The Morality Of War And Burundi's Just Genocide Theory

1333 Words 5 Pages
When the topic of war is brought up, there is always going to be mixed feelings. Regularly questions are raised about the morality of war and the conditions that justify it. If you were to tell people that war was being waged due to divine command or cultural relativism, it simply wouldn’t fly or be accepted. Rather, it must meet certain conditions that are coherent with the natural law. Those conditions are outlined in “Just Genocide Theory”.
The first criteria that should be met before going to war is that a genocide must be declared and waged by a legitimate authority. By definition, a genocide is the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation. A legitimate authority must say it
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How does one determine a just cause? In most genocide cases, including the one from the documentary, the cause is ethnically motivated. With the Rwanda genocide, Hutu militia groups began slaughtering Tutsis and moderate Hutus because of increased pressure and frustration that was finally ignited when a plane carrying Burundi’s president was shot down over Kigali. The third point is that a genocide must be the last resort; meaning that all other options must be tired before resorting to a genocide. When is the declaration of such an event justified as the last resort though? What else could have been done to prevent this type of event? Within the time frame of the Rwanda genocide, the international community remained mostly on the sidelines. An article from talked about the U.N Security Council’s vote in April of 1994 which led to the withdrawal of a large majority of a peacekeeping operation that was created to aid with the previously mentioned governmental transition of shared power. Of course, the genocide occurred after the presence of the peace keeping force disappeared, and by the time they came back, the genocide had already been carried out. It’s sad to look back at what possibly could have been prevented if only forces were kept there in Rwanda. Also why isn’t this more of a well-known topic? This didn’t even take place that long ago and yet the majority of …show more content…
The book talks about how the purpose of these conditions is to confirm that war is humanely piloted and is directed toward the establishment of enduring peace and justice. The first criteria within this section is that noncombatants should not be intentionally targeted. This is put in place to try to ensure that that those who are not directly involved in the war are not harmed. If forces attack non-combatants or take things too far, then they no longer are committing acts of war but rather acts of murder. The whole idea is for agents of war to be responsible for their actions. The second criteria is that the tactics used must be in proportion to the injury being addressed. Just like with “Jus ad bellum” there are questions that exist concerning each of these rules. How does one determine the proportionality of the injury being addressed? More than a million Tutsi should have received no harm then if this rule was followed as they were not causing any direct physical harm to the Hutu. Yet they were massacred by the hundreds of thousands both in the church and in the stadium. When the tables turned however and the RPF gained power, then the case could be made that they could use excessive force back on the Hutu in order to get even. Lastly, Prisoners of war must be treated humanely. Again this is very controversial topic that brings

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