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With the creation of the United Nation, ethnical conflicts have declined as many of them were politically triggered. Nowadays, these politicians are afraid that they may be prosecuted in the international court. Such conflicts were rampant in African continent, which has very many local indigenous groups.
One of the most familiar conflicts that occurred in the globe was in 1994 in one of small countries in Africa called Rwanda. My selection of this conflict is because it was triggered by the fact that thousands of innocent Rwandese died to ethnical differences that sparked the conflict.
The major cause that triggered the conflict was the assassination of Habyarimana, who was from the neighboring country of Burundi. He was the first person from the Hutu community to hold such a position. One of the people who assassinated him was a military officer who seemed to accept his win as a result of majority vote. The news of his assassination spread through the media and the Hutus led by local government officials and some politicians took their arms and started attacking the Tutsi. On the other hand, the Tutsi led army started retaliatory attacks on Hutus. One of the major dilemmas was how to solve the standoff between the two warring communities without hurting any of the sides. The problem was aggregated by the political leaders who wanted to have a part of the political share.
Conditions that Created the State of Anarchy
Media was a tool that escalated the genocide in Rwanda. They did this by creating an atmosphere of sanctioning human suffering. Reporting the killings of one community by the media made the other communities fight each other. There was spread of intense propaganda such that even Tutsi men who had married Hutus women turned against them and murdered them .
There were outside forces who also participated in escalating the standoff between the two communities. One of those groups was the churches and colonial administration who institutionalized racism and discrimination between the Hutus and Tutsi. The notion that was held by the church recognized Tutsi as the superior ethnic group because they came from somewhere else, and they were more like Europeans in a black skin.. Being given the colonial superiority by the Europeans, they embraced the racist ideology without knowing the far-reaching consequences of their actions. This therefore escalated the genocide as killing of the Burundian president who gave the Hutus hope of liberating themselves from the black colonial rule was seen as Tutsis strategy of extending their domination.
The political standoff was another cause of conflict. Despite the rising tension between the two communities, the political leaders did not take the mandate of bringing the communities together and use arbitration. Instead, they rallied the communities together to fight each other. Therefore, lack of political goodwill escalated the conflict also.
Role of the International Community
One of the major roles that the international community played was that of the bystanders. Despite the rising tension between Tutsi and Hutus, the United Nation and other outside community were never concerned, as they ignored the call for help when the situation was getting out of hand. The UN Security Council delayed in sending their troops as quickly as possible to contain the situation. Human rights bodies did not also play their role in highlighting the need for the outside community to bring their support so that they can contain the situation. This was another reason, which made the outside community to be slow in implementing their mandate in containing the situation as whistle blowers were also involved in the standoff.
Why International Community did not intervene
The international community did not act quickly because the conflict started abruptly and within a period of 12 days, thousands of both the Hutus and Tutsi were already murdered. The UN Security Council procedure of releasing the peace keepers in a country is complicated and the speed that the conflict spread was so high. Therefore, when the international community intervened, it was too late for them as the murders were already committed.
Corruption also engulfed the whole saga in the united Nation offices. There were enough warning from Rwanda of the deteriorating situation, which was sent to the UN but no action was taken by the international community. Furthermore, there were approximately seven thousands UN troops that stood powerlessly as there was no command from the high office for them to act. The only command was to rescue the foreigners from the country. The Belgium government was also aware of what was happening, and they remained dump about the situation. As a result of this neglect, corpses were spread everywhere in the streets, women raped, and brutally murdered just because they belonged to the opposite community.
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Protection of Sovereignty of a Country is Important
Protection of sovereignty of the country is an important aspect than the protection of the minority rights. Conflicts and genocide escalate to high levels because of lack of a powerful body that can give command and install peace. In the above case, lack of a powerful institution that could take action when the issue became extreme led to the soaring of the situation. A country with no authority is also prone to external attacks and manipulation by terrorists and individual who want to satisfy their own interests at the expense of other citizens. Authority in a region therefore installs order therefore preventing cases of conflicts as there are streamlined procedures to be used in case of conflicts or genocides. This authority therefore leads to protection of both the minority and majority groups’ rights.
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