The Genocide Of The Rwandan Genocide

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“Governments are mandated by international law to protect people from genocide,” said human rights activist, Bianca Jagger, referring to the law that the United Nations failed to uphold during the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The United Nations refused to send aid to the citizens of Rwanda claiming that the atrocities were a civil war. However, this was clearly not a civil war, because only one ethnic group was armed and prepared to exterminate the other ethnic group. The Tutsi ethnic group was defined as being superior to the Hutu ethnic group by early colonists because they possessed more caucasian like features. Over time, the Hutu grew hateful of the Tutsi, because they controlled more governmental power, had prefered access to education, and received higher social status. Out of jealousy and a sense of injustice, the Hutu people became the perpetrators in the Rwandan genocide. A genocide is the intent to destroy a group by killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to the group, and transferring children of the group to another group (Stanton). The United Nations needs to recognize the killing and near extermination of the Tutsi people as a genocide, in order to prevent future genocides from being mishandled the same way. Unsupported by the United Nations, it took the Rwandan Patriotic Front, a group of escaped Tutsis, 100 days to stop the genocide. If the U.N. had acted as soon as the first signs of the genocide appeared they could have prevented a tragic loss of lives. The Rwandan genocide of 1994 should be classified as a genocide by the United Nations because the actions of the perpetrators reflect the stages of polarization and extermination in Stanton’s theory of the eight stages of genocide. One r... ... middle of paper ... ...n genocide displayed the intent to destroy an entire ethnic group by killing them; this is a genocide. The Rwandan genocide needs to be recognized as a genocide to be used as an example of how quickly the United Nations must act in cases of future genocides. The first signs of a genocide need to be a call for legal action. A part of the prevention is aid from other countries which is only offered if the conflict is first classified as a genocide. Without proper classification, the United Nations does not have the legal right to protect the victims. In the case of the Rwandan genocide, the U.N. claimed the killing as a civil war to avoid sending support, but to prevent future genocides from happening, the United Nations must first properly label the atrocities as genocides. As Bianca Jagger said we must use the international law to protect future victims from genocide.

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