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Is no UN Involvement in Rwanda’s Genocide Justified?
In 1994 when hell broke loose in Rwanda the UN sat by and watched. Many criticized the UN for its lack of involvement, however the UN may have made the right decision in not getting involved. However these decisions favored themselves and not Rwanda. The main reasons why it wasn’t a smart choice for the UN to get involved was because it wasn’t politically, financial, and because military issues smart. Instead of the human rights we believe in today having influenced their decision.
The UN claimed to know very little about the genocide from the beginning, which was not true. They were well aware of the atrocities going on there, however large countries such as the USA which have been known in the past to get involved in international affairs such as this were in agreement with the rest of the world about not helping. The plain black in white truth was it would cost them money to travel there and help, they were black, and had no oil. Politically the rest of the world would gain nothing from this, in fact they would most likely loose a large amount of money. President Clinton only had this to say, "The end of the superpower standoff lifted the lid from a cauldron of long-simmering hatreds. Now the entire global terrain is bloody with such conflicts, from Rwanda to Georgia. Whether we get involved in any of the world's ethnic conflicts in the end must depend on the cumulative weight of the American interests at stake."(2) Yet despite what President Clinton said there was still no involvement other then the soldiers that went there to find there own citizens as was seen in the movie Hotel Rwanda.
Financially many countries couldn’t afford to help Rwanda, just in aids alone cost millions of dollars between the people sent to distribute and help with aid, the actual materials, and transporting them. Many countries couldn’t afford to spend that much money on aid and then on top of that send military forces, especially since Rwanda had no resources that could be profitable for the west.
Military wise, many countries didn’t have the funding to pay for the military that was need, nor did the UN want to provide any military. Rwanda’s military as of this time was extremely corrupt and many of the military soldiers were participating in these killings. As can be see in Hotel Rwanda by Augustin Bizimingu, the army general, that is only willing to protect the civilians that can pay for it.
“You have the right to live, and to live in freedom and safety.”(4) Was one of the many human rights that were violated. Yet the whole world stood by and allowed it to happen. In fact a plaque from Auschwitz Concentration camp states, “For ever let this place be a cry of despair and warning to humanity. Where the Nazis murdered about one and a half million Jews.” (5) This was meant as a warning to the world, and yet we made the same mistake in Rwanda. Many people believe as more powerful countries it is our job to support and help many countries in which there are Human rights violations and help to solve the problem. This over everything else should have been enough for the UN to get involved.
Though the politically and financially, and even military wise it wasn’t worth it to help the thousands that were murdered in Rwanda’s genocide, but human ethics should have come above that.
Timeline. educational foundation. 01 Apr 2001. Web. 27 May 2011. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ghosts/etc/crontext.html> (1)
Rwanda: How the genocide happened. n.p. 18 Dec 2008. Web. 27 May 2011. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1288230.stm> (2)
Prospect Theory and the Decision to Commit Genocide in Rwanda. n.p. n.d. Web. 27 May 2011. <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/0/6/7/7/5/p67759_index.html> (3)
Hotel Rwanda. n.p. 28 Jun 2005. Web. 27 May 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Rwanda> (4)
1990 Auschwitz Plaque. n.p. 27 May 2011. Web. 27 May 2011. <http://www.vanguardnewsnetwork.com/wolzek/1990_AuschwitzPlaque.html> (5)