Date on Honors Thesis

Winter 12-5-2022


History w/ Social Studies Certification

Examining Committee Member

Dr. David Pizzo, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Olga Koulisis, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Eleanor Rivera, Committee Member


The Rwandan Genocide represents a glaring failure of the global community to provide humanitarian protection to targets of ethnic violence and slaughter. The complete indifference displayed by the United Nations provided extremist Hutu leaders with an environment for killing without a threat of foreign intervention. Calls by the leader of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), Roméo Dallaire to reinforce the mission both before and during the slaughter fell upon deaf ears as UN leaders attempted to justify their inaction. Accounts from Rwandan representatives, who at the start of the genocide held a position on the UN Security Council, also failed to shift the UN’s morale compass. The United States' silence throughout the period of genocide is one of the darkest marks on the Clinton administration. In France, an ill-fated "humanitarian" mission was marked with favoritism and acceptance of génocidaires. These actions, or perhaps inactions, are well documented in memoirs of those involved in Rwanda as well as UN documents and have led historians to question the role of the United Nations and other global powers within the context of the Rwandan Genocide.