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An Analysis And Evaluation Of The United Nations Peacekeeping Role In Rwanda

4020 words - 16 pages

An Analysis and Evaluation of the United Nations Peacekeeping Role in Rwanda

"Rwanda is the most shameful example of recent failure by the
international community" (House of Commons, 1998/99: v). Under the
peacekeeping leadership of UN more than 800,000 people were killed in
less than 100 days in 1994 (Shawcross 2000). This systematic killing
remains a bitter memory for all who witnessed and survived it.
Rwandans killed Rwandans, decimating the Tutsi population of the
country and also targeting moderate Hutus. Lamentably the peacekeepers
did not prevent the genocide, nor did they stop it once it started.
This failure has left deep wounds within Rwandan society, and
seriously questioned their relationship with the international
community, in particular the United Nations (UN 2000). These wounds
need healing, for the sake of peace and tranquility. Establishing the
truth is a necessity under the circumstance, especially for the United
Nations and also for all those, wherever they may live, who might be
vulnerable to future genocide.

In seeking to establish the truth about the role of UN during the
genocide this article sets out to analyse and evaluate the role of the
various UN systems, in particular the Secretary-General, the
Secretariat, the Security Council and the Member States of the
organisation, during the peacekeeping process. The article will be
divided into three parts. The first part will outline a brief
background of the UN Peacekeeping operations while the second analyzes
an overview of the UN Peacekeeping operations in Rwanda. This will
provide the basis for an evaluation of the UN peacekeeping role. The
analysis will focus in particular on inputs and outputs (to measure
progress against plan and targets) of the UN, while evaluation will be
on outcome (measuring objectives attainment and UN performance) and
impact (assessing the effects of the peacekeeping process on the
Rwandan people). In the conclusion, the essay will endeavour to draw
out key issues for UN failure in the Rwandan genocide and make
recommendations for future interventions.

1.0 General Background of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations
231

"Collective security is the crowning UN Principle. The Charter's very
first article charges its members in the interests of maintaining
international peace and security"(Whittaker, 1995). The term
"Peacekeeping" not found anywhere in the UN Charter came into
existence in May 1948 when the Security Council decided to establish a
field operation to supervise a fragile truce in the first Arab-Israeli
war (Wiseman 1985). Today, hundreds of thousands of individuals, the
vast majority of them soldiers, have served in 53 UN peacekeeping
operations (UN 2000).

Traditionally, the peacekeeping operation involved the deployment of
primary military...

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