United Nations Could Have Done Term Paper

Length: 8 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Drama - World Type: Term Paper Paper: #32619042 Related Topics: United Nations, Rwanda, Genocide, Peacekeeping
Excerpt from Term Paper :

" (Gellately; Kieman, 2003, p. 325) This was the real thing: more than a half-million Tutsi murdered- three-quarters of the population -- and the attempt by the Rwandan state and the Hutu majority to exterminate every last Tutsi." (Gellately; Kieman, 2003, p. 325)

The question is if this can be compared to the general holocaust and the Armenian genocide, which the world watched helplessly, could the massacre have been prevented? The question is more academic. Having seen that the clashes between ethnic groups, and those who are opposed to share the natural bounties with a community they regard as unnecessary probably the total prevention of the genocide design is not possible. Can an action by the authority like the UN then have mitigated it? The answer to that question lies in the way the nations view the sovereignty and the need for intervention form the UN. It is impossible to decide at what point of time in the course of the event the intervention is called for, and when it becomes the destruction of the nation's sovereignty. The destruction in Rwanda is a case of "total domestic genocide" (Gellately; Kieman, 2003, p. 325) in reality the Rwandan genocide is a state-sponsored mass murder based on ideology and is a hallmark of this century. (Gellately; Kieman, 2003, p. 325)

Can genocide be prevented? Is that event in anyway our problem? This becomes important to any country when the interests of the country are affected in someway by the instability in the strife torn nation. Similarly the need to do so and the popularity or unpopularity it might lead to and the economic costs are the concern of nations. The nebulous international community is an assumed entity and therefore organizations that are created with such an entity also are incompetent in the wake of a crisis. While scientific systems warn us of natural disasters some social monitoring must be in place to warn the world before hand of a rogue governments plan so that the community can be prepared. (Riemer, 2000, p. 43)

The reality:

The face of reality which if uncovered and has been literally uncovered by a number of investigators show the correctness of the theory that there does not exist an independent entity like the UN security. In fact the researchers have cone to show that it is nothing but the creation of western powers to suit their interests. The Security Council for example is in the power of the veto wielding nations who have put it to good use. Linda Melvern argues that "The U.N. commander in Rwanda had informed the Security Council early on that he could quickly halt the genocide with a mere 2,500 well-equipped troops." (Confessore, 2000, p. 8) However the U.S. was unwilling to support and only Ghana volunteered soldiers. The argument advanced by the investigative journalist shows how...


The enquiry has brought about the startling discovery that officials of the French and Egyptian governments and especially the French government supplied arms to the "genocide planners before, during, and even after the massacres. Worse, French troops intervened decisively on behalf of the killers at least twice: once in 1993 to halt an incursion by the Paul Kagame-led Rwandan Patriotic Front, which might have prevented the genocide entirely, and again in 1994, allowing the Hutu leaders to escape to France and their foot soldiers to Zaire" (Confessore, 2000, p. 8)

Egypt also was a seller of arms and it was this that prompted the other powers to deliberate long in the Security Council and renders the aid ineffective to aid the western powers that had a stake in the happenings. The Western countries and the U.S. termed it a civil war and wanted the UN forces to conduct a cease fire. The enormity of the massacre came to light only after the media required knowing and the castigation of the inefficiencies of the U.N. And other international organizations brought the world's attention to this terrible tragedy. The question is if the intervention could have prevented the genocide. We can in the light of the above arguments answer with an emphatic no. We have to consider the affair from the points-of-view of individual nations about their role in the peace keeping effort because the UN forces can thrive only on the resources provided by the individual nations. We have seen that only Ghana came out with little supplies, and the major powers chose to remain aloof and refused to incur costs and send troops. If that is so then what is the theory of the UN forces intervening? The nations whose interests that need be furthered in the nation that is about to attempt a genocide simply call it a civil war and refuse to interfere with the nation's sovereignty, especially of the lesser endowed nations. Therefore the UN Security force is in truth not an international power or peace keeper and the very question appeared to be superfluous.


The important factor we have to first accede is that research into history especially of liberated colonies like Rwanda and Burundi are concerned victimization occurs within the freed population with the colonizers having minimal or no role. Could the UN presence and a middle power avoid the blood shed and brought in normalcy? The question we wish to ask here is if the UN could have checked the genocide considering that the clashes between the groups will continue. The causes of the clashes are inherent and only a strong and independent authority can check the happenings as in Rwanda. The UN forces are inadequate to respond to any emergency by themselves and we can with the information that certain nations also benefited by the happenings at Rwanda conclude that the intervention by the agency could have had absolutely no effect given the poor resources at its command and a lack of will among the powers that create and carry out the decisions at the security council.


Confessore, Nicholas. 2000. A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda's Genocide. - Review. Washington Monthly, pp: 7-8.

Dorn, a. Walter; Matloff, Jonathan; Matthews, Jennifer. 2000. 'Preventing the Bloodbath: Could the UN have predicted and prevented the Rwanda Genocide?' Journal of Conflict Studies, vol. XX, no. 1, pp: 9-52.

Gellately, Robert; Kieman, Ben. 2003. The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in…

Sources Used in Documents:


Confessore, Nicholas. 2000. A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda's Genocide. - Review. Washington Monthly, pp: 7-8.

Dorn, a. Walter; Matloff, Jonathan; Matthews, Jennifer. 2000. 'Preventing the Bloodbath: Could the UN have predicted and prevented the Rwanda Genocide?' Journal of Conflict Studies, vol. XX, no. 1, pp: 9-52.

Gellately, Robert; Kieman, Ben. 2003. The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective. Cambridge University Press. New York.

Riemer, Neal. 2000. Protection against Genocide: Mission Impossible?. Praeger. Westport, CT.

Cite this Document:

"United Nations Could Have Done" (2008, April 24) Retrieved October 23, 2021, from

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"United Nations Could Have Done", 24 April 2008, Accessed.23 October. 2021,

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