Revisiting the Rwandan Genocide: Reflections on the French-led Humanitarian Intervention

Document Type : Original Article


Ph.D. Professorial Lecturer, Department of International Studies Far Eastern University Manila, Philippines


Humanitarian intervention is a controversial issue in international relations and it is imperative for policy makers to understand its nature and complexities. This article seeks to explain France’s humanitarian actions during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 and how they were used to protect its strategic interests in Africa and Rwanda. Retrospectively analyzing the actions of France during the Rwandan genocide would provide invaluable insights on how powerful states advance their selfish national interests under the guise of humanitarianism. France’s military intervention in Rwanda represented the attempt to weave its strategic interests with its duty under international law to respond in cases of genocide and serious violations of human rights. The descriptive analysis method is used to build the arguments of this article and the conclusion reveals that France’s actions of leading the humanitarian intervention during the Rwandan genocide were not manifestations of a benevolent foreign policy but the pursuit of its selfish goals.


Main Subjects

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