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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Essay on International Community's Response to the Rwandan Genocide

What have been or are the responses of the international community (UN, regional organizations, individual countries, non-state actors) to the Rwandan Genocide.

International Community Responses to the Rwandan Genocide

            The Rwandan Genocide in 1994 is considered one of the bloodiest social class conflicts, with the competing factions Hutu and Tutsi seeking to eliminate one another. With the continuing struggle for power and differing perceptions, the situation turned to worse with the genocide of 800,000 Tutsi’s in the country. In seeking to advance peacekeeping and order in the embattled region, states and the international community, such as the United Nations (UN), advanced specific responses that sought to facilitate the maintenance of peace as much as they can. Though the overall outcome of the intervention proved to be limited and unsuccessful, the Rwandan Genocide offered opportunities to recognize the role of states in responding to issues such as genocide and advance the function of agencies such as the UN in the pursuit of collective action to the conflict.

            Looking closely, the state responses during the Rwandan Genocide came from countries such as Belgium and Canada. Each party had a corresponding influence in the development of the class struggle and eventually would fail to prevent the bloody outcome. First, there is Belgium. The Belgians, during colonial times, controlled Rwanda and during the conflict was responsible for providing troops with an effort to quell genocidal intentions of the Hutus (Rohr 1). Apart from offering a military contingent, Belgium was also in constant interaction with the United Nations to provide their assessment of what is happening. Canada on the other hand, provided leadership for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) which began in 1993 (Maritz 1).  This demonstrates the country’s commitment in adherence to its obligation as part of the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crime and Genocide. However, due to lack of sufficient intelligence and resources, the objective of preventing genocide was never fully achieved. Other state participants are France and China that sought to offer military troops as part of the UNAMIR.

             For the international community, the United Nations remains to be the primary governing body that sought to respond to the genocide in Rwanda.  The creation of the UNAMIR served a specific function wherein forces from countries such as Canada, Belgium, France and China comprised of the Peacekeeping team. provides that “on May 17, 1994, the Security Council strengthened UNAMIR by sending in 5,500 more men. More French were sent into Rwanda but left in August of 1994 to hand it over to the Ethiopian UN troops” (1). However, the limited capacity of the group to engage and prevent killings made the group helpless in safeguarding the victims (Tutsi) against the Hutus. Though efforts have been made in order to advance peacekeeping operations, the attempt remains to be limited due to its inability to exercise its objective of establishing peace.

            In conclusion, the international community responses during the Rwandan genocide demonstrate the intention to advance peacekeeping and order. It features the efforts coming from states such as France, Belgium, China and France to provide troops in support of maintaining peace and collaborating with international agency to familiarize with what is happening. Equally, the United Nations, through its UNAMIR program helped solidify the international and consensus among participant states in preventing genocide from happening in the region. Despite these responses from various parties, the attempt to intervene and advance order in the social struggle remains to be a failure due to the lack of support, resources and information to sustain the peacekeeping operation. Though this may seem to be the case, the lessons learned in the Rwandan genocide offer agencies such as the United Nations, the direction necessary in helping advance the commitment towards intervention and shaping policies pursuant to the promotion of peace and stability.

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Works Cited
Maritz, Dominique. ‘Rwandan Genocide: Failure of the International Community?’ E-
International Relations Students, 7 Apr. 2012. Web. Accessed 28 June 2014. Rwanda: Global Response. 2006. Web. Accessed 28 June 2014.
Rohr, Stephanie. ‘The Response of the International Community to the Rwanda Genocide’

Journal of Undergraduate Research XII, 2009. 1-9. Web. Accessed 28 June 2014.

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