In Rwandan, Africa from April 7 to July 15, 1994 the Rwandan Genocide occurred. The genocide lasted approximately one hundred days as members of the Hutu group tried to eliminate the Tutsi population. It was a beyond brutal time and a humanitarian crisis. By the end of the one hundred days, 70% of the Tutsi population had disappeared.
The cartoon I chose to focus on portrayed the media’s point of view in this humanitarian issue. During the Rwandan Genocide, the media neglected to report its importance and its need of immediate attention. Instead, they focused on trials and other big, but less imperative, events. The cartoon displays how the media swarmed things such as the OJ Simpson trial and reported news on it every day. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Tutsi citizens were being raped and murdered in Rwanda and the rest of the world was ignorant because of a lack of media coverage.
While researching the Rwandan Genocide I came across an article which discussed the media’s involvement in the genocide. After the statistics came out about the amount of people that died during the genocide, the media criticized citizens in other countries for not stepping in and getting more involved. However this article states that the “Western media blame the international community for not intervening quickly, but the media must share blame for not immediately recognizing the extent of the carnage and mobilizing world attention to it” (Kuperman). The media had a responsibility to report on these issues quickly in order for the rest of the world to respond.
I believe that both the media and the global community had a responsibility to protect the human rights of the Tutsi people and work vigilantly to put a stop to the Rwandan Genocide. Under human rights, Article 5, it states, “No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The Hutu group violated basic human rights of the Tutu people through violence, discrimination, and abuse. I wish the global community would have responded more quickly and efficiently. I would like to believe that today through increased technology and social networking that our world is much smaller and human rights issues such as the Rwandan Genocide would surface more quickly and the rest of the world would respond differently.
In middle school and high school, we focused so much on learning, researching, and understanding the Holocaust and its effects on not only Jewish people, but the entire world. We were always taught not to ever let something like that ever happen again in our lifetime. It is shocking to learn about a genocide that happened just years after the Holocaust and see the world’s reaction to it. In the documentary, Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dalliare, I saw history repeat itself again as people from other countries did not intervene to put a stop to the mass killings. Romeo, a United Nation’s general, is conflicted about the United Nation’s role and if they could have intervened more effectively and been able to stop it sooner.