Lesson 4: International Law


Activity 1: International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court

Handout 4: People Hunt can be graded out of 10 marks or scored as a participation activity.

See the next page for the Answer Key to Handout 4: People Hunt.

Activity 2: Genocide in the 20th Century

Handout 5: The Tragedy of Rwanda Answer Key provides answers to the questions posed in the documentary on the Rwandan genocide. Student answers may vary depending upon their base of knowledge, understanding of the events or open ended questions. The questions are presented more to stimulate discussion than as a tool for assessment. Assessment of the research on historic examples of genocide should apply the following criteria: accuracy of research, application of stages, understanding of stages, organization of presentation and creativity.

Answer Key: Handout 5: The Tragedy of Rwanda

  1. What was Lt. General Dallaire’s mission and role in Rwanda?
    He was the UN Force Commander in charge of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR).
  2. Why did the UN authorize a peacekeeping mission in Rwanda?
    The signing of the Arusha Accord brought a cease fire and temporary peace to Rwanda allowing the UN to send in a peacekeeping mission.
  3. Why were they not effective in keeping the peace?
    The UN mandate did not allow for aggressive military action and the mission was inadequately supplied in men and equipment to step in and prevent the genocide.
  4. What role did the Belgian forces play in the events that developed in the spring of 1994?
    Belgian forces represented the old colonial regime and French influence in Africa. The Rwandan government and its extremist Hutus in the Akuza understood that they needed Belgium to leave Rwanda. This was accomplished by murdering10 Belgian soldiers and blaming Belgium for assassinating President Habyarimana.
  5. Do you agree with Dallaire that Belgium had a special responsibility to assist with the problems in Rwanda? Explain.
    Student answers may vary.
  6. Who are the Hutus? The Tutsis? What is the history of their relationship?
    The Hutus and Tutsis are the indigenous people of this region of Africa. It is through the colonial conquest of nations like France, Belgium and Great Britain that these indigenous people were forced into a contentious relationship. Since the decolonization of the 1960s, corruption, nepotism and ethnic discrimination created tension and conflict.
  7. Who were the Interahamwe? What was their role in the genocide?
    These were the young Hutu militia soldiers trained by the Akuza and Rwandan army to commit acts of genocide, rape and violence against Tutsis and Hutu sympathizers.
  8. Why did the UN stand by and allow the genocide in Rwanda? Do you agree with Dallaire’s view of the Western powers’ indifference to the events in Rwanda?
    The UN did not allow the genocide intentionally, rather it was not given the mandate by the Security Council to send a larger force or expand the mandate of the existing force. Old colonial squabbles between Belgium (and its ally France) and the United Kingdom prevented any coordinated effort to support the peacekeeping mission. According to Dallaire, the Western powers, particularly the United States, did not become more involved because African nations are not considered strategic or economic priorities.
  9. Dallaire, among others in the film, suggests that nothing has changed with regard to the UN and its unwillingness to deal with conflicts like the one in Rwanda. Do you agree or disagree? Explain.
    Student answers will vary depending on degree of knowledge and understanding of the nature of the UN. It is a very political organization, heavily influenced by the key members of the Security Council and their strategic interests-small African nations are not often viewed as a priority.
  10. Should Lieutenant-General Dallaire accept some of the responsibility for what happened in Rwanda? Explain.
    Yes. It is arguable that he could have acted beyond his mandate and accepted the consequences later or could have been more forceful in demanding greater action from the UN. However, there were very limited moves that could have been made with the small, inexperienced and ill-equipped force that was provided for mission.

Activity 3: Nuremburg Mock Trial Optional

This role-play exercise can be marked for participation.