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POLSCI 2I03 (101)
Andrew Lui (26)
Lecture 15

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McMaster University
Political Science
Andrew Lui

Somalia and humanitarian intervention in early 1990s. a much more failed humanitarian intervention occurred in the Rwanda genocide. Humanitarian intervention ties into the ‘responsibility to protect’. Intermediary emerging norms like Ottawa Convention on land mines, as well as the international Criminal Court. Rwanda: 10 months afterwards there was the need for overseeing the peace accords between various fighting faction between the government (Hutus) and the fighters RPF (Tutsis), the general seeing over this was Romeo Dallaire. This is significant not in terms of what happened on ground in Rwanda, but also how it affected Canadian policies. After the failure of Somalia, there was very little appetite for intervention by Western governments. 30,000 troops were sent to Somalia without proper training about how to deal with the warlords and what was happening there. After the death of the 18 American Soldiers, Bill Clinton withdrew the troops in 6 months. Only 450 individuals were given to Dallaire to attempt to see the peace accords with used vehicles donated by countries around the world, not enough ammunition for target practice, very few trained (Bangladeshis, Ghanais, very few Canadians because they were in Yugoslavia). The troops most practiced and trained were the Belgians who were the former colonizers, people felt lots of resentment towards them. During colonial times Belgians divided the countries into Hutus and Tutsis, it was fabricated. It had much to do with class and their particular position in terms of labour. Yet the Belgians immediately divided the country into ethnicity, they gave them identity cards to show they were Hutus and Tutsis. Tutsis features were more European like. Tutsis were the minority and the Hutus were majority; the Belgians ensured the small population had a stronger hold than the majority. But after independence things were reversed, there was lot of resentment towards the Tutsis and the Belgians. This tension bubbled in to something big despite the fact that there was a peace agreement on table. There were certain individuals extreme Hutu and Tutsis who didn’t want to see those peace accords being followed through. Nonetheless, the way it was portrayed in the Western media was that it was a tribal conflict, much more black and white, there was Hutus and Tutsis, and they are against one another; another African mess. Most of the public did not understand that it was a fabricated and socially constructed thing, it was not natural or real. There were certain individuals/pockets who were benefitting from the civil war. A Hutu Colonel shooting down the presidential plane who was a Hutu. So they were not monolithic, Hutus and Tutsis were not the same even in themselves. Estimated death between 800,000 – 1.5 million, it was a systematic attempt from one side to eradicate the other, this was a genocide. However the international community did not want to use the genocide term, the 1948 genocide convention sanctioned by the UN stipulated that Chapter 7 under the obliges the international community to intervene. The choice weapon in the Rwanda genocide was guns, or machetes. Over the course of 100 days almost a million people were perished by machetes, guns, etc it was systematic meaning they had a list of people who were either Hutus or Tutsis. They announced it on the radio where these people were hiding and killed them. All the while the UN and western countries refused to send more troops and refused to call it a genocide. At one point they ordered Dallaire to cease his operations to withdraw all UN troops from Rwanda. He actually defied orders, as a soldier following orders is everything. Even as a general you report to an elected official, your job is to operationalize a mandate. The mandate given to Romeo Dallaire was a weak contingent who could not fire unless fired upon. Imagine a UN troop killing a person with machete and you cannot do anything about it, because that person is not attacking you. You did have the French and Italian selling huge battalions for the sole purpose of showing its their country. At the same time you have the French government helping the genocide happen, planes from France came and provided the government militia with weapons. All this cumulated in the Rwanda genocide because the UN and Western countries were not willing to get involved. Lessons: immediately very little, they saw it as African tribalism and the world need not intervene in another African mess. As we know now from people on the ground and Dallaire that the world community could have done things differently and prevent the genocide but the world did not want to at that particular instance. So what could the world do differently and arm itself with new institutions to deal with post-war threats, threats on humanity? There were conjunctions with UN to try to deal with these threats. Ottawa convention Land Mines: most land mines are very cheap to produce, generally cost as little as $3 but take roughly $1000 to remove because you have to train personnel and equip them with the proper protection and tools to disarm the land mines. Most of them are ineffective as wear fighting machines during times of war. Most people affected by the land mines are civilians after the war. This is because you scatter them about randomly, many a times from helicopters and planes. So during peace time you go back to the land and do something with the land that was idle during the war. In war-torn counties, and poor countries many of the farmers are women and children who become a targ
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