“In their greatest hour of need, the world failed the people of Rwanda.”

— Kofi Annan. 

The genocide against the Tutsi is known as the Rwandan genocide. The Hutu majority government oversaw the mass slaughter of Tutsi people. In four months of genocide i.e., from April- July 1994 the estimates recorded at least a million deaths. These hundred days could be seen as the most barbaric days in human history after World War II.

The conflict originated as soon as the then Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and his counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi –both Hutus– was shot down. For this, the Hutu extremists held a group of Tutsi exiles, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). The extremists led a well-organised slaughter campaign. It was also suspected that the government too was assisting the extremists for they had the list of dissidents against the state’s policies and killed them.

Ironically, the UN, protector of the future generations from the scourges of war, was a mere spectator. The French forces were accused of not doing enough to protect innocent civilians. Though the French government could have pressurised the Hutu government, the French politicians chose to stay away from the conflict and not to engage in stopping the slaughter in any real sense. Our inability to stop the ongoing conflicts around the world inform us that we have not learned from our collective failure of the Rwanda genocide.