Left to Tell

by

Immaculée Ilibagiza

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President Juvénal Habyarimana Character Analysis

President Habyarimana is the leader of the Hutu government in the period leading up to the genocide. He helps to stoke ethnic tensions by instituting ethnic roll calls in classrooms, limiting the number of places for Tutsis at schools and universities, and calling RPF soldiers “foreigners” despite the fact that they are the descendants of Rwandan Tutsis expelled by Hutu persecution. He eventually signs a peace treaty with the RPF, but shortly afterwards he is killed when his plane is shot down, triggering the genocide.

President Juvénal Habyarimana Quotes in Left to Tell

The Left to Tell quotes below are all either spoken by President Juvénal Habyarimana or refer to President Juvénal Habyarimana. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
God, Faith, and Miracles Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Hay House edition of Left to Tell published in 2006.
Chapter 3 Quotes

Hundreds of thousands of Tutsis had fled Rwanda during the troubles of 1959 and 1973, as well as the many other times that Hutu extremists had gone on Tutsi killing sprees. They'd gone into exile to save their lives and those of their families. Mr. Gahigi called the rebels "foreigners" because most of them grew up in neighboring countries such as Uganda and Zaire—but that was only because President Habyarimana enforced a policy banning exiles from ever returning to Rwanda. He'd created a Tutsi diaspora, and entire generations of Rwandan Tutsis had grown up without once setting foot in their homeland.

Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:
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President Juvénal Habyarimana Character Timeline in Left to Tell

The timeline below shows where the character President Juvénal Habyarimana appears in Left to Tell. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Standing Up
God, Faith, and Miracles Theme Icon
Love vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Education, Discipline, and Growth Theme Icon
Unbeknown to Immaculée, however, the Hutu president Juvénal Habyarimana has instituted the ethnic roll call in class in order to “balance” ethnic representation in... (full context)
Chapter 3: Higher Learning
Love vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Education, Discipline, and Growth Theme Icon
...radio, but they know much of it is false. They learn from the BBC that President Habyarimana has invented a false attack by Tutsis on the Presidential Palace in order to arrest... (full context)
Love vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Education, Discipline, and Growth Theme Icon
After two weeks, President Habyarimana was pressured into releasing thousands of Tutsi prisoners, including Leonard. At this point Kabayi apologized... (full context)
Chapter 4: Off to University
Love vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Education, Discipline, and Growth Theme Icon
...parties, many doing so because they offer free drugs and alcohol. The youth movement of President Habyarimana’s party is called Interahamwe, which means “those who attack together.” The movement soon becomes the... (full context)
Love vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
Forgiveness and Redemption Theme Icon
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Soon after, President Habyarimana signs a peace agreement with the Tutsi rebels. This at first seems positive, but the... (full context)
Chapter 5: Returning Home
God, Faith, and Miracles Theme Icon
Love vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Just as Immaculée begins to pray, Damascene enters the room and tells her that President Habyarimana is dead. His plane was shot out of the sky the previous night. Immaculée is... (full context)