Genocide in Rwanda Essay

Genocide in Rwanda Essay

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Genocide in Rwanda

     
     According to the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, this inhumane act, known as Genocide, is briefly defined as follows, ?...acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group...? (Journal of Peace). Unfortunately, throughout history, such acts seem to be intervened upon when it is merely too late. In the country of Rwanda, over a period of one hundred days, over 800,000 people were murdered over their ascribed race. A similar situation is currently taking place at this moment in time in Sudan, where 30,000 people have recently been killed and the numbers are still rising. However, the international community has not yet responded to prevent further killings. These two countries seem to share similar histories which may have lead to the horrifying, ethnically grounded acts of genocide and racial cleansing. In this paper, we will compare and contrast the similar historical and social-political conditions of these two countries. We will also evaluate the international community's response to the current situation in Sudan and the likelihood of a resolution.

     In 1994, genocide lasted in Rwanda for merely 100 days, killing over 800,000 people. ?This was the fastest, most thoroughly ruthless programme of ?racial killing? yet implemented in the world? (Journal of Peace). The victims were those who had the ascribed identity of a Tutsi. Those who belonged to Rwanda?s military or were of the Hutu identity, carried out these inhumane acts of racial purification. There has been conflict between these two identity groups of Rwanda dating back to pre-colonial times. Many blame the act of genocide on Rwanda?s past history between these two identity groups. Let us now take a brief look at Rwanda?s history and examine the accuracy of this argument.

     The pre-colonial era of Rwanda consisted of expansion of the country into neighboring areas, belonging to both Hutu and Tutsi kingdoms. Class stratification of these two groups was unclear and based largely upon social status. As Rwanda began to develop, the term Hutu and Tutsi became status terminology rather then an ethnic identity. The Tutsi resembled those of the higher status, and within this class stratification you could even belong to bother the Hutu and the Tutsi, namely the Twa...


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... and do not provide enough proof for the international community to stop this obvious case of genocide. There has been absolutely no meaningful international forces deployed that could have any affect on stopping the massacre.

     The little response of the international community is disheartening. Because many feel there is no other way to categorize these acts, of no other then, civil conflict is outrageous. Genocide is a act that is extremely difficult to prove. Since there are multiple groups of ethnicity?s and religions affected by these acts, it is nearly impossible to prove genocide, because in order to do so, it must affect one specific group. This is why, many believe this to be an act of ethnic cleansing, a civil conflict, one the international law can not stop.

     Throughout our history there have been numerous accusations of genocide, namely the Nazi Holocaust and the Rwanda situation in 1994. It is very insignificant that we have not learned from our past, that these acts must be stopped and prevented. Apparently, what must be done is a change in international law. Allowing such acts as the one presently occurring to be stopped before it is too late.
     

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