Hotel Rwanda is a film that depicts one man’s efforts to save others amidst the violent civil unrest that occurred in 1994 in Rwanda, Africa. The genocide that occurred has remained a heated issue, as many would claim that the West knowingly neglected the horrors that were occurring in Rwanda. The movie, Hotel Rwanda, sheds light not only on disturbing and pervasive issues associated with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, but also the larger picture in which outside influences, such as the United Nations, largely ignored the brutal genocide.
In this movie, one man saves numerous lives during the Rwandan genocide by offering shelter in his hotel. The issues surrounding the genocide involved the Hutu extremists attempting to exterminate their Tutsi neighbors, as a result of the Tutsi President being murdered by Hutu rebels earlier in 1994. This triggers the all out massacre declared on the Tutsis and unravels the film’s plot.
Originally, the UN had some influence in the matter, but ultimately, the forces of the West were withdrawn from Rwanda in the film (and in history), leaving the area to defend for itself. In a way, the United Nations did fail to intervene effectively in the Rwandan genocide. This is due largely to the disaster in Somalia, which ultimately delayed intervention in Rwanda. In hopes to prevent a civil war in Somalia, the UN was sent into Somalia to provide relief and aid in hopes of calming civil unrest. However, the UN was discovered to be quite disorganized and unprepared, with the militia disrupting the Humanitarian food relief efforts. This resulted in a shocking backlash from the US, resulting in the US revoking much of the UN’s resources.
As the civil unrest in Rwanda ensued, questions were raised as to whether the US should attempt to intervene again. However, due to the debacle with the UN and Somalia, the US hesitated to provide aid. Other countries followed the US in their decision to not provide aid, ultimately turning a blind eye to the horrendous genocide that was occurring. In fact, the US denied that genocide was indeed occurring, so as to avoid involvement in the matter. Consequently, the UN was not authorized to proceed with providing aid to Rwanda, and, as a result, the rest of the world seemed to ignore the horrors that continued in Rwanda.
In conclusion, the United States’ hesitation to intervene in the Rwandan genocide is essentially due to the previous failure with Somalia and the United Nations. Ultimately, thousands of lives were lost in this horrific tragedy, as the world continued to turn a blind eye.