source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
published: 5 April 2014
We live, 20 years after the murder of an estimated 800,000 people, in the shadow of Rwanda. And this weekend, on the anniversary of the start of the Rwanda genocide, is a good time to contemplate the significance of that shadow.
A tiny country, in the middle of Africa, less than one tenth the size of the UK: how come Rwanda forced the rewriting of the rules of international behaviour?
One word sums it up: shame. Shame that the peoples of the rich world stood by, saw what was happening, and did nothing to stop the slaughter. And out of that shame grew a new doctrine, solemnly endorsed by the United Nations.
It became known as the responsibility to protect (R2P in diplo-speak), and it was drawn up, in the words of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect, “to address the international community’s failure to prevent and stop genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”.
GENOCIDE AND JUSTICE: Rwanda 20 years on
4 April 2014