Genocide in Africa and its effects on women and children

Project Details

Department
LAW
Project ID
L022
Price
5000XAF
International: $20
No of pages
50
Instruments/method
Doctrinal Method
Reference
YES
Analytical tool
Content Analysis
Format
 MS Word & PDF
Chapters
1-5

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           Abstract

This research paper seeks to investigate genocide in Africa and its effects on women and children, a case study of Rwanda. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the same is similarly true of justice. Hence, it must not only be done but must also be seen to be done. To date, however, the ICC has encountered significant difficulties to combat the crime of Genocide in Africa and reducing its effects on women and children.

The goal of this research is to investigate genocide in Africa and its effects on women and children, this research seeks to Present a discussion on the legal framework of genocide in Africa and its prohibition taking a case study of the Rwanda genocide and its effects on women and children and to make policy recommendations to address the problems raised.

The method used in this research is qualitative research that involves content analysis. The paper further examines the genocide convention of 1948, some of the effects of genocide on women and children in Africa include lack of education, miscarriage of justice through delay in criminal cases, denial of women’s rights to property, and deteriorating conditions of detention.

The researcher, therefore, recommends that the Government of Rwanda should strive to improve the protection of vulnerable children and women. Leaders in Africa should also protect women and children during an armed conflict that may result in Genocide

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1 background to the study

This paper investigates genocide in Africa and its effects on children and women. The study of the consequences of wars on children and women is part of a more general field of research that aims at establishing a causality nexus between early living conditions and outcomes later in life. Negative shocks affecting newly born children’s health may lead to a lower height, less cognitive achievement, slower human capital accumulation, lower productivity, and wages as adults, particularly in low-income countries. Almost 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were indiscriminately set upon and murdered in their homes, in schools, in churches, and the open air. Victims were often killed by machete, sometimes by neighbours, they have known for years.

In the 20th century, more than ten million people were murdered in various remote parts of Africa. It was not a single genocide but a collection of ethnic wars that raged from Sudan, the Congo, through to Uganda and Rwanda in the southern region of Sudan, two million people belonging to various Nilotic peoples including Dinka, Nuer, and Shilluk were killed by Sudanese Arabs from the North Roughly five and a half million died in the Congo, mainly during the Second Congo War but also in relatively smaller holocausts such as the Ituri conflict and the mass murder of Pygmies known as “Effacer le tableau”.

In Uganda, 300 thousand people were murdered during the regime of Idi Amin and 500 thousand during the rule of his successor, Milton Obote Amin’s genocides targeted the Acholi and Lango peoples; these two groups went on to kill other groups (mainly the Baganda) under Obote’s regime.

In the early 1970s, over 150 thousand Hutu people were killed by Tutsi people in Burundi by order of General Michel Micombero Twenty years later, one million Tutsi people were killed by Hutu people during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.In the Rwandan genocide, the people who had been the victims in Burundi (the Hutu) killed the ethnic group that had killed them (the Tutsi), and these new victims later played a role in the Congo genocide[9]

In all of these deaths, the victims were killed by people from a different ethnic group. Rwanda, boys, and girls born during the conflict in regions experiencing fighting were negatively impacted with height for age z-scores 1.05 standard deviations lower.

In Nigeria individuals exposed to the Nigerian civil war of 1967-70 at all ages between birth and adolescence exhibit reduced adult stature and these impacts are largest in adolescence.As far as schooling is concerned, Akresh and De Walque, for example, finds a strong negative impact of Rwanda’s genocide on children’s schooling, with exposed children completing half a year less education, which amounts to an 18.3 per cent decline in school completion.Shemyakina finds that exposure to the violent conflict has a large and statistically significant negative effect on the enrolment of girls (not of boys) in Tajikistan. Surprisingly enough, although child mortality is of interest to economists for many reasons in this growing body of literature little attention has been paid to the survival of children exposed to genocide. In this paper, we address the issue of genocide in Africa and its effects on women and children

It should be noted that genocide in Africa has greatly contributed to a high mortality rate of children and women. This research paper shall look at the case of Rwanda and other African countries. In Rwanda, data from support groups provide a clearer picture. The “children of killers,” as they are often disparaged, tend to live in poverty, facing higher rates of HIV and domestic abuse than their peers.

When the killing finally ceased in Rwanda, close to a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus had been slaughtered and up to half a million women raped. Among the estimated 300,000 Tutsi survivors, there were up to 10 times as many widows as widowers. Many of these women had seen their husbands hacked to death with machetes and their children were thrown into latrines; some had been abducted, mutilated, gang-raped, and infected with HIV. Today, Rwanda’s children face extreme challenges:

Rwanda is home to one of the world’s largest proportions of child-headed households, with an estimated 101,000 children living in some 42,000 households. These children are on their own either because their parents were killed in the genocide, died from AIDS, or have been imprisoned for genocide-related crimes.2000 women many of whom were survivors of rape, were tested for HIV during the five years following the 1994 genocide.  Of the 80 per cent were found to be HIV positive.  Many were not sexually active before the genocide.

By 2001, an estimated 264,000 children had lost one or both parents to AIDS, representing 43 per cent of all orphans. This figure is expected to grow to over 350,000 by 2010.  More than 400,000 children are out of school Rwanda has one of the world’s worst child mortality rates 1 in 5 Rwandan children die before their fifth birthday.  

1.2 statement of the problem

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the same is similarly true of justice. Hence, it must not only be done but must also be seen to be done. To date, however, the ICC has encountered significant difficulties to combat the crime of Genocide in Africa and reducing its effects on women and children.

 Questions have inevitably been raised, for example, concerning the quality and impartiality of any ‘justice’ dispensed by a court that is only focusing on crimes committed by its state party in Africa and is completely powerless to act against the non-state parties. A case in point is the on-going conflict in the Northwest and southwest region of Cameroon, Chief justice Ayah Paul then described the on-going killings in Anglophone Cameroon as Genocide. Women and children are often victims of circumstance in this armed conflict

International courts having jurisdiction to prosecute genocide such as the ICC and the ICTR are one hundred per cent dependent on effective criminal cooperation, on the support of state parties. As the Court generally has no executive powers and no police force of its own, it is totally dependent on full, effective, and timely cooperation from state parties.

As foreseen and planned by its founders, the Court is characterized by the structural weakness that it does not have the competencies and means to enforce its own decisions. The prosecution of genocide according to its first President, Antonio Cassese, the ICTY ‘remains very much like a giant without arms and legs it needs artificial limbs to walk and work.

And these artificial limbs are state authorities. If the cooperation of states is not forthcoming, the ICTYcannot fulfils its functions. It has no means at its disposal to force states to cooperate with it.’

 Another problem identified is on the genocide convention, there is a Genocide Convention that prohibits the commission of this crime but despite its existence, genocide is still committed. Peter Ronayne (2001) refers to the numerous cases of genocide that followed the Convention’s entry into force as evidence of its failure: “Despite the good intentions of the UNGC [United Nations Genocide Convention], post-World War II history has proven with disturbing clarity that the Holocaust was not the twentieth century’s last genocide.”   The failure to prevent genocide resides more with the permanent members of the Security Council than with the Genocide Convention.

The statute of the international criminal court for Rwanda has been criticized for limiting punishment only to the actual commission of genocide. The fact that it does not punish conspiracy, complicity, and incitement, and attempts to commit genocide makes perpetrators enjoy some harbour

1.4   Research questions

The target of this work is to answer the following questions:

1.5    Objectives of the study

General objective

The goal of this research is to investigate genocide in Africa and its effects on women and children.

Specific objectives

Specifically, this research seeks to:

  • Present a discussion on the legal framework of genocide in Africa and its prohibition
  • Present a case study of the Rwanda genocide and its effects on women and children
  • To make policy recommendations to address the problems raised

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