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Genocide in Rwanda

             In April of 1994, another horrifying chapter in human history was written. The hundred days of slaughter, which has an estimated death toll of around half to a million people is known as one of the largest, most bloodcurdling acts of human indecency. Before imperial powers exercised their influence on Rwanda, the Tutsi and Hutus lived in relative peace and harmony. The boundaries between the two groups were permeable and no such systemic Tusti-Hutu violence existed. That is until German colonial rule introduced European racial theories into Rwanda. Because the Tutsi clans encompassed more European facial features, they were deemed as the natural born local rulers. From this time on ethnic conflicts plagued Rwanda for decades. The conflicts eventually escalated to epic proportions and a genocide sadly occurred. What is almost as troubling is the fact that the world turned a blind eye to a situation that perhaps could have been averted. Warnings and cries for help were ignored because many in the international community saw the issue as being a civil war, not a genocide. The Americans for example were hesitant to call the slayings in Rwanda a genocide. Had they recognized the issue as the systematic and deliberate killing of a nation it would have forced them to intervene. Many believe that the United States were extremely hesitant to enter Rwanda because of the events that transpired a few months earlier during the peacekeeping missions in Somalia and a similar fate in Rwanda would have detrimental effects on the public relations for the Clinton administration. As the west failed to aid in this crisis, the United Nations also failed miserably to contain the conflict. United Nations peacekeepking forces were unable to protect Tutsis seeking sanctuary, and as the massacre spread even further the U.N. eventually decided to withdraw it's forces, leaving the Tutsi refugees for dead.

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