The Forsaken People: Case Studies of the Internally Displaced

By Roberta Cohen; Francis M. Deng | Go to book overview

ring problem as societies splinter and the state loses its claim on the loyalties of populations and its centrality in international relations. Although it is to be hoped that genocide will not recur in Rwanda or elsewhere, it, too, offers lessons too important to leave unexamined.


Notes
1.
The unleashing of genocide within the context of the 1990-94 civil war led to confusion--some of it genuine, some of it intentionally obfuscatory--about what was actually taking place. The UN Human Rights Commission's special rapporteur on summary executions sounded an alarm by pointing out that massacres being perpetrated in Rwanda seemed tantamount to genocide: "The cases of intercommunal violence brought to the Special Rapporteur's attention indicate very clearly that the victims of the attacks, Tutsis in the overwhelming majority of cases, have been targeted solely because of their membership of a certain ethnic group, and for no other objective reason. Article II [of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide], paragraphs (a) and (b), might therefore be considered to apply to these cases." See Report of the Special Rapporteur on Summary, Arbitrary and Extrajudicial Executions, E/ CN.4/1994/7/Add. 1 ( United Nations, Commission on Human Rights, August 11, 1993), para. 79. Human rights groups themselves early on identified the problem as "genocide" and urged the signatories to the Genocide Convention to intervene.

By contrast, the United Nations for a number of weeks studiously avoided using such terminology, although the UN secretary-general did inform the international community during the last week of April 1994 that a "genocide" had taken place. "Even in the face of convincing proof of the true nature of the massacres," reported Human Rights Watch, "a few Security Council members refused to acknowledge that they constituted genocide" and effectively prevented use of the term in Security Council resolutions. U.S. officials were specifically instructed to avoid the term. Describing what was happening as a civil war between traditional rivals offered a convenient rationale for avoiding obligations under the Genocide Convention.

2.
Discussions of the Rwandan crisis and the international response have the benefit of a growing number of studies. The most comprehensive is The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience, 5 vols. Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda ( Copenhagen, March 1996). Released after more than a year of work by some fifty-two consultants and researchers, the evaluation contains four separate studies and a synthesis report. Initially proposed by DANIDA (the Danish government's international aid agency), the evaluation was managed by a Steering Committee consisting of thirty-seven members drawn from governments, UN organizations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) who guided the work and provided the $1.7 million necessary to carry it out. The finished product, which includes a useful

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The Forsaken People: Case Studies of the Internally Displaced
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents xi
  • Acronyms xiii
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Notes 14
  • Chapter Two - Burundi: A Patchwork of Displacement 15
  • Conclusions 52
  • Notes 54
  • Chapter Three - Rwanda's Internally Displaced: A Conundrum within a Conundrum 57
  • Notes 89
  • Chapter Four - Liberia: A Nation Displaced 97
  • Conclusions 130
  • Epilogue: 1996-98 134
  • Notes 134
  • Chapter Five - The Sudan: Cradle of Displacement 139
  • Notes 170
  • Chapter Six - Dealing with the Displacement and Suffering Caused by Yugoslavia's Wars 175
  • Conclusion 216
  • Chapter Seven - Internal Displacement in the North Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia 232
  • Conclusion 301
  • Notes 304
  • Chapter Eight Turmoil in Tajikistan: Addressing the Crisis of Internal Displacement 313
  • Conclusions 350
  • Notes 353
  • Chapter Nine Sri Lanka's Vicious Circle of Displacement 359
  • Conclusions 393
  • Notes 396
  • Chapter Ten In Search of Hope: The Plight of Displaced Columbians 399
  • Conclusions and Recommendations 433
  • Notes 440
  • Chapter Eleven Will Peru's Displaced Return? 455
  • Conclusions 486
  • Notes 494
  • About the Contributors 500
  • Index 504
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