Monday, August 30, 2010

Rwanda / United Nations

Rwanda Threatens to Withdraw Peacekeepers
Associated Press dispatch in The Independent, August 29, 2010
"Rwanda threatened to withdraw its troops from United Nations peacekeeping operations if the world body publishes a report accusing the Rwandan army of committing possible genocide in Congo in the 1990s, Rwanda's foreign minister said in a letter sent to the UN. Addressed to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the letter from Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo describes the report from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as 'fatally flawed' and 'incredibly irresponsible.' The letter is dated August 3 and was obtained by The Associated Press. A draft of the report leaked this week accuses Rwandan troops and rebel allies tied to the current Congolese president of slaughtering tens of thousands of Hutus in Congo. The attacks allegedly came two years after those same troops stopped Rwanda's 1994 genocide that killed more than half a million Tutsis and some moderate Hutus. 'The report's allegations -- of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity -- are extremely serious. However, the methodology, sourcing and standard of proof used to arrive at them most certainly are not,' Ms. Mushikiwabo's letter says. The letter asks why the investigators spent six weeks in Congo but never came to Rwanda or asked for meetings with Rwandan officials, who were given the 545-page draft two months ago. Investigators said they required two independent sources for each of the 600 incidents documented. The draft says the systematic and widespread attacks 'could be classified as crimes of genocide' by a competent court. [...]"

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