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The role of France and the United States in the Rwandan Genocide - Term Paper Example

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The author of the paper compares the role of France and the United States in the Rwandan genocide. The author states that both the French activists, as well as the indifference of the United States of America, contributed to the genocide which occurred. …
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The role of France and the United States in the Rwandan Genocide
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Download file to see previous pages According to Gourevitch(1999), the roots of the idea of race science originated with the European colonization of Rwanda by the Belgians and resulted in a widespread policy of repression towards the Tutsi minority, which caused them to seek refuge in neighboring states. In the year 1990, the Tutsi decided to strike back and the Rwandese Patriotic Front was formed, comprised of Tutsi refugees who launched attacks from Uganda. A cease-fire was arranged through the intervention of the United Nations Observer Mission Uganda-Rwanda, and the terms agreed to were intended to improve ethnic participation and power-sharing, allow refugees to return to their homes and create a multi-party state (Gourevitch, 1999). However, the Hutus did not want to share power and commenced a media campaign via the radio station RTML, to mobilize ordinary Hutus against Tutsis, resulting in the eruption of genocidal activity. The Presidents of both Rwanda and Burundi were killed on April 6, 1994, and that night a series of mass murders resulted, with the Belgian peacekeeping forces helpless to intervene in the crisis due to their role as a peacekeeper. (Gourevitch, 1999). Ten Belgian soldiers who were assigned to protect the Hutu Prime Minister were murdered, and one week after the conflict erupted, Belgium withdrew all its troops.

On 6th April, the large scale killing of Tutsis commenced and resulted in almost 800,000 people being killed over the short span of a few days, while the world looked on and did nothing. In summing up the reasons for the Rwandan genocide, Eltringham states that some view it as the result of “ethnic hatred”, others as a result of “bad politics and power struggle”, while yet others view it as the “direct outcome of colonial and neo-imperialist manipulations”, and “economic frustrations”, but the truth may be that all these elements combined to play a role in the crisis. (Eltringham, 2004:xv).

The occurrence of the genocide is a horrific event in recent human history, where thousands of innocent people died while the world stood by and did nothing. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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