How UN secrecy led to tragedy in Rwanda

From the archive: In the August/September 2000 issue, Linda Melvern examined how badly informed decisions and a lack of transparency in the UN Security Council condemned almost a million people to death in the Rwandan genocide.

The World Today Updated 6 November 2020 Published 8 April 2019 1 minute READ

Linda Melvern

On 7 April, Rwanda marked the 25th anniversary of the 1994 genocide that saw an estimated 800,000 Rwandans, or one-tenth of the country’s population, slaughtered over the course of 100 days between April and July 1994.

In the August/September 2000 issue of The World Today,Linda Melvern examined the failure of the international community to intervene and the role of UN Security Council. Blinded by self-interest and distracted by missions in Somalia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN failed to act as signs of genocide mounted. According to Melvern, paralysis in the Security Council in this period was enabled by the secrecy of the council and its meetings.

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