chapter  1
32 Pages

The Setting: The History, Politics and Law of United Nations Engagement with Africa

Intended or not, this could be taken as a comment on the inadequate response on the part of the UN and the international ‘community’ it represented to the events of 1994 in that country. The ‘Rwandan way’ here described (and probably idealized) is a prescription for purposeful intervention as a response to threat, whether at the level of the village or of the international system. The UN’s actual performance in Rwanda, coming in the wake of its inter­vention in Somalia and following the collapse of the peace process in Angola, represented for many another stage in the accumulating ‘failure’ of peace­keeping in Africa in the mid-1990s. It was a perception strengthened by events 1 Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed with Our Families (London: Picador, 1999), p. 34.