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Reflection on Ghosts of Rwanda

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 426
  • Category: Genocide

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About 800,000 people were brutally murdered during the Rwandan genocide while the entire world just stood by. Almost 20 years ago, this event made it evident that racism is a culprit of the genocide because of the lack of response from the very people who can push policy agendas (the international communities), were muted by their own personal interest. Another culprit is the Belgian colonizers, who had a big role in dividing the two groups which lead to serious tensions between the Tutsi and Hutus. For example, when a few Belgian soldiers were murdered by Rwandan government troops on the very first morning of the genocide, the Brussels government immediately decided to withdraw the remainder of its forces and to lobby the Security Council to suspend the entire Rwandan mission. This act was not the only case, in fact president Bill Clinton announced that the United States would not intervene unless their state was being effected.

On the other hand, the Red Cross; prevention, neutrality and reporting, prevalent to Phillipe Gaillard, who made it his obligation to report the atrocities he witnessed. The Red cross was more effective during the genocide because United Nations was supposed to provide a peace-keeping force in a pseudo military capacity. They were there to protect the interests of the non-Rwandese from the fighting and help them leave the country. The Red Cross was there as a humanitarian organization, still mostly ineffective with regards to the Genocide.

In the wake of Rwanda’s tragedy, the media harshly criticized the United Nations and its members for not immediately recognizing the killing campaign and reacting to prevent it. Most shockingly was that American and other Western officials dragged their feet after the genocide was reported, avoiding use of the word genocide for weeks afterward for fear of being compelled to intervene, but the media must also share the blame for failing to provide prompt notice of the genocide. The attitude that the media and the UN portrayed during this time of tragedy brings upon a concern of where the humanitarian situation fit. The failure to act /intervene was an act of abandonment and racism to the country of Rwanda, the mass killings of the Tutsi people did not end because the international communities intervened , it was because the genocide was near a victory. Had the United States intervened at the time of need, so many lives would have been saved, and the criticism of the UN would have been lesser, and the lesson since the Holocaust would have been learned.

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