‘We didn’t go to Rwanda, we went to Zaire’ : A Dutch military humanitarian intervention in the Zairian refugee camps in 1994


From July 29 till September 4, 1994, more than a hundred Dutch soldiers assisted the relief operations in refugee camps in Zaire. In the first month of the humanitarian crisis an estimated 50,000 Rwandan refugees died of thirst, disease and exhaustion. Western military contingents and hundreds of NGOs arrived to help the refugees. The Dutch armed forces provided water, medical- and logistical support to the humanitarian aid efforts. The suffering of the refugees was mitigated, the worst of the crisis was stopped. But this was not a normal outflow of refugees, it was an organized system of mass mobilization of Hutu-civilians for political purposes. For Hutu-extremists, those who had planned and executed the genocide of the Tutsi, Zaire was a temporary base from which they could continue the war and genocide. This thesis researched how the presence of genocidal perpetrators affected the aid assistance of the Dutch military humanitarian intervention.

Bart Nauta | 2017
70 pagina's | [Amsterdam]: in eigen beheer
A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of master of arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies Universiteit van Amsterdam
Army Personnel, Dutch, Europeans, Humanitarian Intervention, Military Personnel, Nongovernmental Organizations, Refugee Camps, Refugees, Rwandans