Research Paper: United Nations: Failures

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[. . .] They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

However, were people actually treated with the "spirit of brotherhood"? For the Tutsis, the answer to this question was an ominous "no." As the international peace keeping the organization, the UN should have intervened and salvaged the lives of thousands of Tutsis who were moribund.

Of course, this initial discriminatory may be plausible and acknowledgeable because it would have been a hassle to rescue the Tutsis in great numbers. However, no help returned to the Tutsis who were suffering in agony

About a week into the conflict, the UN, instead of increasing the number of UN peacekeeping force in order to prevent the rampage, voted to withdraw 90% of its troops from Rwanda, leaving only a few hundred peacekeepers to defend against a ruthless group of Hutu extremists. Even this decision was a compromise made by UN Ambassador Madeline Albright for the initially requested evacuation of all the peacekeeping troops under UNAMIR. With only a couple of peacekeepers left, Commander Dallaire and Major Brent Breadsley were not able to take any actions to thwart the rampage of the Hutus

. Dallaire claimed, "We will not be held, in history, as being accountable for the abandonment of the Rwandan people. It was just morally corrupt to do that." After the evacuation, Warren Christopher, the U.S. Secretary of State, asserted that "as far as I know, everyone in Kigali who has wanted to leave has been able to leave and probably successful by now, safely out by now." However, this did not speak for thousands of Tutsis who were stuck in physical torture and horror.

It is erroneous to say that no assistance was given to Rwandan citizens. There was one group, the International Red Cross (IRC), which took care of wounded Tutsis and attempted to create a safe haven for the victims of the genocide. However, the IRC, in reality, was not able to stymie the progress of the Hutus because they had no military force. The UN was the only organization capable of amalgamating soldiers and sending them for the Rwandan citizens but did not make that choice. Fighting and massacre continued, even in seemingly safe locations such as churches or hotels. A survivor of the massacre at a church in Nyarubuye, Valentina Iribagiza, recalls, "they started the killing, hacking with their machetes. They kept doing it, and I was hiding under dead people. They didn't kill me because of the blood covering me. I hid in a small room where I stayed and slept for 43 days

As innocent lives were torn apart, there were individual efforts to take action for the protection. Monique Mujawamariya, a Rwandan human rights activist, personally visited Washington to contact Anthony Lake, a UN National Security Advisor, in order to request extra arms and military assistance to prevent the Hutu extremists from killing her people. However, Anthony Lake responded, "the U.S. has no friends, only interests, and the U.S. has no interest in Rwanda. We have no motivation." He also reminded her about the previous incident in Somalia, where UN troops were killed brutally. He said that he did not want the UN to "return with coffins again." However, the situation in Rwanda was incomparable to the situation in Somalia because there was a public genocide. Despite this urgency, the UN did not even recognize the situation as "genocide."

According to the analysis framework of the UN, the UN defined genocide in 1948 as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part1; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." Nonetheless, there was an increased indifference to the situation in Rwanda, and ambassadors of the UN refused to accept the situation as genocide. However, the massacre of Tutsis in particular by the Hutus is a sign of "deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction." The mere fact that the UN eschewed the gravity of this genocide was a failure of the UN to exercise its intended practices as an international peacekeeping force.

The majority of the UN officials especially in the Security Council simply did not recognize this event as a significant factor or issue during their discussions. Even President Clinton of the United States himself stated in a speech regarding the country's intentions stated that issues ranging from "Rwanda to Georgia" will [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Research Paper:

APA Format

United Nations: Failures.  (2013, August 22).  Retrieved June 15, 2019, from

MLA Format

"United Nations: Failures."  22 August 2013.  Web.  15 June 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"United Nations: Failures."  August 22, 2013.  Accessed June 15, 2019.