Genocide in Rwanda


genocide, in international law, the intentional and systematic destruction, wholly or in part, by a government of a national, racial, religious, or ethnic group. Although the term genocide was first coined in 1944, the crime itself has been committed often in history. It was initially used to describe the systematic campaign for the extermination of peoples carried on by Nazi Germany, in its attempts in the 1930s and 40s to destroy the entire European Jewish community, and to eliminate other national groups in Eastern Europe. In 1945, the charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal listed persecution on racial or religious grounds as a crime for which the victorious Allies would try Nazi offenders. It established the principle of the individual accountability of government officials who carried out the extermination policies. The United Nations, by a convention concluded in 1949, defined in detail the crime of genocide and provided for its punishment by competent national courts of the state on whose territory the crime was committed, or by international tribunal. Charging that the convention violated national sovereignty, especially in its provision for an international tribunal and in the potential liability of an individual citizen, the United States did not ratify it until 37 years later, in 1986. An international tribunal was established to prosecute genocide cases in the aftermath of the slaughter of more than 500,000 Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994. In 1995 top civilian and military Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat leaders were charged by an international tribunal with genocide in the killing of thousands of Muslims during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

See studies by I. L. Horowitz (1981), L. Kuper (1982), E. Staub (1989), S. Power (2001), and D. J. Goldhagen (2009).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Genocide in Rwanda: Selected full-text books and articles

Genocide and Crisis in Central Africa: Conflict Roots, Mass Violence, and Regional War By Christian P. Scherrer Praeger, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Part II "The Genocide in Rwanda and Its Consequences"
The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective By Robert Gellately; Ben Kieman Cambridge University Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 15 "Modern Genocide in Rwanda: Ideology, Revolution, War, and Mass Murder in an African State"
A Century of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts By Samuel Totten; William S. Parsons; Israel W. Charny Routledge, 2004 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 13 "The Rwanda Genocide"
Responding to Rwanda: Accountability Mechanisms in the Aftermath of Genocide By Scharf, Michael P Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 52, No. 2, Spring 1999
Peacemaking in Rwanda: The Dynamics of Failure By Bruce D. Jones Lynne Rienner, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "War and Genocide: History of the Rwandan Conflict"
Protection against Genocide: Mission Impossible? By Neal Riemer Praeger, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "The Three P's of Genocide Prevention: With Application to a Genocide Foretold -- Rwanda"
Re-Imagining Rwanda: Conflict, Survival and Disinformation in the Late Twentieth Century By Johan Pottier Cambridge University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Build-up to War and Genocide Society and Economy in Rwanda and Eastern Zaire"
Annihilating Difference: The Anthropology of Genocide By Alexander Laban Hinton University of California Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "Recent Developments in the International Law of Genocide: An Anthropological Perspective on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda"
Rwanda: A Nation Resilient in the Aftermath of Genocide By Totten, Samuel Social Education, Vol. 70, No. 7, November-December 2006
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