5 May 2022


The Misunderstood Epidemic (Genocide)

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Genocide is a term used to describe the deliberate killing of a vast number of people especially since they belong to a particular group of individuals that belong to the same ethnic background. In both the 20th and 21st century, genocide has been an issue that occurred without much consideration given to where such incidences could have been averted. The early years of the 20th century were coupled with a new form of evil in which massive killings were conducted under the pretext of various excuses and reasons. In the 20th century, atrocities began from atrocities such as crime against humanity, which eventually gave birth to genocide. 

In the 20th century, the first genocide to have occurred was the one that happened in Turkey, orchestrated by the Ottoman government, which resulted in the death of more than 2 million Armenians. The Turkey genocide was characterized by the massive killing of Armenian men, while the women and children were forced to undertake death marches (Kévorkian, 2011). In the 20th century, genocide was mostly perpetrated by individuals in power against certain groups such as the Holocaust that was ordered by Hitler to rid Germany of imperfection such as Jews and all other non-Germans. 

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The early years of the 21st century were on the other hand characterized by the genocide that began in Darfur, Sudan. In 2003, in the month of February, the Sudanese government together with the Janjaweed militias, which was in response to an uprising by certain rebels in Darfur. The attack spread to other villages where innocent people have killed thus the idea of genocide. The genocide in Darfur was characterized by the killing of men, raping of women, destruction of water and food resources as well as burning of villages to the ground. The genocide, since it began, resulted in the deaths of more than 400,000 and the displacement of more than 3 million people (Levy, 2009). The differences between the genocide between the 20th and 21st centuries are based on the reasons for the killings. However, in both cases, many innocent people lost their lives, thus the need to address the issue. 

The reason why genocide happens is based on various factors and elements, thus cannot be narrowed down to as the single reason. Among the motivations or reasons why genocide occurred in the past and might occur in the future. Among the reasons why massive killings of innocent people occur is because there is the need to eliminate the potential or actual threat. When a group of people is convinced that another poses a certain threat the threatened groups conduct massive killings to eliminate the threat. Another reason genocide happens is that to instill or spread fear among actual or potential enemies (Hinton & O'Neill, 2009). In an attempt to make a statement of threat among enemies, people conduct mass killings in the hope that they would instill fear among the enemies. Another reason why genocide happens is for the acquisition of economic wealth. In the event a certain group stands in the economic progress of another, genocide may be employed as a tool to eliminate such a group. Another reason is that through mass killings, fear is instilled among people to adopt a certain belief or ideology that is being advocated by the ones perpetrating the mass killings.

The world failed to intervene in Rwanda during the clash between the Hutu and the Tutsi for various reasons that may influence whether or not such an incident would reoccur. I think that such an incidence would not happen again because many lessons were learnt from the Rwanda genocide rendering the incidence unlikely to occur again. Research showed that before the Rwanda genocide, warnings had been sent out of impending danger as well as an increasing rate of insecurity, which was among the major factors that facilitated the Rwanda genocide (Dallaire & Beardsley, 2009). Today, the UN is much more advanced in operations and skill, which makes such an occurrence unlikely to reoccur. Therefore I think that it would not happen again since the world is in a much better position now of promoting peace and country prefer to interact amicably.


Dallaire, R., & Beardsley, B. (2009).  Shake hands with the devil: The failure of humanity in Rwanda .

Hinton, A. L., & O'Neill, K. L. (2009).  Genocide: Truth, memory, and representation . Durham [NC: Duke University Press

Kévorkian, R. H. (2011).  The Armenian genocide: A complete history . London: I.B. Tauris. 

Levy, J. (2009).  Genocide in Darfur . New York: Rosen Pub. 

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