How the world failed Rewanda

Interesting interview with the head of the UN peacekeeping mission to Rewanda and how the UN and rest of the world failed to act to stop the murder of 800,000 people.

Retired Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire does not mince words when speaking about Bill Clinton, who was U.S. president during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

In an interview with The Sunday Edition host Michael Enright on the 25th anniversary of the genocide, Dallaire listened to a 1998 speech in which Clinton expressed regret for not acting sooner.

“We did not act quickly enough after the killing began,” Clinton told genocide survivors in Kigali.

Dallaire rejects that assessment as downplaying just how thoroughly the U.S. ignored the crisis.

“Most of it is crap,” he said.

“A month before the genocide, [Clinton] produced a presidential directive that stated that the United States will not engage in any humanitarian operation, unless it’s in its self-interest,” he said. “He had instructed his staff — and I’ve had the opportunity to meet with his subordinate staff — not to tell him what the hell was going on.”

Dallaire was in charge of the UN peacekeeping mission during the genocide against the Tutsi minority. In 100 days, more than 800,000 Rwandans — most of them Tutsis and moderate Hutus — were slaughtered by the Rwandan military and Hutu militia.

He spent months begging to be allowed to stop this from happening but told to stand down, so he did he followed his order and watched 800,000 people be murdered.