On the night of April 6, 1994 a plane crashed carrying the Hutu president by the name of Juvenal Habyarimana. His plane was shot down over Rwanda.Hutu extremists put blame on the Rwandan Patriotic Font. The Rwandans denied this, and claimed that the Hutu were making an excuse for the Genocide. Violence became widespread, and the Hutus began to massacre hundreds of thousands Tutsis.
” In their greatest hour of need, the world failed the people of Rwanda,” said former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan. The world responded to this event but most may say to little too late. Most of the world stood on the sidelines during the genocide. The security council provided more than 5000 troops. But, because of the delay and hesitation by the security council, the troops arrived months after the genocide was over leaving the Rwandans out to dry. “Yet, only years after the Nazi-era, millions were sent to their deaths in places such as Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda, and the world once again took too long to act,” added former member of the United States House of Representatives Allyson Schwartz.We had a huge role in the Rwandan crisis.
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The UN and us took on peace missions from 1993 to 1996. After the president was killed, the Canadian general Romeo Dallaire, head of UN peacekeeping, put an urgent request to double his forces. He was told not to engage in the conflict. The UN was tasked with ceasing a fire. They provided security, and supporting humanitarian relief operations.
They took under protection of 40,000 Rwandans. After this though the U.S and UN security council voted to take out 90% of peacekeepers, after 10 Belgians were killed.
That left Dallaire with 450 troops for the rest of the mission, which was not enough to suppress the genocide. “In Rwanda that genocide happened because the international community and the Security Council refused to give, again, another 5000 troops which would have cost, I don’t know, maybe fifty, a hundred, million dollars,” said Lakhdar Brahimi is an Algerian United Nations diplomat. We had some problems with our response to the crisis. We were not prepared enough because we didn’t bring enough troops, and we were in a shortage of equipment. Dallaire had originally given 8000 troops for operations.
It was changed because the US and UK wanted the mission in Rwanda to be small scale. Eventually they changed it to 2,438 troops. Another problem was that the soldiers have little to no training before this deployment. Dallaire wanted $220 million for this operation and the UN wanted to keep cost down so they only gave him $54 million. The problem was that the UN was slow to deploy, and when they did, they didn’t do anything to suppress the genocide. The main problem was that the mission despite the lack of men was planned very poorly. General Dallaire had requested intelligence but told he can’t have it and given very little access to information. This resulted in the mission being planned terribly.
There poor strategy used resulted in problems for them. They were only allowed to use force in self-defense and could not engage in fights. The UN told the suppressing group not to seize weapons as such action went beyond the mission’s restrictions. All of these problems led to the UN not able to suppress the genocide.”If the pictures of tens of thousands of human bodies being gnawed on by dogs do not wake us out of our apathy, I do not know what will,” questioned Kofi Annan.The aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda is immeasurable. Local courts were set up to decipher between victims and those responsible. 130,000 suspects were held in Rwandan prisons after the genocide.
Many soldiers who served in Rwanda suffered from PTSD following the genocide.The UN revamped the operation, which provided humanitarian relief in the aftermath of the genocide. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was setup in Tanzania, after a vote by the UN Security Council. But it only sentenced 61 people. “In all my travels, I’ve never seen a country’s population more determined to forgive, and to build and succeed than in Rwanda,” said Rick Warren American evangelical Christian pastor and author.Rwanda has cleaned up from this terrible event and have moved on from it to become a determined to succeed country.