Friday, September 10, 2010

United Nations / Rwanda / Congo

UN Chief Ban Urges Rwanda to Keep Troops in Peace Forces
By Robyn Dixon
The Los Angeles Times, September 9, 2010
Photo: "UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to journalists after meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Kigali, the Rwandan capital." (AFP/Getty Images)
"UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday pressed Rwanda to keep its forces serving on peacekeeping missions despite its anger over a draft report accusing the African nation's troops of atrocities and possible genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame has threatened to pull 3,500 troops from UN operations in the Darfur region of Sudan because of its outrage over the world body's draft report, which was leaked recently to the French newspaper Le Monde. ... The draft was leaked last month after Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo sent a letter to Ban describing the report as cynical and dangerous, and calling for it to be 'dismissed.' ... The leak appears to have undermined Rwanda's effort to suppress the report. The UN instead promised to publish Rwanda's criticisms of the final document. 'This report is long overdue,' said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch. 'The facts speak for themselves. These were major massacres. It goes to the very heart of the legitimacy of Kagame's government in Rwanda.' Bouckaert said he did not believe the final report would be watered down. 'The draft report is based on factual cases of over 600 major massacres. The language in the draft report was already quite nuanced,' he said. He called for a hybrid court in Congo involving Congolese and international judges to try any cases tied to the massacres. [...]"
[n.b. The full text of the draft UN report is now available in PDF format on]

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