International interventions responding to the crises of Rwanda in 1994 and East Timor in 1999 varied drastically in outcome. Path dependency theory explains why similar outcomes should be expected, given that the cases mirrored one another in terms of the factors necessary for genocide to be perpetrated. Despite the similar circumstances in both and the presence of necessary prerequisites for genocide, did one lead to genocide and the other did not. I argue that it was the intent behind the international intervention that proves to be the decisive factor in explaining the variance of outcome. The intent behind the interventions differed in that intervention supported the failing genocidal regime in Rwanda, while it supported a new independent government in East Timor. It is this difference that explains the variance in outcome, between humanitarian disaster in Rwanda and independence in East Timor.