02 oktober, 2006

The case against Kofi Annan

I søndagsudgaven af The Times fik man i går lov til at nyde en grundig gennemgang af Kofi Annans indblanding i tre folkemord - Rwanda i 1994, Srebrenica i 1995 og Darfur fra 2003. En smagsprøve:

Charge one: Rwanda

That in 1994, Annan and the DPKO refused the UN commander General Romeo Dallaire (below) permission to raid Hutu arms caches, despite his warning mass slaughter was planned, that they failed to inform the security council, and failed to clarify the extent of the genocide

Unamir, the UN mission to Rwanda, was deployed in October 1993 to implement the Arusha peace accords, with the aim of ending the civil war between the Hutus and Tutsis. The Hutu government continued to plan a mass slaughter of Tutsis. By January 1994, ethnic tension was at boiling point. The 2,500 Unamir troops were under-equipped. Dallaire lacked everything from intelligence-gathering capability to batteries for troops’ torches.

By January 1994, Dallaire had received detailed information about the planned mass murder from a source inside the Hutu militia known as “Jean-Pierre”. The general asked the DPKO for authorisation to raid the arms caches and offer sanctuary to Jean-Pierre and his family. On January 11, 1994, he cabled New York: “Since Unamir mandate, he [Jean-Pierre] has been ordered to register all Tutsis in Kigali. He suspects it is for their extermination. Example he gave was that in 20 minutes his personnel could kill up to 1,000 Tutsis.” He said he planned to raid the arms caches within the next 36 hours. He concluded: “Peux ce-que veux. Allons-y” – “Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Let’s go.”

There was no will and no way. Annan’s office replied, in a cable signed by his deputy, Iqbal Riza: “We must handle this information with caution.” Dallaire warned of mass slaughter, but Annan counselled prudence. “No reconnaissance or other action, including response to request for protection, should be taken by Unamir until clear guidance is received from headquarters.” Dallaire was furious. The next day his boss, Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh, replied to Annan, backing Dallaire, emphasising that Jean-Pierre only had a maximum of 48 hours before he was due to distribute the arms for the massacres. Annan’s reply, again signed by Riza, was negative. He ordered Dallaire not to proceed with the planned raid. It was, he said, beyond Unamir’s mandate under resolution 872. This was untrue. UN mandates were interpreted by DPKO officials as they saw fit. Resolution 872 mandated Unamir to “secure the city of Kigali” within “a weapons-secure area established by the parties in and around the city”. This was sufficient mandate. Dallaire was not even allowed to help Jean-Pierre. “The overriding consideration is the need to avoid entering into a course of action that might lead to the use of force and unanticipated repercussions,” Annan’s cable concluded.

Had Annan permitted Dallaire to carry out his raids, the genocide might never have taken place. Not only did Annan and Riza twice refuse this, they then sat on his fax. They neither alerted other UN departments nor brought Dallaire’s warnings to the attention of the security council. The council then downsized Unamir from 2,500 troops to around 250. Dallaire stayed on. He helped save thousands of lives but, tormented by memories of those who died, he later became depressed and attempted suicide. He retired in 2000 and is now a senator in the Canadian parliament, active on human-rights issues.