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The failure of the Arusha Process in the Rwandese Crisis

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The negotiation phase: A commended process, but an imbalanced final text.
    1. The design of the negotiation process in itself was very good.
    2. The participants.
    3. The choice of an inclusive peace process.
    4. A comprehensive strategy.
    5. The final text.
    6. The transitional institutions.
    7. The new national army.
    8. Explanation of the imbalanced accords.
  3. The failure of the implementation of the accords: A multi-level responsibility.
    1. The unamir, key issue of the implementation of the accords.
    2. A minimalist design.
    3. The unamir was not continuously adapted to the evolution of the situation.
  4. The strengthening of the hutu extremists directly caused the failure of the arusha process.
    1. By developing their influence, the hutu extremists directly impeded the implementation of the arusha accords.
    2. The settlement of a climate of violence.
    3. The diplomatic failure.
    4. The weakness of the unamir greatly facilitated the extremists' work.
  5. Conclusion.

The 1994 Rwandese genocide happened in the following of a civil war which had begun more than three years earlier. In October 1990, the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF), which gathered the Rwandese who were refugees in south Uganda (mostly since the decolonization period at the end of the 1960s), launched an attack against the north of Rwanda in order to obtain the right to return to this country and the share of the political power. From then on, regional actors involved in discussion between the RPF and the government of Rwanda (GoR), and in monitoring the successive cease-fires. But as no sustainable solutions were found in this way, the international community intervened and, in June 1992, the United States and France brought the two parties in a long negotiation process: The Arusha process. After more than one year of discussion, these peace negotiations ended with the signature of agreements by both parties on the 4th August 1993. These one are considered as ?a virtual textbook case of modern conflict management?. However, its aim of a long-term resolution of the conflict was obviously not reached, since the genocide took place eight months after its signature.

[...] The final failure of the Arusha process was consequently partly due to the unacceptable contends of the accords for the ex-ruling powers. II. The failure of the implementation of the accords: a multi-level responsibility The Arusha accords were signed on the 4th August 1993. The period of their implementation began then, depending highly on the UN force that the final text called for. A confidence-making sign was the lasting and continuous collaboration of the RPF and the GoR on the demobilization program. [...]


[...] The problem is rather that the details of the mandate given to the UNAMIR were really narrow in comparison with what the Arusha accords asked for. Indeed several tasks were missing in the UNSC mandate, in particular the securization of the whole country (UNAMIR was only in charge of the security within Kigali), the track of arms flows, and the neutralisation of the armed gangs. In a nutshell, concerning the UNAMIR, the disjuncture between the mediation and the implementation phases is obvious: the negotiators asked for a UN mission that was more important than what the UNSC was ready to provide. [...]


[...] The UNSC is then partly responsible for the development of the violent atmosphere in Rwanda, which was one of the reasons of the failure of the implementation of the accords. Furthermore, the lack of non-military personnel impeded the work of the UNAMIR. Indeed, it had only a small civilian police and no human rights cell, and so had only limited ability to investigate about violent incidents. It even did not have any official intelligence unit. Belgium had to pay for a small and unofficial one. [...]

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