Travel Log 7 “Wise for the World” by Doug Beebe; London, UK

The Rwandan Genocide, which took place for approximately 100 days after April 4th, 1994, came about from the ongoing conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi people (main political party groups) since 1990. The genocide was comprised of mainly the Hutu people, consisting of the Rwandan army, police forces and government backed militias, killing over seventy percent of the Tutsi population, which was approximately twenty percent of the Rwandan population.

The political cartoon that I chose to use that I felt represented this genocide the best was one that depicted the media attention towards the Rwandan Genocide. As you can see in the cartoon, there are mobs of people running into a building that is for the OJ Simpson Press Conference. The media persons running into the building were expressing to one another that they had potentially met each other before, and then proceeded to list the different big headlines that had been in recent news, one being the Rwandan genocide. One person then said “what’s a ‘Rwanda’,” showing that they had never heard of Rwanda as a country no less the immense genocide that had taken place there. The medias negligence to shed any light on the genocide could have definitely played a huge part in the fact that it continued to take place for over 100 days.

7bAfter researching the genocide more in depth and reading an article from unitedhumanrights.org about the genocide I began to understand why there was no attention on this horrific event. The major powers of the world had basically decided to ignore the fact that this was happening and denied the legitimacy of the massive slaughter even though they knew that the Tutsi’s were targeted for elimination by the Hulu’s. What should have happened was further investigation of the situation rather than the constant ‘sweeping under the rug and pretending it isn’t there’ tactic.

On the United Nations website under human rights its explicitly states, “the human rights council is…responsible for the promotion of all human rights around the globe” which includes article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The United Nations should have intervened in the situation or at least investigated the mass slaughter as their duty to uphold human rights around the globe. The main powers of the worlds negligence coupled with the medias attention to more mainstream and popular topics at the time is the reason why the genocide was a genocide.

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