Rwanda Genocide - Coursework Example

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This paper delves into the aspects that elucidate the Rwandan genocide of April 1994 drawing from literature from a range of fields. On a structural level, the colonial past of Rwanda, the Rwandan political economy, the nature of the Rwandan state, and the interactions between classes and ethnic groups are examined…
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Download file to see previous pages The next aspect of this paper studies the possibilities for averting genocide based on recognition of its conditions and the factors driving its achievement. Potential preventive measures were present on a time-continuum, with mediations being possible during the phase prior to real genocide; more direct courses of action existing in the months leading up to and during the genocide; and possible ways for prevention of further/future genocide that happen in the aftermath. Prevention can take place at various levels, in relation to the impact that may be applied on individual, organizational or structural aspects.
There have been many endeavors to describe genocide since the term was coined. First in 1944 Raphael Lemkin, defined genocide as "the coordinated and planned annihilation of a national, religious, or racial group by a variety of actions aimed at undermining the foundations essential to the survival of a group as a group" (Lemkin, 1944). Lemkin also asserted that genocide is a "form of one-sided killing" in which the offender aimed to get rid of their victims who by contrast have no similar intention. Lemkin's definition was followed by many others such as the 1946 UN Resolution that defined genocide as "the denial of the right to exist of entire human groups, as homicide is denial of the right to live of individual" (Chalk and Jonassohn, 1990).
On December 9, 1948, the United Nations ratified the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This convention delineates "genocide" as an international crime, which participant nations "undertake to prevent and punish." It defines genocide as:
'[G] enocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
a. Killing members of the group;
b. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
c. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
d. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
e. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.'
Regardless of the fact that many cases of group-targeted violence have taken place throughout the history and even since the Convention came into effect, the legal and international development of the term is focused into two diverse historical periods: the time from the defining of the term until its approval as international law (1944-1948) and the time of its ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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