Simrandeep Singh Dhandwal
UN Involvement in Rwanda Conflict
The Rwanda conflict was an ethnic armed conflict between the Hutu-dominated Rwandese government and the Tutsi-dominated rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). The RPF was formed from former refugees that fled Rwanda in prior purges by Hutu’s. They conducted raids in an attempt to gain land and pressure the Hutu-dominated Rwandese government into adopting certain conditions that would allow for more Tutsi representation in the country. The conflict was sparked by the death of the Rwandan president and resulted in over a million casualties over a 100 days, consisting of mostly Tutsi minority of Rwanda, some moderate Hutu that did not agree with the government’s genocidal agenda and a number UN peacekeepers. Following the end of the main killings the challenges for UNAMIR were to maintain the fragile peace, stabilise the government and, most importantly, care for the nearly 4 million displaced persons in camps within Rwanda, Zaire, Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda (Winfield, 1999).
The United Nations dispatched peacekeepers under the banner “United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda” (UNAMIR) to implement a mandate that would bring an end to the hostilities between the two parties. However, before the mandate could properly be implemented, the conflict fully started. The mission was called a failure by most people involved, including the UNAMIR commander Roméo Dallaire; who felt it was supported enough by the United Nations due the fear they felt of failure. Ultimately, UNAMIR was able to make a very minimal impact on helping end the conflict and were only able to help a marginal number of refugees and protect them in the temporary camps. Due this terrible and sudden violence; the United Nations was quick to withdraw its forces and support for peace in the region.
They ultimately felt that the region would be best left solving their own problems. The United Nations, if properly supported by member nations, could have been an effective forum for dealing with...