Should soldiers from either side be tried in criminal courts and punished criminally? Why or why not, based on theoretical
perspectives from class?
Refer to at least three philosophical perspectives, at least two from the second half of class. For each theoretical perspective 1) describe the theory and what main points it values, 2) discuss facts that would be relevant to those main points, 3) take on opinion on the policy or state what the policy should be based on that theory.
(overview from Wikipedia) :
The Rwandan genocide[3] (Links to an external site.) occurred between 7 April and 15 July 1994 during the Rwandan Civil War (Links to an external site.).[4] (Links to an external site.) During this period of around 100 days, members of the Tutsi (Links to an external site.) minority ethnic group, as well as some moderate Hutu (Links to an external site.) and Twa (Links to an external site.), were slaughtered by armed militias. The most widely accepted scholarly estimates are around 500,000 to 800,000 Tutsi deaths.[5] (Links to an external site.) Estimates for the total death toll (including Hutu and Twa victims) are as high as 1,100,000.[2] (Links to an external site.)
In 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (Links to an external site.) (RPF), a rebel group composed mostly of Tutsi refugees, invaded northern Rwanda from their base in Uganda (Links to an external site.), initiating the Rwandan Civil War. Neither side was able to gain a decisive advantage in the war, and the Rwandan government led by President (Links to an external site.) Juvénal Habyarimana (Links to an external site.)[6] (Links to an external site.) signed the Arusha Accords (Links to an external site.) with the RPF on 4 August 1993. Many historians argue that genocide against the Tutsi had been planned for a few years. However, Habyarimana’s assassination (Links to an external site.) on 6 April 1994 created a power vacuum and ended peace accords. Genocidal killings began the following day when soldiers, police, and militia executed key Tutsi and moderate Hutu military and political leaders.
The scale and brutality of the genocide caused shock worldwide, but no country intervened to forcefully stop the killings.[7] (Links to an external site.) Most of the victims were killed in their own villages or towns, many by their neighbors and fellow villagers. Hutu gangs searched out victims hiding in churches and school buildings. The militia murdered victims with machetes (Links to an external site.) and rifles (Links to an external site.).[8] (Links to an external site.) Sexual violence (Links to an external site.) was rife, with an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 women raped (Links to an external site.) during the genocide.[9] (Links to an external site.) The RPF quickly resumed the civil war once the genocide started and captured all government territory, ending the genocide and forcing the government and génocidaires (Links to an external site.) into Zaire (Links to an external site.).
The genocide had lasting and profound effects. In 1996, the RPF-led Rwandan government launched an offensive into Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Links to an external site.)), home to exiled leaders of the former Rwandan government and many Hutu refugees, starting the First Congo War (Links to an external site.) and killing an estimated 200,000 people (Links to an external site.). Today, Rwanda has two public holidays to mourn the genocide, and “genocide ideology (Links to an external site.)” and “divisionism” are criminal offences (Links to an external site.).[10] (Links to an external site.)[11] (Links to an external site.) International Day of Reflection on the Rwandan genocide is observed globally on 7 April every year.[4] (Links to an external site.) Although the Constitution of Rwanda (Links to an external site.) claims that more than 1 million people perished in the genocide, according to Jens Meierhenrich (Links to an external site.), this number is an RPF fabrication which has been refuted by the scientific literature.[12] (Links to an external site.)[13] (Links to an external site.) (From Wikipedia’s entry on the Rwandan Genocide)
(From Human Rights Watch):
The Rwandan genocide was exceptional in its brutality, in its speed, and in the meticulous organization with which Hutu extremists set out to destroy the Tutsi minority.
Twenty years on, a significant number of perpetrators of the genocide, including former high-level government officials and other key figures behind the massacres, have been brought to justice. The majority have been tried in Rwandan courts. Others have gone before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) or domestic courts in Europe and North America.
Rwanda’s community-based gacaca courts finished their work in 2012; the ICTR is expected to complete its own in 2014; and with new momentum for prosecution of Rwandan genocide suspects in foreign countries, the 20th anniversary of the genocide provides an opportune moment to take stock of progress, both at national and international levels, in holding to account those who planned, ordered, and carried out these horrific crimes.
This paper provides an overview of these achievements, focusing on progress made in the area of justice. Recognizing efforts made over the past 20 years to ensure accountability for the crimes committed during the genocide, Human Rights Watch encourages Rwanda and other countries to build on these achievements. The paper also recalls the shameful international failure to prevent the genocide in Rwanda and reflects on the lasting impact of the genocide on the broader Great Lakes region of Africa, with a particular focus on accountability. (From Human Rights Watch’s Report “Justice After Genocide”– (Links to an external site.))