Another Rwanda? Sanctions to Prevent Another Genocide

By April Kent

The U.N. Security Council recently unanimously approved a resolution condemning the killings, torture, and human rights abuses plaguing Burundi, threatening sanctions against perpetrators of the violence. The resolution called for Burundi’s government “to immediately convene an inclusive and genuine inter-Burundian dialogue.” At least 240 people have been killed in Burundi since protests began in April against President Pierre Nkurunziza's successful bid for a third term. Many in the international community have pointed to the language used by the government to describe its opponents as reminiscent of the rhetoric that paved the way for the genocide in Rwanda. Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft stated, “We know that in the worst case what we’re talking about is a possible genocide, and we know that we have to do everything that we possibly can to prevent that.” The country’s foreign Minister countered that “Burundi is not in flames,” dismissing international concerns that his country is at risk of a Rwanda-like genocide.