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14 September, 08:11

According to Raphael Lemkin, what is one way the world community can address the problem of genocide?

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  1. 14 September, 08:25
    By eating.
  2. 14 September, 08:29
    Answer: Preventing genocide is a collective obligation. Let us continue to work together to ensure a future forever free of genocide. This would be the most fitting way to remember those lost in Rwanda 18 years ago, and to honour the resilience of the survivors."

    - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the 18th commemoration of the Rwanda genocide, 2012

    Understanding genocide

    The need to prevent genocide and punish those responsible has been of concern to the international community since the end of the Second World War, during which more than 6 million people were systematically murdered by the Nazi regime for reasons of their ethnicity, sexuality or other characteristics.

    What is genocide?

    The 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (known as the "Genocide Convention") defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group:

    • killing members of the group;

    • causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

    • deliberately inflicting on the group the conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical

    destruction in whole or part;

    • imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

    • forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

    The Convention confirms that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or war, is a crime under international law which parties to the Convention undertake "to prevent and to punish." The primary responsibility to prevent and stop genocide lies with the State in which this crime is committed.

    The case of Rwanda

    In 1994, as the international community watched, more than 800,000 Rwandans, mostly ethnic Tutsi, were massacred by Hutu militia and government forces over a period of just 100 days. The killings began the day after a plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi was shot down as it prepared to land in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. The presidents were returning from peace talks aimed at shoring up a fragile peace agreement and ending the conflict between the largely ethnic Hutu-dominated government and the largely Tutsi rebel army. The crash re-ignited the war. Retreating government forces joined ethnic Hutu militia in inciting civilians to kill ethnic Tutsis.
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