Comparative Criminal Justice
January 30th, 2013
From watching the movie, why do you think the international community allowed the massacre to occur?
The decision of the international community not to intervene in the Rwandan conflict was result of many different factors. Firstly, no country felt like they could justify sending their men and women into harm’s way in order to settle a “local conflict” in a part of the world that most people had probably never heard of and was not important to anyone’s national interests. Secondly, at the time of this conflict Rwanda had a seat on the Security Council and the Hutu led government did all it could to minimize reports of genocide and assured the international community that their government was doing everything it could to quell the violence. These assurances by the Rwandan government gave many countries the excuse they needed to avoid having to expend their lives and resources on what would probably be an unpopular intervention. Lastly, something that was touched on by the movie was the fact that this occurred so closely after the intervention in Somalia which led to the infamous “Black Hawk Down” incident and made both the United States and the UN hesitant to embroil itself in another “local conflict”. Did the international community have a legal obligation to intervene in the Rwandan conflict?
The closest thing the United Nations had to a legal responsibility to intervene can be found in Article 8 of the Genocide Convention of 1948 which stipulated that “any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the United Nations charter, which they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide. Thus, the matter may be brought before the International Court of Justice which may order interim measures of protection” (Schabas). However, the problem that we...
References: Schabas, William A. "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - Main Page." Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - Main Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2013.
Hotel Rwanda. Dir. Terry George. Perf. Don Cheadle, Nick Nolte. Metro Goldwyn Mayer, 2004. DVD.
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