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Romeo Dallaire quits Senate

Sen. Romeo Dallaire, the tragic hero of the Rwanda genocide, says he is resigning from the Senate next month to focus on international humanitarian work. A selection of quotes about him and his career:

"I have an awful lot of work ahead of me, and it was important for me to leave at this point." — Dallaire, speaking Wednesday about his planned departure June 17.

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"Those memories become clearer and clearer with each passing day. They become digitally clear, even clearer than when you saw it the first time." — Dallaire on his terrible recollections from Rwanda, shortly before leaving the army in 2000.

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"In my case, I broke four years after the event. I couldn’t take it any more." — Dallaire, on the PTSD that crippled him.

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"The anger, the rage, the hurt and the cold loneliness that separates you from your family, friends and society’s normal, daily routine are so powerful that the option of destroying yourself is both real and attractive." — Dallaire, after he was found collapsed in a public park following his retirement.

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"I have tremendous respect for ... Sen. Dallaire. I think he's a remarkable, compassionate human being that has done a lot to advance human rights, not only in Canada, around the world." — Justice Minister Peter MacKay.

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"I think his contributions, his public service are unparalleled. He has been a truly great Canadian on a number of fronts, and I have a great deal of admiration for him. I think he'll be missed in the halls of Parliament." — MacKay.

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"Romeo Dallaire is a humanitarian in a class of his own. While his departure is certainly a loss for Parliament, the world will continue to benefit from his leadership and service to the international community." — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

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"The guy moved heaven and Earth to get the world to understand what was going on. Everywhere he turned, he was confounded." — Stephen Lewis, former Canadian ambassador to the UN, in a report on Rwanda which he submitted to the United Nations in 2000.

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"It’s one of those fascinating moments in history where you have a man who understood what was happening, who did everything in his power to assist, who 24 hours a day lived and breathed the horror around him and who was frustrated by a political constellation." — Lewis.

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"It is with sadness that I learned that Sen. Romeo Dallaire will soon be leaving his position as a senator. His contribution to the work of the Senate is undeniable and he will be greatly missed." — Sen. Claude Carignan, leader of the government in the Senate.

The Canadian Press

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