By David Himbara
Major General Paul Kagame, the more I learn about what happened in Rwanda from April to July 1994, the more I am ashamed of you and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). You are a total embarrassment.
Kagame, you are no better than President Bill Clinton who persistently frustrated the United Nations’ effort to intervene and stop the genocide in 1994. No wonder you and Clinton became and remain friends to this day.
Kagame, when the United Nations finally overcame Clinton’s objections to intervening in Rwanda, the Security Council passed RESOLUTION 918 (1994). This resolution was unanimously adopted by the Security Council on 17 May 1994. The Resolution read in part as follows:
3. Decides to expand UNAMIR’s mandate under resolution 912 (1994) to include the following additional responsibilities within the limits of the resources available to it:
(a) To contribute to the security and protection of displaced persons, refugees and civilians at risk in Rwanda, including through the establishment and maintenance, where feasible, of secure humanitarian areas;
(b) To provide security and support for the distribution of relief supplies and humanitarian relief operations;
4. Recognizes that UNAMIR may be required to take action in self-defense against persons or groups who threaten protected sites and populations, United Nations and other humanitarian personnel or the means of delivery and distribution of humanitarian relief;
5. Authorizes in this context an expansion of the UNAMIR force level up to 5,500 troops.”
Kagame, do you recall the position you and your RPF took on RESOLUTION 918 (1994)? On the very day, the resolution was passed, RPF was first, dismissive stating that the proposed deployment ”comes too late.” Second, RPF objected to the size of the UN intervention force as follows:
”The size of the proposed force is in our view too big for the mission of the force.”
Kagame, it is never too late to save lives. The bigger question though is this — why would anyone with a sound mind refuse a large intervention force in the middle of a genocide? Kagame, on what basis did you decide that a UN intervention force of 5,500 ”was too big”? Too big for what — to save lives? Kagame, your purpose was never to save lives. You were chasing power at any cost. As the saying goes, history won’t be unkind to You — it will be cruel.