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The Conflictual Nature of the Post-Cold War

            In Westphalian sovereignty, intervention in interstate relations is generally believed to be morally and legally intolerable. However, the vicious conflictual nature of the post-Cold War global system and the necessary humanitarian needs challenged the pillars of state sovereignty and nonintervention. The international society was repulsed by the process of ethnic cleansing in Rwanda, including the United Nations who failed to act upon the Tutsis cry for help. The UN and the rest of the world ignored Rwanda's obvious genocide, resulting in an estimated 800,000 deaths in 100 days. In an anarchic system where states are worried about their own securities, it is important to protect an endangered population when in trouble, even if it means disrespecting state sovereignty to follow through moral responsibilities. In such crises, superstates must step in, but there are legitimate arguments regarding sovereignty that say otherwise, making the conflict and the analysis after the brutal acts much more difficult. .
             The contradiction between the disturbance of a state's independence from foreign interference and the violation of individual rights in said country, is a fine line that must be analyzed thoroughly before it is crossed by outsiders. In the case of Rwanda 1994, states were well aware of their moral responsibility to intervene, but did not because the United States government vowed to stay away from conflict it did not understand which was shadowed after their failure in Somalia (pg 39). The UN was guided by morals to help the civil war in Somalia, but ethical solutions failed them which was why using it as their drive in Rwanda was discouraged by officials (pg 31). States went as far as banning the term "genocide" when explaining Rwanda's environment because it would have forced the international community to take action as stated in UNAMIR. Members of the UN Security Council presented vague proposals when sending in more peacekeepers just to keep themselves from getting physically involved.

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