Travel Log 7: “Global Responsibility” Part 1 by Micaela Buttner. Gold Coast, Australia

The media and the world completely ignored the events that were occurring during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. In the documentary, Shake Hands with the Devil: Roméo Dallaire, it is clearly depicted how little the United Nations did to stop the genocide. The United Nations sent Canadian general, Roméo Dallaire, to Rwanda to settle the dispute within the country. Dallaire was given no resources or troops to effectively do so, and since then has only felt anger and disappointment. The United Nation preaches about protecting all people, yet they turned their backs on the hundreds of thousands of innocent people that were killed. The political cartoon I chose depicts the Hutu slaughtering the Tutsi, while a member of the UN has his back turned and is speaking to the public. In the cartoon he is saying torturing civilians won’t be tolerated, yet there it is happening right behind him. This perfectly explains what happened during the genocide. The UN had the resources to stop these horrible acts before it got worse, yet they did nothing instead. When Dallaire desperately begged for more people to help, no one did. Instead, the Belgian troops left Rwanda the moment they had the opportunity to.

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Rwanda Genocide, Fall2016

As a global community, I believe it is our duty to help others when in need. If we don’t, then crime and terror groups will continue to prosper. This genocide did not just display how our world turned a blind eye to these events, but it also severely violated The Bill of Human Rights, which so ironically was created by the UN. Arguably, every single human right was violated, but most prominently Article 3 and 5. Article 3 of the declaration states, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Later on in Article 5 it also says, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.” Everyone deserves to have his or her human rights protected, and it was the UN’s job to do so. These Tutsi people were slaughtered solely because of the hatred the Hutu had for them. Their bodies were left right where they were killed; not a single pregnant mother, grandparent or child spared. They were not safe by any means and went through the most horrifying of experiences. The UN did not help due to no one willing to. Once 10 Belgian soldiers fell victim to the Hutu, no country wanted to send in their troops. This is where our world and global community failed to help, when it most definitely could have been stopped.

The United States did not get involved in Rwanda, likely because we get none of our resources from them. Therefore, politically there was no point for them to intervene. I personally do not believe global treatment for these violations has changed. Currently in America, we have our own human rights issue going on and have not made promising improvements. In other parts of the world, such as Syria, genocides are still being ignored. If everyone contributed their resources and troops, then less innocent civilians would be killed.

Works Cited

“Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

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