The situation in Darfur illustrates the difficulties the international community faces when it comes to deal with acts of genocide. Genocide has been defined as a crime in international law, an international Convention has been signed and international tribunals have been created to try individual criminals. The International Criminal Court has jurisdiction to try genocides (there are 4 ratione materiae: the crime of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide ). The recognition of genocide by countries and tribunals has important legal and political consequences that are why there is some reluctance to characterize some events like in Namibia in 1904 or in Armenia in 1905. It is interesting to analyze the Rwandan case of 1994 because it was a key moment of the new signification of genocide, the (absence of) reaction of the world community and the consequences for other cases like Yugoslavia, or now Darfur.
[...] van den Herik, The Contribution of the Rwanda Tribunal to the Development of International Law, (Leiden, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, 2005), p Idem, p. Report of the Commission of Inquiry Established Pursuant to Resolution 885 (1993) to Investigate Armed Attacks on UNOSOM II Personnel, S/1994/653, (New York: United Nations Documents, 1994). UN Security Council, S.C. Res (New York: United Nations Documents, 1994). UN Security Council, Report of the Independent Inquiry into the actions of the United Nations during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, S/1999/1257, (New York: United Nations Documents, 1999), p “France accused on Rwanda killings”, in BBC News October 2006, (online), available from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6079428.stm/, Internet. [...]
[...] This case proved the inefficiency of the UN system, since China and Russia were reluctant to authorize the use of force against Milosevic, but NATO decided to act to avoid the criticisms of a reaction little and too the use of force was not lawful but legitimate, if one considers the responsibility to protect Albanian- Kosovars. The situation of Darfur has been recognized as genocide by numerous political authorities and the UNSC has decided to refer to the ICC Prosecutor to investigate into the events in Darfur. [...]
[...] The civil war in Rwanda opposed two ethnic groups, the Hutus and the Tutsis who had been fighting since the end of the colonial rule. Although the Tutsis had less historical roots in Rwanda than the Hutus, they had been favored by the German and Belgian colons that chose to govern through indirect rule, relying on the Tutsi nobility. After the war, since the Tutsi openly pursued the struggle for independence, the sympathy of the Belgians shifted to the Hutu population group. The ethnic rivalry provoked a civil war in the 1990s that was ended by the Arusha Peace Agreement in 1993 and the deployment of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR). [...]
[...] “France accused on Rwanda killings”, in BBC News October 2006, (online), available from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6079428.stm/, Internet. Websites International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia: (url: http://www.un.org/icty/) International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda: (url: http://www.un.org/ictr/) Peace Pledge Union Information (url: http://www.ppu.co.uk/genocide/g_genocide_intro.html/) Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court, signed on 17 July 1998 and entered into force on 1 July 2002. Idem, art Judith Derenzo and Michael J. Garcia, Genocide: Legal Precedent Surrounding the Definition of the Crime, CRS Report RL 32605, (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2004), p UN General Assembly, G.A. Res. U.N. Doc. [...]
[...] In the case of Rwanda in particular, there was ample opportunity, but little willingness, to take preventive action or to intervene.” In both cases, the international community had failed to prevent massive killings. The creation of those tribunals was however a positive step. It is important to notice that the resolution establishing the ICTY does not use the notion of genocide; but rather of “ethnic cleansing” which shares with the notion of genocide the same goal, i.e. eliminate the persecuted group from a given area, [but] differences exist in the respective perpetrators' intent. [...]
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