The Rwandan Genocide And The Cold War

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For centuries, if not millennia, the nature of international relations was largely defined through the continued practice of attempting to achieve a nation’s own interests, no matter the cost directed towards other states. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States emerged as the victor of the Cold War and as the new unchallenged global hegemonic power, with no other state able to match its power and influence. This resulted in some experts believing that this would lead to an evolution of the field of international relations, where the international community would finally put aside their differences and work towards a brighter future for all. But, the reaction of the international community to the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, and the invasion of Iraq conducted by both the United States and the United Kingdom in 2003, are arguably the best examples of how these beliefs were unfounded.
One of the elements shared between both events is the role that self-interest played
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During the roughly 100 day period lasting from April 7th to mid-July 1994 an estimated 800,000 people were murdered. The genocide commenced the day after the plane carrying the Rwandan and Burundian presidents was shot down, killing all on board. The two leaders were attempting to broker a peace deal to end the Rwandan Civil War, which saw the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), consisting mainly of Tutsi refugees who fled Rwanda during previous periods of ethnic conflict, fighting against the Hutu government. In an attempt to end the bloodshed, Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana, who was a Hutu, attempted to reach a settlement that would secure the end of the ethnically based conflict. However, some senior Hutu officials within the government were strongly opposed to this plan, and many within the army began to actively plot against the

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