Early warnings of the Rwandan genocide were ignored because policy makers perceived it as a "civil war," denied the facts, and decided not to intervene, preventing U.S. and U.N. lawyers from calling the killing "genocide." Early reinforcement of UNAMIR could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but "group-think" precluded consideration of direct military intervention by the U.S. and allied forces, though they were near Rwanda and rescued their own nationals. Unwilling to financially and militarily support a reinforced UNAMIR, the U.S., U.K. and U.N., the Security Council ordered UNAMIR to leave Rwanda; because they did not consider Rwandan lives worth saving at the risk of their own troops.
Stanton, Gregory H.
"The Rwandan Genocide: Why Early Warning Failed,"
Journal of African Conflicts and Peace Studies:
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jacaps/vol1/iss2/3