The Failure of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in 1994 Rwandan Genocide

Topics: Rwandan Genocide, Rwanda, Hutu Pages: 14 (4260 words) Published: October 12, 2012

Faculteit der Maatschappijwetenschappen
Public Administration

Term paper

Case-study: The United Nations in Crisis Situations

Subject: The Failure of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in 1994 Rwandan Genocide

Written by: Michelle Simson
Course: International Relation II
Semester: B-II
Educator: R.A. Franklin
Place: Paramaribo
Date: 18 august 2009


This term paper is part of the course International Relations II, given by Mrs. R.A. Franklin. I am writing this term paper in order to complete this course. I have chosen to write about this specific subject, because I believe that the United Nations Peacekeeping Troops has severely failed to what is was meant to do. The history and the story of the Republic of Rwanda have truly touched me. Therefore, I want to know what happened there and why the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations failed. I would, also, like to know what can be changed in order to prevent such a tragedy from happening once more. Mrs. Franklin you have truly been inspirational and I hope that you enjoy reading this paper.

Michelle Simson ________________________________

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: A History of Rwanda5
1.1Pre-Colonial Rwanda5
1.2Colonial Rwanda5
1.3The Years Following Colonialism6
Chapter 2: 1994: The Rwandan Genocide7
Chapter 3: The Role of the United Peacekeeping troops during this period and the reaction of the world community9
Conclusion: The Aftermath of Genocide11
The United Nations12


The Rwanda Genocide in 1994 is known as one of the worst genocides since the Holocaust. The very name is sketched into our histories consciousness as a place of evil and unimaginable pain. Between April and mid-July 1994, between 800,000 and 1,000,000 Tutsi civilians and moderate Hutus were brutally slaughtered in a genocidal campaign. This campaign was organized by Hutu hardliners known as the Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi. In the wake of the Rwandan Genocide, the international community, and the United Nations in particular, drew severe criticism for its inaction. Despite international news coverage of the violence as it unfolded, most countries, including France, Belgium, and the United States, declined to prevent or stop the massacres. Canada continued to lead the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda; United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR). Despite specific warnings and requests from UNAMIR's commanding officers in Rwanda, before and during the genocide, the UN Security Council refused to send additional support. The UN Security Council declined UNAMIR's request for authorization to intervene, and even scaled back UNAMIR's forces and authority. The world turned a blind eye to this small African nation's suffering.

The question that arises from this occurrence is whether the guidelines of the UN Peacekeeping need to be revised in order for them to become an effective instrument in conflict ridden countries. By doing so that the possibility for the UN Peacekeeping Corps to finally the proper conditions for long lasting peace.

In order to come to a valid conclusion, I will be doing extensive literary research, internet research, as well as, watch several documentaries on the subject. I hope I will be able to prove my hypothesis to be correct, in that the UN peacekeeping does indeed need to revise their guidelines.

Chapter 1: A History of Rwanda

The Republic of Rwanda is a country located in East-Central Africa. It is surrounded by the countries Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its capital city is Kigali.

1.1 Pre-Colonial Rwanda

In the fifteenth century, one chiefdom managed to integrate several of its neighbors, hereby establishing the Kingdom of Rwanda. This kingdom ruled over most of what is now considered Rwanda....
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