Research Paper: Genocides in Rwanda and Darfur When People

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Genocides in Rwanda and Darfur

When people of modern genocide, the event that comes to mind is the Holocaust, and society tends to ignore the genocide that occurred in Rwanda in the early 1990s and the genocide that is still occurring in Darfur today. The sheer number of people killed during the Holocaust makes that understandable, but modern society has the tendency to ignore the genocides that have occurred in this generation. While the genocide in Rwanda did not kill as many people as the Holocaust, it was an equally horrific event. "The dead of Rwanda accumulated at nearly three times the rate of Jewish dead during the Holocaust. It was the most efficient mass killing since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," (Gourevitch, 1999, p.3). Just as it had at the conclusion of prior episodes of genocide, the world vowed it would never occur again. However, those vows seemed hollow when the UN failed to timely intervene when the horrors in Bosnia demonstrated that rape continues to be used a tool of war. Rape was combined with other weapons of genocide for the horrors in Darfur, which continue to this day, with relatively little response from the global community. This lack of response is really difficult to understand, almost as difficult to understand as the reasons that people commit genocide. Whatever the explanation, the reality is that, by failing to respond and prevent these mass murders, the world has tacitly approved of genocide. This is indictment, not only of the killers and rapists who committed these atrocities, but of all of the complacent human beings around the world, who sat in their homes and did nothing, despite knowing about these events.

Prior to the 1990s, Rwanda was a country with two major ethnic groups, the Hutu and the Tutsi, and those two groups had a history of conflict. The genocide in Rwanda was based on a government policy, which mandated that members of the Hutu majority kill everyone in the Tutsi minority (Gourevitch, 1999, p.6). It was a personal genocide, which relied on civilians acting out against other civilians. Moreover, while the Nazis used gas chambers and automatic weapons to d has seen two significant and huge episodes of genocide and has failed to accomplish many of their killings; the Hutus used machetes to kill the Tutsis. The sheer enormity and great physical difficulty of the killings means that one has to question how the killers stayed motivated. Genocide is frequently touted as the means to a new world order, and its reasoning must be simple and absolute:

The ideology of genocide is all of those things, and in Rwanda it went by the bald name of Hutu power. For those who set about systemically exterminating an entire people -- even a fairly small and unresisting subpopulation of perhaps a million and a quarter men, women, and children, like the Tutsis in Rwanda- blood lust surely helps. But the engineers and perpetrators of a slaughter…need not enjoy killing, and they may even find it unpleasant. What is required above all is that they want their victims dead. They have to want it so badly that they consider it a necessity (Gourevitch, 1999, p. 17).

In contrast, the UN forces or the sovereign country forces that went into Rwanda to intervene did not have the same level of motivation as the murderers. The UN forces were given limited power to act, despite clear UN guidelines allowing, perhaps even demanding, intervention in the case of genocide. Gourevitch describes UN peacekeeping forces failing to intervene when they witnessed murders, but shooting at dogs eating the corpses of the dead in Rwanda, because "the UN regarded the corpse eating dogs as a health problem" (Gourevitch, 1999, p.149). A huge part of the responsibility for the global community's failure to act rests with the United States. The UN forces deserted Rwanda, and they did so largely because of the United States. The United States was so intent on avoiding involvement in Rwanda that the U.S. government even denied that genocide was occurring because acts of genocide required intervention and the U.S. did not want to intervene.

Moreover, global intervention does not always aid the victims. Rwanda… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Genocides in Rwanda and Darfur When People.  (2009, October 28).  Retrieved May 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/genocides-rwanda-darfur-people/274466

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"Genocides in Rwanda and Darfur When People."  28 October 2009.  Web.  19 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/genocides-rwanda-darfur-people/274466>.

Chicago Format

"Genocides in Rwanda and Darfur When People."  Essaytown.com.  October 28, 2009.  Accessed May 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/genocides-rwanda-darfur-people/274466.