It’s crazy to think that less than a few decades ago the people of Rwanda experienced one of the worst genocides in history. In 1994, nearly 800,000 people were killed over the course of about 100 days. The Hutus were the majority of the population at the time, making up nearly 85% of the population (BBC). They targeted the Tutsi population, who had ruled the African country.
One of the most controversial topics of the time was the participation of the UN during the genocide. They were not given a mandate to stop the killing. In addition, the United States and other countries did not want to get involved with another African conflict, considering the US had just conflict with Somalia. The French were allies of the Hutu government, and said they would set up a safe zone. However, they were accused of not doing nearly enough to stop the slaughter that was occurring right before their eyes. Lists of names were handed out to the Hutu armies, who viciously killed the Tutsi people listed as well as their families.
The cartoon I chose to use shows a Hyena devouring a man who represents Rwanda. In the background an armed guard who represents some major world power (possibly the UN or France), sleeps peacefully. Although he has the means to save the Rwandan man, he turns a blind eye and rests instead. This picture depicts a clear violation of human rights. For example, Article 3 of the Bill of Human Rights says “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (un.org). Clearly the UN and other governments such as the French should be interceding, however they decide to put their own interests before those of others. Article 5 states “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” It is obvious that the Tutsi people are being treated inhumanely, yet the world does not seem to care.
This can all be related to the modern day world with Syria. Each country says it is the responsibility of another to help, and as a result the Syrians are not getting the aide that they require. One day we will look back and say “never again.” Let’s hope that we can one day realize that these nightmares can be stopped before they progress, so that events such as these will never happen again.