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The UN, Peacebuilding and the Genocide in Rwanda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115 - 130
Number of pages16
JournalGlobal Governance
Issue number1
Early online date3 Aug 2005
E-pub ahead of print3 Aug 2005

King's Authors


The 1994 genocide in Rwanda continues to haunt the Western liberal conscience. And so indeed it should. Romeo Dallaire's powerful and disturbing recollection of his time as commander of UN peacekeeping forces in Rwanda in 1993 and 1994 makes for deeply distressing reading. Some two years after the launch of the much-heralded Agenda for Peace by UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, more than 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda while UN member states dithered and failed to act. Nor is there any comfort to be found in the way that the UN Secretariat acquitted itself as the signs of impending disaster multiplied in late 1993 and early 1994. The experiences of Rwanda, recounted in harrowing detail by Dallaire, provide a necessary, if disheartening, perspective from which to examine the challenge of peacebuilding. Tom Keating and Andy Knight point to evidence of progress and learning over the past decade, but optimism remains tempered by the shadow and memory of Rwanda

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