In 1994, between 500,000 and a million Rwandans were slaughtered by their country-men ... the international community stood by in quiet horror and watched. Most notably amongst them the United States of America.
President Bill Clinton was in office at the time and his office was weathering heavy criticism for the deaths of several US soldiers on a 1993 mission to Somalia...
On a state visit to Kigali, the Rwandan capital in 1998, President Clinton formally apologised for US inaction. "It may strange to you here, especially the many of you whom lost members of your family, but all over the world there were people like me sitting on offices, day after day, who did not fully appreciate the depth and speed with which you were being engulfed by this unimaginable terror."
I for one find this a little baffling, President Clinton is not after all just any man sitting in an office but at the head of the most powerful nations in the world and as such in a position to be informed what is happening in the ground in Rwanda at the time. I recall that President Clinton refused to use the word 'genocide' in those circumstances.
- why did President Clinton refuse to call what is a genocide by its proper name? Had he done so were there specific protocols and conventions that would have let to action by 1. the USA, 2. the United Nations where there in fact had been 'inaction'?