The Rwanda genocide took lives of up to a million people within three and a half months starting from April 1994. This genocide has been classified amongst the greatest human rights calamities of all times. The genocide's first phase began in January to April 6, 1994, when a plane crashed killing the then Rwandan president, Juvenal Habyarimana. President Habyarimana was a Hutu who was not committed to the Arusha accords which were supposed to end the three-year-old civil Hutu government and the Tutsi opposition, Rwandan Patriotic Front war. President Habyarimana temporized the accords' implementation at all steps. In a calamity of this extent, the international community responded to it and the preceding warning signals. This was because Rwanda had been the center of global attention and negotiation for several years before the disaster. Thence, assistance was offered by communities such as the Organization of African Union (now AU) that deployed 50 military men to monitor the supposed cease-fire and to help end its civil war. Other communities included foreign donors including the EU, Belgium, and the US, which haled Mr. Habyarimana to dialogue with political opponents (Richburg, K., 1994).
The US Involvement and Limitations
Although being the most powerful nation globally, the United States was unable to stop the Rwandan genocide from occurring due to its bureaucratic principles and its deciding structure. The US also had a distressful experience in Somalia that left 18 U.S. marines dead, early in 1990. Under the Clinton administration, the U.S reacted with vitality and ingenuity during the war's fifth phase which saw many Rwandese flee to the neighboring nations. The U.S. also deployed soldiers in Rwanda and the adjacent Zaire to stop a cholera outbreak and to provide amenities such as water, food, shelter and medicine to refugees and displaced persons, and to examine refugee camps. The White House, the Pentagon and the State Department were also very keen on the humanitarian issues that were facing Rwanda during the genocide (Wittkopf, R., Kegley, J., & Scott, W., 2003).
However, the Rwanda genocide case was somehow downplayed by the U.S administration by diplomatically slowing down efficient involvement by U.N. peace forces. The U.S's stand was based on bureaucracy of the administration. This decline of the U.S to deal with the genocide showed how much Americans mistrusted peacekeeping in Africa, especially so due to the previous loss of American military in Somalia. The U.S. generally withdrew from African nations' peace keeping, particularly in countries without strong domestic constituency. Among the failures of the U.S. participation in the Rwanda conflict was on the country's socioeconomic status and that of the neighboring countries (Richburg, K., 1994).
The chief designate Madeleine Albright convinced Washington to let only a small number in the force to assist in the crisis, making it further impossible for expansion of the troops' efforts to protect the numerous Tutsi who were sheltered in schools and churches all over the nation. This also and gave an unmistakable indication to the peace keeping forces that there would be impedimenta to accomplishing their mission.
In conclusion, the U.S officials in the Pentagon were very unyielding in breaching the U.N. presence in Rwanda. Since the Somalia saga and the Rwanda genocide, the Pentagon has been very unwilling to deploy American servicemen to other human rights catastrophes.