Tigray genocide is following same tragic inaction by UN and AU as Rwanda genocide

 
This Tutsi patient was ordered out of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide then shot to death. Similar stories have happened in Tigray.

The ongoing Tigray genocide seems to be following a parallel course to the Rwanda genocide of 1994 against the Tutsi by the Huti government with many of the same features including African Union apathy, United Nations paralysis, and lack of decisive action by the Western democracies so that an end to the killing only occurred when Tutsi rebels grew strong enough to stop the killing. The calls one hears today from Abiy Ahmed supporters denying genocide and denying visits from outside recognized international aid as well as the silence of the African Union about the Tigray conflict with Ethiopia are looking like an eerie repetition of the same situation that happened to Rwanda where the world did nothing except that the loss of life in Tigray is going to be much greater then Rwanda.

In 1994 the Tutsi ethnic group made up about 14% of Rwanda but had a history of privilege  and power. A Huti came to power, President Habyarimana, who along with others began a campaign of hate blaming the Tutsi for the countries increasing economic and social problems as well as accusing them of causing political division. They became  targeted scape goat encouraged by government propaganda. Through out the country mobs formed which destroyed personal property, displaced hundreds of thousands, violated many women, and killed over 800,000 people in just a few weeks.

Just like what has happened in the Ethiopia Tigray conflict, Huti elements attacked UN mediators and humanitarians in Rwanda causing international authorities to leave. They blocked reporters and international organizations from the country. Other African countries were hesitant to criticize what was happening in Rwanda and voiced similar cries to let Africa solve its problem but did nothing. Other African countries denied there was a genocide. Lack of on site reporting and objective international organizations clouded any information leaving the country. International members of the security council and Western democracies “refused to declare that a government guilty of exterminating its citizens would never receive international assistance”.

The killing, deprivation, violation, and starvation went on for many months with no action by African or the UN until finally Tutsi rebels who trained outside the country where able to overthrow the government and replace the president with Paul Kagame.

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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