What sort of United Nations response to the Rwanda genocide could be justified under international human rights law?

Twenty-six years ago, the world watched in horror as genocide unfolded in the African nation of Rwanda, as an estimated 800,000 people were killed. Six years after, according to the BBC (see article below) the United Nations accepted responsibility for failing to prevent the genocide. However, there are scholars who have argued that a UN intervention in Rwandan could have been difficult to justify at the time of the genocide.


a) What sort of United Nations response to the Rwanda genocide could be justified under international human rights law?

b) What are the arguments in support or against intervention by the international community in Rwanda to stop the genocide?

c) If the genocide occurred today, what could the UN and the international community have done differently in respect of the genocide?

Present your answer to the questions above in an essay of no more than 1500 words, in an original analysis, identifying human rights theories, concepts, and instruments your arguments are based on.

Kindly cite, very clearly, as end notes, the articles, books or other documents you consulted in writing this essay.

The essay will (largely) be graded according to the criteria below:


1: Introduction: The introduction should explain succinctly the significance and context of the topic, what the key concepts are and provides an outline of the essay. It should not contain irrelevant background material.


2. Investigation: You should aim to use sources that present different theoretical approaches, as well as those that enable human rights issues to be understood from different cultural perspectives and contexts.


3: Knowledge and understanding of the topic: You should aim to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of human rights theories, concepts and practices, and your awareness of cultural and other contexts that may affect the ways that human rights theories, issues and practices are explained.


4: Reasoned argument: You should aim to present your ideas in the form of a logical and coherent argument that is relevant to the question. Ideas should be substantiated with factual evidence and examples. Straightforward descriptive or narrative accounts that lack analysis may not usually advance an argument. Demonstrate insight and depth of understanding by producing original, well-justified and substantiated arguments that directly address the question.

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