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Kenny Jones Contemporary World History McDaniel Period 6 When Nazi leader Adolf Hitler rose to power in the

early 1930s, it marked the beginning of one of the most sickening and disturbing events the world has ever seen; the Holocaust. One of the first and by far the most recognizable genocide, the Holocaust was an attempt by the Nazi party to clear the country of Germany from any filth, such as Jews, gypsies, and gays (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). Over 11 million people were killed, 6 million Jews alone, and after World War II world leaders knew that they could not let an event like this ever happen again. On December 9 1948, the UN agreed upon the final text of the rules of international genocide law (ABC-CLIO). The article in question then went on to state the definition of genocide, and that genocides were not politically motivated but racially, nationally, ethnically or religiously motivated to exterminate a specific group. The UN then said that any country of group that breaks said laws will be tried in international court and that any country or people who are being targeted by a government or a group can call on the UN to help stop the genocide. The UN next made their famous proclamation; Never Again referring to the fact that after the atrocities witnessed in the Holocaust the world would never let that happen again (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). Unfortunately, for the world, the UN has not been able to back up their promise, since the holocaust, at least five major genocides have happened with little to no intervention from the UN. When intervention does come, it is often too late or to little. One of the reasons that the UN has a tough time controlling genocides is that as a peacemaking force it has no troops. It must rely on the support of countries to donate troops so that it can maintain control over global situations. In addition, it is very hard to tell the difference between genocide and a politically motivated mass murder: If the UN started to stop political killings then it would infringe on the country sovereignty, then the UN would be all-powerful, and no members of the UN want to see that happen. Even though it is hard to stop genocide it can and must be done, there are simple steps and procedures the world and the UN can take to spot

genocide earlier, to control the situation and to use force, if necessary, to stop it. If the UN and the World can implement new rules, regulations and procedures for preventing and stopping genocide it will help prevent future genocides and could have stopped previous genocides such as the ones in Rwanda, Darfur and Cambodia. The Rwandan genocide took place in 1994 and over 500,000 people died during the course of 100 days (Ferreggo, William). Although many people believe that this conflict came into being because of long standing tribal hatred, the real reason for this genocidal act can be traced back to Belgiums original colonization of Rwanda. For many years before Belgium came to power in Rwanda, the Hutus and the Tutsis lived as one coexisting people. They intermarried, lived side by side and there was no obvious distinction between a Hutu and a Tutsi. However, when Belgium colonized the country they wanted one group to rule over the other, so they did not have to get as involved in the countrys affairs. They issued out race cards, which assigned people as either a Hutu or a Tutsi based on such minute details as the millimeter length of ones nose. They assigned the Tutsis the higher ranking jobs and told them to rule over the Hutus, which created the division between the two seamless ethnicities (Ferreggo, William). A group of Hutu extremists then shot down the president of Rwandas plane, killing him, and then took over radio stations to send propaganda messages to regular Hutus, encouraging them to start killing Tutsis. The coup was swift and calculated and the minority Tutsi population had no way to protect themselves while thousands were killed in the streets, until an army of rebel Tutsis called the Rwandan Patriotic Force came back and killed the Hutu extremist leader, ending the genocide. But why was there even a genocide in the first place? Didnt the UN promise Never again? They had troops in Rwanda, under the leadership of a US general (Ferreggo, William). They could have surged into the situation and bullied the Hutu extremist out of power, but they did not. Sure, they made excuses, they said they were a peacemaking force not an army, they said they werent sure it was a genocide so they couldnt take action, and once they it had been recognized as a genocide the French troops had been taken out and they could not intervene (Ferreggo, William). What about the other countries that signed the document condemning genocide as an international crime? Where were they when they were needed most? They answer is almost more disturbing then the genocide itself. The United States who is supposedly in

support of peoples rights, has assumed the role of world peacemaker. However during the events in Rwanda, all The United States did was stand by and watch. Despite overwhelming evidence of genocide and knowledge as to its perpetrators, United States officials decided against taking a leading role in confronting the slaughter in Rwanda. Rather, US officials confined themselves to public statements, diplomatic demarches, initiatives for a ceasefire, and attempts to contact both the interim government perpetrating the killing and the RP (Ferreggo, William). American diplomats hid behind podiums and suggested peace talks and negotiations while hundreds of thousands of people were being murdered. The American politicians avoided calling it genocide, because they knew that that was the truth, and once it was revealed they would be forced to help (Ferreggo, William). Towards the end of the genocide, the US finally supported the placement of troops in Rwanda helping to stop the atrocities, but however disgusting, disturbing and disheartening this sounds, it is not an isolated incident. Another blatant example of inaction by the UN is evident in Darfur. Darfur is a western portion of the country Sudan in Africa. It is occupied by both black Muslims and Arab Muslims (Darfur Australian Network). Because of lack of resources the people there have gotten progressively poorer since Sudan was founded in the early 1950s. A local up rising by black Muslims catalyzed the long-standing tensions between the two groups. The government of Sudan then responded by supporting an Arab militia known as the Janjaweed to attack and kill the black Muslims in Sudan (Darfur Australian Network). The Janjaweed systematically eliminate their opposition in a clear breach of the genocide code. They will enter a village and cause a frenzy, terrifying everyone away, killing the men left behind and raping the women (Darfur Australian Network). They will then burn down the entire village; displacing those who lived there and The Janjaweed have now made it so there are few villages left in the Darfur region. Up to 400,000 people have already died directly from this real life horror movie (Darfur Australian Network). The government does not intend to stop the Janjaweed but is instead supporting them with money that it has gained from oil found in recent years. Another 3 million people have also been displaced from their homes, a real indicator of just the amount of chaos that the Janjaweed have been creating (Darfur Australian Network). The Sudanese government has receive little to no pressure to protect its citizens and to stop

these horrendous crimes, and without UN forces available to be sent in, UN peacekeepers can only try to negotiate with the people who are doing the killings. Another devastating genocide occurred in the mid 1970s in the small country of Cambodia. A minority communist party, led by Pol Pot, killed over a fifth of the countrys population in a systematic killing of Buddhists, Muslims and Chinese nationalists (Yale Cambodian Genocide). In the parties brief reign it also tried to create a communist state, with devastating consequence, killing over 2 million people because of food shortages (Yale Cambodian Genocide). Even though this was one of the few genocides that happen in a relatively short amount of time, the UN and other peacemaking forces must try to stop these before they get out of hand. The world cannot tolerate crazy dictators who proceed to kill forty percent of their population on a whim. The UN must create new guidelines and regulations so that they can have a better reaction time to attend to atrocities like this. Even after the 1948 convention that declared genocide an international crime and issued Never Again statement, genocides have still haunted the world, with little or no international assistance in most cases. In some cases the UN and other international agencies have acted, but many times too late. This is not good enough, the people of this earth deserve better than empty promises of foreign aid. To effectively start combating genocide the UN must make two large changes into how they address this matter. One, the UN must rethink their process of identifying and classifying large-scale murders as genocides. Debating about minute details over whether or not mass murders are classified as genocides or political killings is insignificant. The UN must instead try to deter all conflicts that have even the remotest chance of turning into genocide. Because as UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan outlined in his 2004 plan on stopping genocide, prevention is better than the cure (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). By eliminating the actual genocide and stopping, the conflict before it even arises the UN can bring better stability into troubled areas. The good news is that people have started to recognize the horrors the genocide brings and have started to campaign for change in the way we deal with it. Kofi Annans 2004 plan exemplifies the progress we have made in this area with a thoughtful and well laid out plan that includes a progressive and intelligent plan of preventing genocides (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum).

However, to change the way we think about genocide in the modern era it will take more than international codes sanctioned by foreign bodies. The entire world must change its culture so that instead of mourning for the loss of victims or feeling sorry, then the people of the world will start to get involved in their own governments. The only way to put political pressure on the policy makers is to make them feel that the people care about this issue, and once we get from inaction to action that will be one big step in the right direction for the world. Moreover, what a glorious day it will be for the us all when we can wake up and say that we live in an accepting, progressive and genocide free world.

Darfur Astrualian Network. "Darfur For Dummies." Darfur Australian Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2011. basics Ferreggo, William, ed. "US and the Genocide in Rwanda." National Security Archive. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2011. < NSAEBB/NSAEBB53/index.html>. United Nations: resolution on genocide (1948)." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2011. Web. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2011. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. "Genocide Timelin." United States Holocaust Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Apr. 2011. < en/article.php?ModuleId=10007095>. Yale College. "Cambodian Genocide." Yale University. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <>