"Although the concept of human rights is not new, it has never attracted more attention than today. However, contrary to the tremendous growth of concern for the international protection of human rights, Rwanda was visited by three main deplorable waves of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Therefore, while the study is based on the premise that the primary duty of preventing these international crimes lies with the state, it will be argued that the secondary duty lies with international organisations like the UN and the AU. Both organisations could have averted or minimised the atrocities that occurred in Rwanda. Accordingly the study aims to address four issues. First, it attempts to review the weaknesses of the UN and OAU in their human rights monitoring and promotional fucntion derived from international human rights instruments. Second, it seeks to investigate the shortcomings and the failures of these two organisations in intervening to stop the Rwandan genocide. Third, it attempts to examine the UN's and AU's current handling of the cases of genocide as a preventive mechanism against gross human rights violations in Rwanda. Finally, the study will attempt to see if the failures seen in Rwanda are reflected in the current responses of the UN and the AU. The study presupposes that the 1994 Rwandan genocide, although not altogether inevitable, would not have been so comprehensive had the UN and the OAU/AU not developed a culture of impunity in the genocide of 1963 and 1973. One way assume, too, that the suffering could even have been minimized had there been active measures taken by these two organisations. This thesis proceeds on the premise of a problem that the vacuum that still exists under the Rwandan situation, both pre- and post-1994 genocide, as well as the weakness of the response from the UN and AU, is also abetting the current genocide in Sudan and countries with a volatile situation, like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi." -- Introduction.
Prepared under the supervision of Professor Lovell Fernandez at the Faculty of Law, University of Western Cape
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2004.