After the humiliations of Somalia and Bosnia, the Security Council was reluctant to get too deeply involved in Rwanda.
At the time of the first reports of genocide in May 1994, there was already a small UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda. But it was ill-equipped to deal with the scale of the bloodshed, and most countries immediately withdrew their contingents.
Eventually the Security Council approved a force of 5,500, but most of the troops were not forthcoming. The UN has since admitted that it failed to prevent the genocide, and ignored warnings of what was to come.