Philip Hammond
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Rwanda, 1994
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US reluctance to intervene in Rwanda 1994 is seen as a consequence of America's recent experience in Somalia, but it may also indicate that the US had calculated that the best outcome would be a decisive Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) victory. There was certainly conflict between Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda in the past, including largescale massacres, but this was the product of post-colonial politics rather than of centuries-old tribal hatred. Analyses which emphasise Hutu cultural difference and deference to authority, and which take little account of the circumstances of civil war and international intervention which polarised Rwandan society, tend to see the refugees in a wholly negative light. In a 25 July 1994 commentary for the Guardian, Germaine Greer railed against coverage of the refugee exodus, describing the media as a collective 'parasite' and accusing them of 'stripping the Rwandan refugees of their last shred of dignity'.

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Framing post-Cold War conflicts

The media and international intervention


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