bachelor of Science degree and dedicated himself to his military career.

United Nations Mission in Rwanda

In 1993, Dallaire was appointed as the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR). Initially, his mission included ensuring security in the city of Kigali during the signing of a peace agreement between Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Paul Kagame, the leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front. However, after the president's plane was shot down, the country descended into a genocide that started in April 1994 and claimed the lives of approximately 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Despite Dallaire's pleas to increase the number of peacekeepers, the United Nations decided to reduce their presence. Dallaire then focused on creating safe zones to protect persecuted civilians, managing to save a portion of the population.

Life after Rwanda

Upon returning to Canada, Dallaire received several promotions, but in 2000, he retired from the military. Following the events in Rwanda, Dallaire struggled with depression, blaming himself for the loss of Rwandan lives, and even attempted suicide. In 2003, he released a book called "Shake Hands with the Devil," in which he shared his perspectives on the tragic events of 1994.

Since 2005, Dallaire has been a member of the Canadian Senate representing Quebec.