De-Escalation In Rwanda

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Prior to the Rwandan genocide, the Rwandan population consisted of some eight million people. In 1992, beginning the second week of April, some 800,000 ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed – the majority murdered by civilian militias with the support of government forces. Over the next three months, Rwandans would experience the most accelerated, deliberate human cleansing of known history. The Rwandan genocide did not occur without warning. The violent collapse and subsequent purging of Rwanda necessitated multiple failures, exacerbated by both the domestic government and the international community (IC). This essay will examine the root causes of the massacres and prescribe appropriate measures for de-escalation at
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Ratification by the Soviet Union necessitated the UN ignore the massacres of Russian bourgeoisie and “middle peasants.” Hence social class and economic status are conspicuously omitted from the convention as recognized motives for genocide. Although the UN definition is imperfect, it nonetheless represents international consensus and provides a legal framework for prosecuting the perpetrators of genocide. Gregory Stanton’s publication, “The Ten Stages of Genocide,” identifies ten critical phases during the enactment of genocidal killings. Summarized, these stages are:
1. Classification: All societies have stratifications that separate people into groups by ethnicity, race, religion, and nationality. Polarized societies lacking mixed categories are more prone to enacting genocide. At this stage, Stanton suggests developing inclusive institutions that transcend divisions can reduce social tensions.
2. Symbolization: Names and other symbols are applied to the stratifications. Stanton asserts that neither classification nor symbolization necessarily produces conditions resulting in genocide unless they instigate discrimination and
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Organization: The perpetrators create the framework for enacting genocidal killings. They organize civilian militias and collect weapons. At this stage, Stanton advises the IC to impose embargoes on governments engaging in genocidal behaviors. Militias should be outlawed and independent commissions should be created to investigate human rights abuses and report violations.
6. Polarization: Extremists drive the groups apart with divisive propaganda. Moderate voices are intimidated and silenced. Political officials positioned to prevent the genocide are arrested or killed. Stanton argues for the protection of moderate leaders and targeted sanctions from the IC.
7. Preparation: The dominant group makes plans for the enactment of genocide. Extremists collect weapons, mobilize militias, and attempt to indoctrinate the population. They use euphemisms to disguise their intentions. Arms embargoes must be enforced against the perpetrators and the IC must arrest and charge extremist leaders with “conspiracy to commit genocide.”
8. Persecution: Victims are identified and separated. Death lists are created and genocidal killings begin. At this stage, a genocide emergency must be declared. Armed international intervention should be prepared by major powers and relief groups should be mobilized to support the inevitable refugees and
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