This week marks the 10th Anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide.
Rwanda attacks global inaction on genocideOne of the darkest marks on this country and the world is the 1994 slaughter of almost one million Tutsi Rwandans. After swearing "NEVER AGAIN!" in reference to the Holocaust (a U.N. Convention for all countries to stop genocide), the world stood by and simply watched. We. Simply. Watched.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has accused the international community of deliberately failing to stop the 1994 genocide.
Commemorations are underway to mark the 10th anniversary of the mass killing.
The Rwandan President says the international community cannot shy away from its responsibilities. Paul Kagame has condemned the response of other countries to Rwanda's 1994 genocide. Mr Kagame says he cannot understand why the lives of the victims were regarded as so insignificant. The President gave the speech to a conference in the capital, Kigali. Delegates were taken to several sites where people were slaughtered a decade ago.
Rwanda has begun a week of events to commemorate the start of the genocide.
More than 800,000 people were killed during 100 days of ethnic bloodshed in 1994.
Well, everybody just watched except for France. That's right. France.
But it's not what you think. France armed the Hutu's who were committing the genocidal murders. Then, the French government sent troops to create a safe zone. And the genocide continued in the French safe zone.
There is plenty of blame to go around. Too many lawyers in our own government prevented anyone from using the word "genocide" because it would legally cause us to commit troops to stop the violence. Too many politicians used words like "not in our national interests" and failed to commit immediate resources to the U.N. Director of Peacekeeping, Kofi Annan. Canadian General Dallaire begged, BEGGED, for armed troops. Instead, he received tens of unarmed observers - observers that were killed whenever they tried to stop the maddness. Observers that were ordered by the U.N. to not intervene (ten Belgian soldiers were mutilated, tortured and killed trying to stop the murder of a moderate politician).
We promised fifty armored personnel carriers and took three months to deliver them. By that time, over 800,000 were dead (new estimates are about 930,000).
A good friend of mine was working for the war planners in the Pentagon. The warriors had estimated that three infantry battalions from the 82nd Airborne or the Marines could have saved, at least, half of the victims. That means that the Pentagon believed that, by the time we could put boots on the ground, we would have been able to stop the genocide. Of course, we would then be committed to send more troops to maintain the peace and provide medical and logistical support (total troop strength was tagged at about five thousand). Still, we did nothing.
The people that I believe are most responsible:
Kofi Annan who after this stellar performance as Director of Peackeeping became the U.N. Secretary General.
Madeleine Albright, our spineless U.N. Ambassador, who became our Secretary of State.
Bill Clinton, our President who said, in a speech at the Naval Academy in reference to Rwanda, that we would not get involved in conflicts outside of our national interests (due to Moghidishu).
François Mitterand, President of France.