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Blaming Western Nations for Rwandan Genocide

The Rwandan genocide stands as one of the greatest crimes perpetrated on humanity in the twentieth century. During three bloody months in 1994, the ruling Hutu tribe massacred almost a million Tutsis while the leaders of the world, including Koffi Annan at the United Nations and Bill Clinton in the United States, stood aside (Hentoff 1). What makes the Rwandan genocide particularly atrocious was the fact that it could have easily been avoided: as early as 1989, the Department of State had warned the White House of an impending crisis in Rwanda. This paper will argue that the nations of the west must shoulder the blame for blithely allowing the worst genocide since the holocaust to occur.

In 1989, the State Department and the Department of Defense warned the White House that an impending human rights crisis was looming in Rwanda (Hentoff 2). The White House failed to act on these early warnings, however. In January, 1994, an informant within the Hutu government revealed to the United Nations Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) that the militias that were being organized by the government were not being created to protect the citizens from a guerilla army of Rwandan exiles. Instead, as the communiquT from UNAMIR to U.N. Headquarters put it "He has been ordered to register all Tutsi in Kigali. He suspects it's for their extermination. Example he gave was that in 20 minutes his personnel could kill up to 1,000 Tutsis" (Haynes). Along with this revelation, the Hutu informant had revealed to UNAMIR the location of the arms depots that were to be used for the genocide. The UNAMIR commander requested permission from U.N. headquarters to seize the cached weapons and protect the informant and his family. U.N. headquarters forbade the UNAMIR commander from taking any action (Haynes). Thus, in the months leading up the genocide, United Nations Secretary General Koffi Annan was informed that arms were being stockpiled in Rwanda and that so...

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Blaming Western Nations for Rwandan Genocide. (2000, January 01). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 18:49, October 20, 2014, from http://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1713313.html