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Why didn't the United Nations pursue intervention in Rwanda - Research Paper Example

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One of the most violent intra-state conflicts of the century occurred in Rwanda during the 1990s, and culminated in genocidal slaughter between April and July 1994. …
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Why didnt the United Nations pursue intervention in Rwanda
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"Why didn't the United Nations pursue intervention in Rwanda"

Download file to see previous pages The world, however, stood by while hundreds of thousands of Rwandans died, taking effective action only after the situation began to stabilize. The United Nations plays an essential role in any legitimate intervention. The two principal rationales justifying UN intervention in intra-state conflicts are the preservation of international peace and the protection of human rights. In case of Rwanda, UN was unable to play effective role to stop Genocide. Therefore, this paper will address following question: Why didn't the UN Pursue Intervention in Rwanda? This paper hypothesizes that several factors, including the structure of the UN, states' interests, international law and norms, and domestic factors of the conflict impeded effective UN intervention in the Rwandan conflict. It is hoped that this research paper will discern to the reader the incidents surrounding the Rwandan conflict and why UN didn’t intervene. Methodology This paper will employ qualitative research methodology to find out why UN was unable to pursue Intervention in Rwanda. It examines available literature on Rwanda Genocide, UN charter and international law pertaining to humanitarian intervention. It will specifically look for the impediments which obstructed UN intervention in the Rwandan conflict. It will begin with a brief history of the Rwandan conflict. Next, the case will be examined to determine whether the structure of the UN obstructed involvement in Rwanda. Following this, the case will be analyzed to determine if international law and the norms of the state system hindered UN intervention. The paper will then look to examine whether states' interests frustrated UN operations. Finally, the paper will explore whether domestic factors within Rwanda-such as the complexity of the conflict and terrain of the region stopped effective UN intervention. Background On April 6, 1994, hope for a peaceful transition to democracy and a broadly representative government ended when the plane carrying the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi was shot down near the Kigali airport, allegedly by extremists in Habyarimana's own party (Des Forges 1999, 31). The death of the Rwandan President was followed by the systematic killing of political opponents of the regime, both Hutu and Tutsi, and a resumption of the civil war. The massacres that followed the death of the President appear to have been well planned, because the speed with which the militia singled out its victims suggests the 'Interahamwe', the pro-government militia, was prepared with their names and addresses (Power 2002, 41). For over three months, Rwanda was gripped by chaos and death which left, out of a population of 7.9 million, up to one million dead and five million internally and externally displaced. The events ground to an eventual stop, not through international pressure or intervention, but through the success of the RPF, which had taken control of most of the country. On July 19, 1994, the RPF established a broad- based national government, a day after declaring a unilateral cease-fire (Ronayne 2001, 13). The international community had responded to the tragedy in Rwanda with inaction (Stanton 2004, 9). Following the death of ten Belgian peacekeepers and the subsequent removal of the Belgian contingent from UNAMIR---reducing the mission's strength to 1,515 troops-the UN pulled most of its remaining peacekeepers out of Rwanda. This event coincided with the intensification of the genocidal campaigns. It seems the plan to drive the UN forces out of Rwanda through armed attack, clearing the way for the genocidal cam ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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