Human Rights and Intervention in the Rwandan Genocide

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Human Rights and Intervention in the Rwandan Genocide
Human rights are known as “inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled to simply because he or she is a human being”. These rights are known to be universal and are the same to everyone living on earth. These rights are said to exist in both national and international law. The Universal Declaration of Human rights, which is supported by fifty countries across the globe, attests to this definition and backs up the idea that all people are equal and have the right to pursue happiness no matter who they are, where they are from, their skin color, age, or sex, etc. If these countries believe these things to be true, why was there not a mass intervention when the Hutu militia in Rwanda took it upon themselves to kill hundreds of thousands of people based solely on their ethnicity? It seems that if these countries are not going to benefit in some way, then they have no desire to help or intervene when there is a crisis in another country. The United Nations, which is said to be an international institution that values human rights, should make sure that tragedies, such as the Rwandan genocide, do not occur. Countries cannot act selfish when it comes to war, genocide, and the lives of innocent people. Aiding everyone, treating people with fairness and equality, and fighting for what is right should be far more important than a country’s personal gain.. The one and only deciding factor that manifests what will happen with human rights violations and a countries choice to intervene is the United Nations and the international community. This paper will analyze why it took so long for other countries to intervene in the Rwandan genocide and how the United Nations and the international community directly correlate with human rights violations and interventions in international tragedies.

During the Rwandan genocide, thousands of people were killed in the name of ethnic violence. Men, women and children were taken out of their own homes and killed for nothing other than their ethnicity. At this time, the Hutu ethnicity made up over eighty percent of the population, and blamed the people of Tutsi, who made up the lower fifteen percent for all of the economic and political problems of the country. This, in turn, led to Hutu rebels who felt that the only way to solve the issues in Rwanda was to eliminate the Tutsi people all together. Hutu extremists and militia launched plans and were able to almost effectively rid Rwanda of the Tutsi ethnicity. Tutsi people tried to escape but most were killed or attacked before fleeing was even a possible outcome. Thousands and thousands of people participated in the ethnic cleansing of the Tutsi people in Rwanda. This situation was very chaotic and got completely out of control because no countries chose to intervene and help the Rwandan people until it was too late. Is it in a country’s best interest to intervene in another country’s warfare or should the country sit back until it gets worse? Why did it take so long and the loss of so many lives before other countries chose to intervene in the Rwandan genocide?

The Rwandan genocide was a mass murder of an estimated million people in Eastern Africa in the state of Rwanda. Over about one hundred days, it is estimated that twenty percent of the country’s total population were killed. This resulted from a longstanding ethnic battle and tensions between the minority party, the Tutsi, who had controlled power for centuries, and the majority, the Hutu, who had come into power through a rebellion in the early 1960’s. In 1990, a rebel group of Tutsi refugees invaded Rwanda in an attempt to defeat the Hutu government. This began the Rwandan Civil War, resulting in far worse tension between the two groups. In response to this, many Hutu people gravitated toward the “Hutu Power” ideology which consisted of state-controlled and independent Rwandan media. It also consisted that...
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