FRONTLINE's program "The Triumph of Evil" explores how the Western powers and the United Nations ignored warnings about the impending genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and failed to intervene even when it became clear what was happening.
This companion web site offers historical background and information explaining why the West lacked the will to act. These online resources can enrich classroom discussion and lectures in both higher and secondary education. Some suggestions:
Human rights is an important and difficult subject to teach students, for they often cannot imagine what it would be like to have one's basic rights violated. The following links would be useful to launch a wide-ranging overview and good discussion on the subject.
Rwanda was a dramatic failure of U.S. and U.N. policy. International inaction was the result of a series of political/bureaucratic decisions. The following links help to provide a sense of how United States foreign policy can become paralyzed, and the limits of United Nations' policy.
Here's a detailed chronology of the United States' and United Nations' actions as the genocide unfolded.
The 1993 U.N./U.S. peacekeeping mission in Somalia, in which 18 U.S. Rangers died, profoundly influenced the West's failure to act in Rwanda. Here's a summary of that failed Somalia mission, with links to more information.