Daily Archives: June 18, 2010

Does The U.S. Have Some Responsibility For the Genocide in Rwanda by Gregory Hilton

In 1994, the Hutu majority in Rwanda organized and implemented the mass slaughter of the Tutsi minority. In just 100 days, 800,000 Tutsi were slaughtered. The UN troops were present but they did not act. In his memoirs, Bill Clinton described this as one of the biggest mistakes of his administration. They UN could have easily stopped the violence. The Hutus had no sophisticated weapons, only knives and clubs.
In March of 1998, on a visit to Rwanda, President Clinton spoke at Kigali Airport: “We come here today partly in recognition of the fact that we in the United States and the world community did not do as much as we could have and should have done to try to limit what occurred.”
The United States did much more than fail to send troops. It led a successful effort to remove most of the UN peacekeepers who were already on the ground. America aggressively worked to block the subsequent authorization of UN reinforcements.
The United States refused to use its technology to jam radio broadcasts that were a crucial instrument in the coordination and perpetuation of the genocide. And even as, on average, 8,000 Rwandans were being butchered each day, U.S. officials shunned the term “genocide,” for fear of being obliged to act. The United States in fact did virtually nothing “to try to limit what occurred.” Indeed, staying out of Rwanda was an explicit U.S. policy objective.
The story of the massacre of 800,000 is powerfully told by Samantha Power: http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/bill.htm