Ever since the 2nd WW, the main concern of the International community has been to maintain effective peace and cooperation to effectively regulate disputes between countries.
After the 2nd WW, the first step taken by the International community was to punish the German and the Japanese war criminals, who were accused of perpetrating the worst form of atrocities, including genocide and war crimes.
In this regard, two tribunals were set up, A: Nuremberg war crimes tribunal; B: Tokyo war crimes tribunal.
Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal
The Nuremberg war crimes tribunal was set up at the end of the 2nd WW to specifically try German Officers of the following departments who had committed genocide against the Jews in the 2nd WW.
Name of the Departments:
German workers party (Nazi Party)
German U-Boat Division
The German Wehrmacht.
The Nuremberg crime was held in 2 phases, and in the first phase, around 24 German Officers and politicians were sought to be prosecuted for the most serious violations of the laws of war, including genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
However, in this trial, Adolf Hitler could not be punished or prosecuted, as he had already committed suicide in his bunker.
The German war criminals have committed atrocities and had set up concentration camps to specifically target the Jews, but major concentration camps were situated in the following places, namely:
The Nuremberg war crimes tribunal had been set up by the victorious allied powers to punish the German war Criminals and other German Officers.
In the 2nd phase of the Nuremberg trial, around 960 German officers, lawyers, engineers, doctors, and others were tried for war crimes.
The Nuremberg war crime tribunals successfully prosecuted many German war criminals, but yet it is criticized on the following grounds:
Many International Law Jurists have pointed out the facts that the tribunal does not have the rights of locus standi to prosecute military officers, as it was a civilian tribunal court.
Many International Law experts are also of the opinion that the Victorious Allied Powers had set up the tribunal.
Tokyo War Crime Tribunal
The international military tribunal for the far east, also known as the Tokyo war crime tribunal, was set up in Tokyo with branches in the Philippines, Singapore, and Shanghai to try and prosecute Japanese Military Officials. Politicians and high-ranked officials were accused of committing war crimes in the far east, Malaysia, Burma, Indonesia, and other places of war.
However, the Tribunal was also continued as a host of grounds, and Justice Radha Binod Pal, an Indian Judge and a part of the Tokyo Tribunal, also criticized the actions of the Tribunal on the following grounds:
He thought that even the allied soldiers had committed similar atrocities during the second WW but were never prosecuted or punished.
Also, The Tokyo Tribunal sought to punish the Japanese Officers for certain crimes that were not an offense when they were committed.
He also questioned the Tribunal because how could the allied powers who were themselves interested parties could try the very enemies whom they had defeated in the second WW.
The Issue of Comfort Woman & Japan
One of the most conditional issues of the second WW was the issue of Comfort women or Sex Slaves.During the Second WW, the Japanese Armed Forces had created specific units called the Comfort Woman Unit, in which women and Girls were specifically recruited by the Japanese from all parts of SouthEast Asia.
Further, these women were subjected to systematic sexual abuse, rape, sexual slavery and had to undergo forced abortions over some time.
From 1939-to 1945, the German and the Japanese were accused of raping women, but the Japanese had officially created units for the same.
After the second WW, many such women and even countries of SouthEast Asia kept on requesting the Japanese to pay compensation to the comfort women or at least punish the concerned officials.
However, the Japanese Government has never apologized for the same or paid compensation to the affected woman.
The UN and its formation
After the second WW came to an end in August 1945, a new International Organisation called the United Nations was formed on October 24th, 1945, to maintain international peace and security.
Many experts have also pointed out the fact that it is the successor of the League of Nations.
As of now, the UN has 193 member countries and 2 observer states, namely The Vatican City and the State of Palestine.
The UN works and coordinates through a series of agencies and 6 main organs which are as follows:
The Trusteeship Council
The UN Secretariat
The Economic and Social Council
The UN is headed by a Secretary-General and presently the UN Secretary-General is a Portuguese diplomat called Antonia Guterres.
Department of Peacekeeping Operations
One of the most important aims of the UN is to maintain International Peace and Security
This task is majorly done by the UN Security Council, according to powers vested upon it under Chapter 6 and Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.
In this regard, there is a specialized division of the UN, known as the Department of the Peace Keeping Operations which ensures the maintenance of International Peace and security.
Whenever there is a threat to International Peace and Security, the Security Council passes a resolution for the deployment of UN Peacekeeping forces, under Chapter 6 and Chapter 7 of the UN Charter to maintain International Peace and Security.
The UN Peacekeeping forces are drawn from contributions from member states, and even arms and ammunition are provided by the member states.
As of September 2021, most of the troops are contributed by Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uruguay, and Fiji.
However it is very important to note the fact that every peacekeeping mission has a very strict mandate, which the UN forces cannot violate, otherwise, the results will be disastrous.
UNAMIR [United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda]
The African country of Rwanda till the 1960’s was ruled by the Belgians
Rwanda has been divided based on different tribes, and the majority of tribes were known as the Hutus.
The minority tribes were known as the Tutsis.
The Belgians completely supported the Tutsis and committed a lot of atrocities against the Hutus.
In fact, the Belgians also issued Tutsis with separate identity cards, and ruling Belgians and the minority Tutsis ruled over Rwanda till 1960.
Independence of Rwanda
After Rwanda became independent the Hutus systematically started taking dominance in Rwandan politics
By the 1990s, the Rwandan army, politics, and the Rwandese Gendarmerie (police) were full of Hutus.
They openly hated the Tutsis and wanted to destroy them at all costs.
Rwandan Government, and the Rwandan military, also started employing and arming pro Hutu militias, including the Interahamwe and the Impubamugamzi to unofficially target the Tutsis and also kill.
Formation of UNAMIR
By 1990, the conflict between the Hutus and Tutsis had spread throughout Rwanda
It also became an International conflict, when the neighboring country of Zaire, under the rule of Mobutu Sese Seko started favoring the Hutus.
By 1992 a civil war broke out between the Hutus and the Tutsis.
The then UN secretary-general, Boutrous-Boutrous Ghali, authorized the deployment of UN peacekeeping forces, known as the UNAMIR (United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda
The UN forces were led by Canadian Officer General Romeo Dallaire.
The civilian commander was a Cameroonian diplomat, Jean Jacques Roger Booh-Booh
The majority of the country battalions had been drawn from Bangladesh, Mali, Uruguay, and Senegal.
The UN mission had a clear mandate, of maintaining law and order and protecting the lives of Tutsis at any cost.
The UN Mission was also important because of the fact that there was credible information that the Rwandan army under General Augustin Bizimungu, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, and Innocent Sagahutu would be targeting the Tutsis at any cost.
Beginning of the Genocide
In April 1994, the plane carrying the then president of Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana, and the premier of Burundi, Cyprian Ntayramira was shot down by an unknown missile, killing both of them.
Immediately the national television of Rwanda the RTMLC* and a leading newspaper called Kangura started propaganda that the Tutsis were behind the attack.
*[Radio TV des Milles Collines]
The Rwandan army and the Hutu militia immediately started systematically targeting and killing the Tutsis.
From April 1 to April 30, 1994 millions of Tutsis were systematically slaughtered, raped, killed by the Hutu militia.
The civil war finally came to an end in May 1994 when the Hutus were defeated by Tutsi rebel forces known as the RFP under Paul Kagame.
Rape and sexual slavery during the Rwandan Genocide.
During the Rwandan Genocide, it was largely reported that 100s of Tutsi women were systematically raped, tortured, and driven into sexual slavery.
Most of these crimes were committed by the Hutu militia, Hutu politicians, and members of the Rwandan army.
After the civil war, the UN had to form an ad-hoc war crimes tribunal, the ICTR (International Crimes Tribunal for Rwanda), to try and prosecute Hutu war criminals, who were accused of the following crimes:
Crimes against Humanity
Violation of customary norms of International Law
In a very famous case decided by the ICTR, namely The Prosecutor v Jean-Paul Akayesu, Judge Navnethan Pillay, a South African judge of Indian origin categorically held the fact that even a single act of rape and sexual violence against women in conflict zones would be treated as an act of Genocide.
Failure of UN Peacekeeping Mission
The UN peacekeeping mission to Rwanda was doomed and bound to fail.
The commanding officer of UNAMIR, General Romeo A. Dallaire, wrote a book as “Shake hands with a devil”.
General Dallaire had categorically stated that the reasons for the failure of the Mission were as follows:
The UN Mission was grossly understaffed and under-armed and was lacking logistical support.
General Dallaire had categorically reassured that he had sent several requests to the UN Secretariat for arms, ammunition, and weapons.It was further alleged that the highest deployment was by the Bangladeshi peace-keeping troops who spoke neither English nor French and the majority of them spoke only Bengali.It was also alleged that the Bangladeshi peacekeepers did not take any order from the UN chain of command and took instructions from the Bangladeshi army from Dhaka.Further Belgian peacekeepers were killed by the Hutu Militia, the entire Belgian contingent withdrew.General Romeo Dallaire is also of the opinion that the UN Secretariat and the 5 permanent members of the UN security council did not do anything to send reinforcement or help Rwanda in any way.A lot of the Legal Jurist also pointed out the fact that the UN forces were absolutely not in a position to act or save lives because of administrative failures and apathy by the UN.(UN Mission In Yugoslavia)Genocide in Yugoslavia: IntroductionIn 1991, the Republic of Yugoslavia, which was a communist country, broke up into 2 independent republics.This was the same period when the Soviet Union had also disintegrated and broken up into 15 independent republics.The Break up of Yugoslavia, was also complex because Muslims and Christians had been traditional enemies of each other for 100 years and hated each other.In 1992, the Republic of Serbia, which was a Christian majority hated the Muslim majority people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.The Serbian Government officially began a systematic program of killing and targeting Bosnia's Muslims.The Serbian Government under its elite military unit known as "The Serbian Scorpion Spraska (SSS), started to target and kill Bosnia's Muslims.The Serbian politician and Government also gave direct orders for the assassination and Genocide of Bosnia's Muslims.From 1992 to 1995 the Bosnian Politicians, members of the Government, and even elite units of the Serbian Armed forces took part in the Genocide against members of the Bosnian Muslim Community.The recordings of the Genocide, were available, very sporadically and therefore it was very difficult for the International Community to know the exact scale of the Genocide.Deployment of the UNPROFOR ( The United Nations Protection Force)By 1992, the Serbian forces were openly attacking Bosnian Muslims.Elite Units of the Serbian Scorpion Spraska started shelling and attacking the town of Belgrade and started killing hundreds of Bosnian Muslims.The Serbian forces also attacked the city of Sarajevo, which also had a substantial Muslim population.At this phase the then UN Secretary-General, Boutrous-Boutrous Ghali authorized the deployment of UN Peacekeeping forces. by the name of UNPROFOR, to bring peace and stability in the area, and specifically, protect the Bosnian Muslims at all costs.Siege of SrebrenicaSrebrenica was a UN safe compound, which was guarded by the UN Forces.Srebrenica was also supposed to be a designated safe zone for Bosnian Muslims.Under International Law, rebel forces could not enter the town of Srebrenica.However, elite Serbian Paramilitary units under General Ratko Mladic, Goran Hadzic, Dusko Tadic, Anton Krstic, Radoslav Brdanin, enter into Srebrenica.The Serbian Officer s
Under the direct supervision of General Radislav Krstic and Zdvarko Tomlimir, defeated and disarmed the UN Dutch battalions from the Netherlands, known as the DUTCHBAT.
The Dutch battalions surrendered without a fight and did not do anything to stop the Serbian Forces.
The Serbian Military officers separated the Bosnian Muslims and allegedly massacred around 8000 Bosnian Muslims.
Various International Law experts have bitterly criticized the Dutch Battalions for Surrendering without a fight and allowing the Serbian Christians to massacred Bosnian Muslims openly.
The incidents in Srebrenica were one of the largest acts of ethnic cleansing and genocide and the Western Media had accurately described it as a catastrophic act of Genocide.