German Foreign Policy and the Rwandan Genocide Cover. Cover photo: view of the interior of St. Jean catholic church in Kibuye, Rwanda (photo credit: MilanoPE via Shutterstock)

German Foreign Policy and the Rwandan Genocide

A First Examination of Archival Records from the German Federal Foreign Office
For free

Approximately 800,000 people were killed in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The question of the  international community's responsibility is still being asked today. Many questions about German  foreign policy at the time also remain unanswered.

A quarter of a century after the  genocide, the German Federal Foreign Office has granted access  to some of the relevant files for the first time. Based on an analysis of these documents and supplementary  interviews,  this  paper  summarises  new  insights  into  German  foreign  policy  before and during the genocide and outlines policy recommendations for possible comparable situations in the future.

Product details
Date of Publication
March 2024
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Global Public Policy Institute
Number of Pages
Language of publication
Table of contents

Summary 3

Introduction: Germany and the Rwandan Genocide 4

New Insights From the Archives of the German Federal Foreign Office 6

  • Early Warning and Political Analysis in German Diplomacy Before the Genocide 7
  • Inter-Ministerial Coordination and Strategic Capacity 11
  • Early Action: Political Initiatives and Debates on Germany’s Participation in UNAMIR 14

Addressing Remaining Deficits: Early Warning, Strategic Capacity, and Early Action 20

  • Early Warning and Conflict Analysis 20
  • Strategic Capacity and Inter-Ministerial Coordination 21
  • Moving from Early Warning to Early Action 23
  • Further Processing of Germany’s Policies and Lesson 24

References 26

Sources 31

Your shopping Cart is loading …