Genocide is the organized attempt to destroy systematically a politically or ethnically defined group (Wood, 2001). Rwanda’s genocide, like Bosnia’s, has deep roots in politically fueled inter-ethnic distrust and fear (Prunier 1995).
The suspicious deaths of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi in April 1994 triggered a sudden and massive bloodletting, primarily by Hutus against Tutsis. Lemkin coined the term ‘genocide’ to describe the Nazi-led extermination of Jews. He argued that genocide is not only a war crime, but rather a more threatening ‘crime against humanity itself’ (Destexhe, 1994). Rwanda and Bosnia bear a historical fact on genocide acts which provoked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to put in place extraordinary legal mechanisms to prosecute war criminals involved. UN members held the opinion that mass atrocities are a geopolitical threat to the UN’s fundamental mission to preserve inter-national peace and stability. In a bid to ensure peace and stability among nations a resolution was passed calling for the creation of an international tribunal those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law. This was in relation to the killings that occurred in former Yugoslavia since 1991.
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