The Rwandan genocide was one of the most savage, brutal, and barbaric moments in human history, as well as the quickest killing spree to date. Within two weeks, an estimated 100,000 Rwandans had been killed, then, a few weeks later, 200,000 more. Over the course of 100 days, at least 800,000 Tutsis and Hutus were slaughtered in the fight for control.
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For years, tensions between the two ethnic groups were becoming more apparent over time. In 1993, the United Nations began a peacekeeping mission between the Tutsi minority and Hutu majority in order to negotiate and achieve a harmonious outcome. However, after the Hutu president’s plane shot down, a spark was ignited and widespread violence across the country began.
Genocide is an issue in and of itself; however, the central problem and theme in which was consistently unfolding within the film was neglect. The Clinton Administration ordered an immediate evacuation of the American community merely a few days after the conflict began, and then, one thousand French and Belgian paratroopers arrived within the country, solely there for the evacuation of their people. When Tutsis were emerging from their hiding places, begging for help, all western troops and UN peacekeepers were under orders not to evacuate ordinary Rwandans, but to instead neglect and abandon them within their time of need. Basically, anyone with white skin was able to live, while anyone with black skin got to stay in Rwanda to die. Deaths were piling high, and even then, no government dared to intervene. What was stopping them? Maybe they were afraid that the breach of state sovereignty would lead to something bigger, but here, hundreds of thousands of innocent lives were being taken away in the blink of an eye, nonintervention should have been the least of one’s worries.
After the Holocaust ended in 1945, the world said, never again. The United Nations was established with the hope for a just and peaceful international community, and from that point, the UN made it a requirement for future genocides to be stopped; however, when genocide happened in Rwanda, the United States, along with most other governments, simply turned away and did almost nothing to stop it. The Rwandan genocide never became a serious enough issue for the rest of the world. In regard to international relations, which is the interaction of countries on a global scale, within the film, the United Nations was a key factor. When established, it was given four purposes: 1) to uphold worldwide peace and security, 2) to progress friendly relations among states, 3) to collaborate in solving worldwide problems and encouraging respect for human rights, and 4) to be a focus for harmonizing the actions of states. UN peacekeepers and soldiers were placed within Rwanda, unarmed, before and during the genocide in hopes they could efficiently negotiate with the conflicting groups.
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