Genocide: Rwandan Genocide and People Essay

Submitted By awushieg
Words: 2706
Pages: 11

According to the United Nations, genocide is a crime under international law and the present Convention states that genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such: killing members of the group, bodily or mentally harm members of a group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.[1] If this is the convention written by the United Nations why did it take the world so long to realize the situation in Rwanda? Why couldn’t they send more troops to save the innocent people that died? Questions like this keep haunting me and I ask myself why so many people were left to die because of a stupid cause. April 6th 1994, was the year that one million lives were lost in only one hundred days. It was the fastest and the most brutal genocide yet recorded in human history. It was carefully planned and executed to destroy the Tutsi population by the Hutu’s. The genocide officially began after the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, whose plane was mysteriously shot down on April 6 1994. The death of the president was the excuse the Hutu extremists needed to begin the killing that they had long planned. Hutu extremists had long been paranoid about Tutsi power; at various times Tutsis had suffered, and been slaughtered, at the hands of Hutus; a group of exiled Tutsis organized the Rwandan Patriotic Front, with whom Habyarimana had signed peace accords in 1993.[2] This accord did not work but obviously angered the Hutu extremists and this led to the beginning of the Genocide. Another contributing factor that led to the mass murders was provoked by radio broadcasts, which referred to the Tutsis as Inyenzi or "cockroaches," much as Nazi propaganda referred to the Jews as "parasites." Dallaire notes that Rwanda is a radio-based culture in which broadcasts were "akin to the voice of God, and if the radio called for violence, many Rwandans would respond, believing they were being sanctioned to commit these actions."[3] Lt. General Roméo Dallaire was the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda and he was the Force Commander during the genocide. It is through Dallaire that we have an account of the unfolding genocide in detail. In his account he described it as a murderous frenzy in which children were brutally killed; pregnant women had their fetuses ripped from their womb as they were murdered. This definitely screams out Genocide and I still don’t understand why it wasn’t stopped. The United States government had the power and the technical expertise to jam the Rwandan hate radio, but nothing was done. If they had done this it could have prevented the large number of people that died. As I already stated, Rwanda is a radio-based country. The people of Rwanda believe what the radio feeds them, so through the encouragement of the radio broadcasters it increased the reason for some of them to go out a kill. As a result of this, I blame the U.S. and other developed countries for not taking a stance with the Rwandan situation. I blame them because they could have organized troops to go in a deal with the situation and save thousands of innocent lives. Their troops have the military capacity and are well trained and equipped to stop the situation from escalating. Due to the casualties the United States suffered in Somalia, the American government was unwilling to support the UN involvement in Rwanda. As stated by Samantha Power, when the massacres started, not only did the Clinton administration not send troops to Rwanda to contest the slaughter, but refused countless other options. President Clinton did not convene a single meeting of his senior foreign policy advisors to discuss U.S. options for Rwanda.