Hotel Rwanda - Why Wasn't More Done?

Essay by fenisnadHigh School, 11th gradeA+, June 2005

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Seeing the horrifying, emotionally stirring reenactments of the 1994 Rwandan genocide in "Hotel Rwanda", it is hard for us as individuals to imagine anyone who could sit there and do next to nothing about it, especially the elite nations of the world. However, very little help was administered to Rwanda, which leaves a question begging to be answered: Why didn't people help more?

Those on the right wing of the political spectrum would be quick to point out that the UN did very little about the situation, and they would be right. However, such a statement does not discredit the UN as much as it does the nations that rule it. The UN Security Council has the primary authority to launch or authorize large military interventions. The most powerful members of the UNSC are those holding veto power: the United States, France, Russia, China, and the UK. At the time, the US was under the leadership of Bill Clinton, who was under fire for his role in the Whitewater Scandal, as well as a failed US military intervention in Somalia that left 18 Americans dead.

It has been suspected that the Clinton Administration thought it a bad political move to intervene in Rwanda. Russia had its own problems, including the constant Chechnyan uprising and adjusting to capitalism. China is traditionally isolationist, and doesn't make a habit of participating in UN interventions. France had considerable economic interests in Central Africa because of its large French-speaking population, and feared that the UK and US would try to take away from French influence in the area. This is widely believed to be the underlying cause of French refusal to support an intervention. Also, the Rwandan Catholic Church, which held strong ties to the Hutu elite, pulled strings in Europe in order to prevent...