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Triumph of Evil


It is often said that evil triumphs when good men fail to do the right thing. This quote is applicable to the Rwanda genocide in 1994. Prior to the genocide, there was information that there would be a countrywide conflict between the two main communities in the country. The US, UN and the EU had prior intelligence from insiders that there would be a nationwide massacre, but the respective bodies and nations failed to act on the intelligence. In addition, western countries did nothing to contain the genocide a situation that saw over half a million people massacred in just a hundred days. The rate of killing at the time is not even comparable to the Nazi situation under the leadership of Hitler. In an apparent reference of how evil triumphed, there were significant pointers indicating that the genocide was avoidable.

Soon after the massacre began, the UN peacekeeping force was withdrawn from the country. This move aggravated the situation since there was no one to protect innocent citizens who were seeking sanctuary. At one point, the US government held an interagency meeting with its security bodies to try and come up with a way to end the conflict. However, the US administration under the leadership of Bill Clinton was reluctant to get involved in the Rwandan situation after a previous intervention in Somalia led to the death of eighteen US Marines. Most security experts are of the view that President Clinton did not want to get involved in yet another African security situation. Looking back at what happened in the African country, it is evident that there were a lot of failures relating to how different nations worldwide and security bodies responded to the conflict.

Bellamy is of the view that the first mistake committed was that western countries failed to act on the intelligence provided regarding the impending genocide. It is this failure to act that was attributed to the death of over 800,000 citizens. In addition, the failure to intervene in the conflict also contributed to the huge number of casualties. At some point, Rwanda as a nation was littered with corpses. Had there be a timely response by various organizations mandated to protect international peace and security, perhaps the genocide could have been averted. The world can only look forwards towards the non-recurrence of what happened in the African country. The Rwanda genocide is a classic example of how evil triumphed when good men failed to do the right thing.