International Relations

Rwanda - Between Justice and Lawlessness

Seminar Paper, 2007

8 Pages, Grade: B



1. Introduction

2. Genocide in Rwanda
2.1 Definition of Genocide
2.2 Genocide in Rwanda

3. Justice
3.1 The International Crime Court
3.2 International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)
3.3 Problems with Justice

4. Conclusion

5. Literature

1. Introduction

Still genocide in Africa has not received the same attention as genocide in Europe or in another part of the world. That might be a reason, why in 1994 in Rwanda over one million people could get killed but nobody helped to stop the genocide there. But one the other hand it is also very hard to define what genocide is and even though tousands of people died it is also difficult to adjudge the culprits.

I would like to discuss why genocide is so elusive. Therefore I use the example of genocide in Rwanda in 1994 when around one million Tutsis and moderate Huts were killed during a period of only 100 days.

Such a large amount of people in such a short time demands a good preparation and organisation. A lot of people are neccessary to acchieve whats happend in Rwanda. That makes it very difficult for the justice to find the right preparators, especially after the ending of the war – the so called ‘post-conflict’ situation and there are a lot of new factors which can increase a new situation of violence.

But at first I will give a short definition about genocide in general before I relate it to that special case in Rwanda.

Also in the second part of my assignment I will specify on the conflict in Rwanda and emphasise how the International Crime Court or rather the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is working especially when it’s about post-conflict justice and which difficulties they have when it is about judgement in a genocide-case.

2. Genocide in Rwanda

In this first part of my assignment I give a short definition about genocid and the origin of the word. But the main focus should be the description of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

2.1 Definition of genocide

Genocide is defined as mass-killing of people of a special “national, ethnic, racial or religious group.”[1] That happens during the whole history but the first definition of the item was given during the Second World War by a jewish-polish lawyer named Rafael Lemkin.

The roots of from the word ‘genocide’ derives from the greek word genos for family, tribe or race and the latin word –cide for killing. He used the word ‘genocide’ the first time in ‘ Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation - Analysis of Government - Proposals for Redress (1944).’ There he defined genocide as a coordinated plan to destruct a national group with aiming the annihilation of the group itself. That means not the realisation of destruction of a whole group is essential, it is sufficient if there is a plan of masskilling a special group.


[1], found March 27th 2007

Excerpt out of 8 pages


International Relations
Rwanda - Between Justice and Lawlessness
International Relations
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
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International Relations, Internationales Recht, UNO, Strafgerichtshof, Ruanda, Afrika, Genocide, Völkermord, Genozid, Internationale Beziehungen, Rwanda
Quote paper
Anne Gehrke (Author), 2007, International Relations , Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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