May 22-28: Realpolitik Wins; Europe Shies Away From Rwandan Slaughter

by samanthakh ~ March 17th, 2010. Filed under: Chapter 20: The Consolidation of Nation States.

I came across this article on the databases here at UMW when doing some research for my IR paper. It relates Realpolitik, the politics von Bismarck practiced, with the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Enjoy!

“The tragedy unfolding in Rwanda has shaken Europeans just as it has shaken people around the world. But although the mass killings there have sparked much sympathy and anguish, they have not led to calls for European intervention.

Exasperated by the refusal of most countries to send troops, United Nations Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said, “Unfortunately, let us say with great humility, I failed. It is a scandal. I am the first one to say it, and I am ready to repeat it.”

European governments have been sobered by their inability to control spiraling violence in the Balkans and in Somalia. With domestic economic worries uppermost among national concerns and without superpower rivalries to instill global meaning into regional conflicts, interest in Africa has faded dramatically. Europeans, like Americans, are unwilling to risk lives or funds to save the victims. Mr. Boutros-Ghali blamed the reluctance on “donor fatigue” among countries now being asked to support 17 such operations.

With more than 200,000 Rwandans dead, the United Nations recently agreed to send a 5,500-member peacekeeping force. But only three countries, all African, have agreed to contribute, offering 2,200 troops. No country has yet offered to finance the force. STEPHEN KINZER

Photo of Boutros-Ghali.

Late Edition – Final



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