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Genocide: The case of Rwanda

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Definition of genocide.
  3. The Hutus and the Tutsis.
  4. The role of UN.
  5. Major failure of the international community.
  6. The ICTY and ICTR.
  7. Conclusion.
  8. Bibliography.

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. [...]

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