Literature review Rwandan genocide

The Rwandan genocide that happened in 1994 led to the massacre and killings of more than 800,000 people. The killings occurred when the international community was made aware of the country’s political, administrative, and military concerns. Therefore, leadership, ethics, and organizational factors played a role in failing to prevent genocide in Rwanda. More so was the interplay between critical leaders and geopolitical relations.

Leadership involves organizing people, events, and activities to achieve a mission or a goal. Organizational behavior evaluates and analyses the impact and actions of leaders, individuals, and groups. In the Rwandan genocide, different leadership perspectives emerge from various leaders during the period. Transformational leadership involves inspiring positive changes among the followers. Transformational leaders are known to be energetic, passionate, enthusiastic, concerned, and engaged in the process (Robbins, 2004). Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire was a transformational leader as he focused on each of the groups in conflict to assess the situation and come up with a solution. His leadership style took into account different considerations, including the administrative, humanitarian, military, and political factors. His deputy, Beardsley, also adopted a transformational leadership style in the peacekeeping mission.


Behavioral leadership theory is based on the belief that leaders can learn new actions and achieve new results through teaching and learning. In behavioral leadership, a leader develops a behavior of having a specific response to a particular stimulus. The UN member states and the UN department of political affairs practiced behavioral leadership whereby they handled the situation based on previous peacekeeping missions. The contingency leadership theory focuses on environmental or surrounding factors that determine what leadership is suitable. A leader does not adopt one particular leadership style in all situations, and so adopts a style based on the situation, leadership style, and the followers’ condition. Booh-Booh adopted the contingency leadership style as his leadership was based on the situation and his leadership style would affect the process. In 1993, Rwanda was under the leadership of Juvenal Habyarimana, who had served as a dictator. His leadership perspective was based on the contingency perspective whereby he adopted dictatorship in an environment that was hostile to allow any other form of leadership.


Incompetent leadership, all leaders possess certain traits that label them a leader. Some of these traits include integrity, self-confidence, self-drive, integrity, among other characteristics. The UN secretary-general’s special representative, Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh, saw himself as a competent leader as he adopted the diplomatic, political approach, and work ethics. He was not as involved in ensuring the success of the peacekeeping mission as Dallaire was.

The different leadership perspectives that the various leaders adopted clashed in administrative, political, humanitarian, and political factors. Each leader adopted a suitable style for themselves, which made the situation in Rwanda worse. There was also a lack of support for each leader and his style, and this made the peacekeeping mission ineffective and blameworthy in the Rwandan genocide. There was a lot of politicking between the UN member states and also between Habyarimana’s government and the Belgian forces that came as peacekeepers. The interplay between the different leadership styles and the geopolitical relations did not coordinate the situation in Rwanda, and to some extent, it made the situation worse. Therefore, poor organization of the different leadership perspectives failed to put proper structures and security processes to ensure the mission’s success (Long et al, 2009, p.277).

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