Over one million Tutsi were killed during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi the world was watching when atrocities were being committed, the same thing might happen in Myanmar if no action is taken, United Nations should learn from what happened in Rwanda.
Just like for Rwanda, Tutsi were targeted , they were discriminated based on their nose, height and assets; as abuses went on, over one million Tutsi were killed and thousands of them fled their homes to neighboring countries. Same scenario of the Rohingya, when you look into what is happening in Myanmar; Reports indicate that over 1,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed and over 420,000 have fled their homes ever since the conflict started, Rohingya are being targeted due to their Religion and beliefs, the aim of the attack is to cleanse the Rohingya tribe.
During the 1994 in Rwanda, the United Nations watched silently as Tutsi were being killed, failed to take action be it the humanitarian aids or military actions against the Genocidaires’ force.
When atrocities were being committed against the Tutsi, the international organization never intervened; when some activists alerted the world of the Genocide happening in Rwanda, the United Nations played down the claims, the peacekeeping forces which were sent in Rwanda mostly French, who were more over partners with the Geocidaire regime, never protected people citing their limitations in the mandate; if it wasn’t for the then Rwanda Patriotic Front Army Tutsi could have been killed all.
Same case with the Rohigya, the international organization has been watching what is happening but failed to take action be it the humanitarian aid or military actions such sending peacekeeping forces etc; its only after some activists and television networks such as Aldjazeera alerted the world about the Rohingya crisis that the United Nations spoke about it and called for end of atrocities.
However, Myanmar de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi played down the claims of atrocities and blamed people for misinformation for complicating the conflict; her speech did not go down well with the Rohingya who responded with anger and skepticism calling her a traitor burying their heads in the sand.
The Myanmar government has as well refuted the accusations of abuses and killings against the Rohingya claiming to be defending the country against increasing terrorist activities which destabilize the security of the nation; In September 2016 a commission set up by the United Nations had urged the government to end the militarised crackdowns on the neighborhoods where Rohingya lives and remove restrictions on movements and citizenships; this reminds me of the then leadership in Rwanda which never accepted the atrocities and abuses against the Tutsi only claiming it to be a normal conflict between neighboring tribes and that the government forces were fighting the rebels destabilizing the Rwandan territory yet killing its own citizens.
However, the Rohingya crisis differs from the Rwandan case, as for Rwanda the Genocide against the Tutsi was planned long while ago prior to the Genocide, the then leadership started harassing and killing Tutsi in 1959 by burning their houses, killing and eating their cows, denied them education as well as ceasing their lands; people were educated and trained to kill, the genocide ideology was taught in schools with intention to cleanse the Tutsi tribe, it then escalated year by year until Tutsi started fleeing their country which led to the Genocide.
We have seen the similar cases as happened in Rwanda such a target of a certain group or tribe of people, quiet involvement of the United Nations and denial of atrocities being committed against same group of people; these facts raise red alert, if no intervention is made, genocide may happen against the Rohingya.
The United Nations should learn from the mistakes made during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda and quickly take action in Myanmar so that what happened in Rwanda never happens anywhere in the world.
Sam A. Sewanyana (Jnr)
The Express News