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The Role of the International Community in Stopping Genocide

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The Role of the International Community in Stopping Genocide


Genocide -- Prevention.


Oral history video clip featuring Joseph Mutaboba, Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.


Media Entertainment, Inc.


Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library,
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.


Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.




Mutaboba, Joseph


Tape number: 4053D


video / mp4




Oral History

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Sarcona, Michael


Mutaboba, Joseph


Well, the international community, I may say that theoretically it has tried to prevent the genocide, theoretically. But when you revisit the whole background, the whole history of what has been done here and there, you notice that little has been really practically done to make sure that this cannot repeat itself. No one could have ever thought of genocide happening in Rwanda—I mean, happening elsewhere on the globe, including Rwanda itself—after what had happened to the Jews. Nobody could have done that. But it looks like in the meantime, the community just went, like, apathetic, I should say, some kind of apathy where people just say “Yes, yes, but—” But what? And that’s very damaging in terms of humanity, in terms of what we stand for, if on one side we say, “Never again”—this is what we said before—and then we turn around and we sit down and start just turning our fingers around like this, as if we had nothing else to do. Then that’s danger. It is very dangerous, because we cannot say one thing and do something else, or read one thing from what we have written together and then ignore—we didn’t even like to read them. That’s terrible. If we go blind, we should try to support each other and say, “Look, don’t go blind, or if you have, here is some kind of reading aid. You need to revisit your own principles as written, and then read them and say, ‘Yes, never again,’ and mean it. If you don’t mean it, then you are just hypocritical”—hypocrites, I should say. And we cannot accept that the whole of humanity goes on being hypocrites by its own standards. That would be a very bad precedent.

The international community has not done enough; and again, here I don’t know when you say the entire community has not done enough. The international community is referred to when there’s nobody to take the responsibility. So to me—and I’m very convinced of this; I can scientifically argue about this—we only talk of international community when we have failed in our own responsibilities. So, if you cannot point the finger to anybody, to any country, any institution, then you say, “Oh, the international community has failed to do this,” or “It’s the international community,” or “The international community wants Country A or Country B to do this.” Who is that international community? You cannot even take it! You don’t know. So, it’s a pretty good way of hiding behind the nice words “international community.” Then there is evidence. We have seen that.

Original Format

Beta tape




Media Entertainment, Inc., “The Role of the International Community in Stopping Genocide,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed July 6, 2020,