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Jan 10 Genocide and Justice (Rwanda) Lecture and Readings

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Joseph Wong

Kuperman Rwanda in Retrospect January 102011A Hard Look at InterventionThe US is still searching for a comprehensive policy to address deadly communal conflictsTwo basic principles have achieved some consensus o First US ground troops generally should not be used in humanitarian interventions during ongoing civil wars o Second an exception should be made for cases of genocide especially where intervention can succeed at low costRwanda finds insupportable the oftrepeated claim that 5000 troops deployed at the outset of the killing in April 1994 could have prevented the genocideThe hard truth is that even a large force deployed immediately upon reports of attempted genocide would not have been able to save even half the ultimate victimsPrelude to GenocideRwandan politics were traditionally dominated by the Tutsi a group that once made up 17 of the population o Rest of the population was Hutu o All groups lived intermingled throughout the countryDuring the transition to independence starting in 1959 however the Hutu seized control in a violent struggle that spurred exodus of about half the Tutsi population to neighboring statesFirst decade of independenceTutsi refugees invaded Rwanda repeatedly seeking a return to power o Hutu responded by massacring domestic TutsiStability began to unravel in October 1990 when an expatriate rebel force composed mainly of Ugandabased Tutsi refugees the Rwandan Patriotic Army RPA invaded northern RwandaMilitary advance combined with diplomatic pressure from the international community compelled Habyarimana to agree to share power in the Arusha accords of August 1993Rwandan leader obstructed and tried to modify the powersharing provisions The extremist wing of Hutu party viewed the accords as abject surrender to the Tutsi who they feared would seize the spoils of rule and seek retribution o Trained militias broadcasted antiTutsi hate radio and plotted to kill moderate Hutu leaders and Tutsi civiliansOn April 6 1994Habyarimana plane was mysteriously shot downThe genocide plan was put in motionViolence began on the following day o RadioTelevision Libre des Mille Collinesurged the Hutu to take vengeance against the Tutsi for their alleged murder of the presidentHutu began to attack the homes of neighboring Tutsi attempting to rob rape and murder them and often setting fire to their homesTutsi fled their homes and sought refuge in central gathering placeschurches schools hospitals athletic fields stadiums and other accessible spacesMost of the Tutsis had congregated at such centralized sites throughout the country in groups ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands
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