(Ottawa Citizen) – Twenty-two years ago, I was the force commander of the UNAMIR peacekeeping mission before, during and after the Rwandan genocide. I witnessed first-hand, in one of humanity’s darkest hours, the horrific impacts of conflict and genocide. This experience has produced an unrelenting drive in me as a humanitarian to both prevent conflict and protect peace. With this experience as a backdrop, it was with immense pleasure that I recently returned from a five-country fact-finding mission to Africa with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and esteemed colleagues Justice Louise Arbour and Ambassador to the United Nations Marc-André Blanchard. Over a week, we reached out to the highest authorities in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo to understand how Canada can re-engage in peace support operations in the region.