On January 11, 1994—three months before the genocide began—Major General Romeo Dallaire, head of the original UN peacekeeping unit in Rwanda, sent a secret cable to UN officials in New York warning that a “very, very important government politician” had put him in touch with a Hutu informant who warned that Hutu malitias were planning the “extermination” of minority Tutsis.
No alarm bells went off at the UN, even though, as Gold writes, “Warning signs of an impending massacre were everywhere.” The man running the relevant division at the time, the Department of Peacekeeping Missions, was Kofi Annan.
Actually, alarm bells didn’t necessarily have to go off, as Gen. Dallaire offered a silver lining: He knew the location of the Hutus’ weapons cache, and he was planning to seize it and stop the slaughter before it started. But his plan to save hundreds of thousands of lives was short-circuited by Kofi Annan, who didn’t want to upset the sitting Hutu government or in any way appear to be taking sides.
Not only did Kofi not do anything to prevent genocide, but his actions almost assured that the Security Council wouldn’t either. According to various accounts cited by Gold, including the UN’s own post-debacle report, Security Council members complained that Kofi’s department kept them in the dark, not revealing the true nature and full extent of the genocide.
Once the slaughter started and tens of thousands had been murdered, Kofi acted—just not the right way. To make sure that Gen. Dallaire’s men were not trying to stop the genocide, he instructed the commander in Rwanda to “make every effort not to compromise your impartiality or to act beyond your mandate.”
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Joel Mowbray reports on Dore Gold's chapter on Kofi Annan and the Rwandan genocide in Gold's book Tower of Babble. If Gold's assertions are true (Mowbray characterizes the book as "heavily researched and copiously footnoted") Kofi Annan is a knowing accessory to 800,000 murders.