SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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RWANDA: GENOCIDE AND THE CONTINUING CYCLE OF VIOLENCE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
MAY 5, 1998
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCBENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
WILLIAM GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
JAY KIM, California
STEVEN J. CHABOT, Ohio
MARSHALL ''MARK'' SANFORD, South Carolina
MATT SALMON, Arizona
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JON FOX, Pennsylvania
JOHN McHUGH, New York
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
KEVIN BRADY, Texas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCRICHARD BURR, North Carolina
LEE HAMILTON, Indiana
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD BERMAN, California
GARY ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT ANDREWS, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
PAT DANNER, Missouri
EARL HILLIARD, Alabama
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
STEVE ROTHMAN, New Jersey
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
BILL LUTHER, Minnesota
JIM DAVIS, Florida
LOIS CAPPS, California
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Democratic Chief of Staff
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Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey, Chairman
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DAN BURTON, Indiana
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
PETER T. KING, New York
MATT SALMON, Arizona
LINDSEY O. GRAHAM, South Carolina
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
TOM LANTOS, California
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
GROVER JOSEPH REES, Subcommittee Staff Director and Chief Counsel
ROBERT R. KING, Democratic Professional Staff Member
DOUGLAS C. ANDERSON, Counsel
CATHERINE DUBOIS, Staff Associate
C O N T E N T S
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Mr. Richard McCall, Chief of Staff, U.S. Agency for International Development
Mr. Dennis McNamara, Director, Division of International Protection, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
Mr. Shaharyar M. Khan, Former Special Representative, U.N. Secretary General to Rwanda
Senator Alain Destexhe, President, International Crisis Group, Director, Institute for International Economics
Dr. Alison Des Forges, Consultant, Human Rights Watch/Africa
Ms. Kathi L. Austin, Visiting Scholar, African Studies Center, Stanford University
Ms. Holly Burkhalter, Advocacy Director, Physicians for Human Rights
Mr. Francois-Xavier Nsanzuwera, Former President, CLADHO (Federation of Rwandese Associations of Human Rights)
Mr. Jeff Drumtra, Policy Analyst, U.S. Committee for Refugees
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, a Representative in Congress from New Jersey and Chairman, Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
Hon. Donald M. Payne, a Representative in Congress from New Jersey
Mr. Richard McCall
Mr. Dennis McNamara
Mr. Shaharyar M. Khan
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSenator Alain Destexhe, plus attachment ''Outgoing Code Cable''
Dr. Alison Des Forges
Ms. Kathi Austin
Ms. Holly Burkhalter
Mr. Francois-Xavier Nsanzuwera
Mr. Jeff Drumtra
Mr. Lionel Rosenblatt, President of Refugees international
Additional material submitted for the record:
The New Yorker, May 11, 1998, ''The Genocide Fax'', by Philip Gourevitch
April 24, 1998 letter to the President from Hon. Christopher H. Smith on Rwanda
May 5, 1998 letter to Hon. Benjamin A. Gilman from Senator Alain Destexhe on Rwanda
May 5, 1998, Update on the Screening of 80,000 Rwandan Asylum Seekers in Africa
May 1, 1998 Refugees International, ''Recommended Actions and Policies Toward the Great Lakes''
RWANDA: GENOCIDE AND THE CONTINUING CYCLE OF VIOLENCE
TUESDAY, MAY 5, 1998
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights,
Committee on International Relations,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:05 a.m. in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Christopher Smith (chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Chairman SMITH. The Subcommittee will come to order.
Today this Subcommittee meets to hold its third hearing on Rwanda, a country whose people have been caught up in some of the most brutal events in modern history. The focus of this hearing is the role played by outsiders, the United States, European nations, and the United Nations and its affiliated agencies for good or for ill during the 1994 genocide and the ensuing cycle of violence.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC On April 6, 1994, Hutu extremists began the systematic massacre of Rwanda's minority Tutsi population. They also killed many thousands of moderate Hutus who had refused to participate in the bloodshed. For the next 3 months, mothers and their babies were hacked to death with machetes and families seeking refuge in churches were butchered inside. People stopped at checkpoints were killed on the spot if their ID cards listed their ethnicity as Tutsi. Streets were littered with corpses, and literally ran red with blood. Estimates of the number of people killed ranged from 500,000 to 1 million.
The tragedy did not end there. After the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front (the RPF), gained control of the country, 2 million Hutus fled Rwanda, leading to a protracted refugee crisis in which countless innocents died of disease, starvation and murder in what was then eastern Zaire and elsewhere.
Even today the fighting continues between the Government of Rwanda and the insurgent forces of the former genocidaires, the ex-FAR and the Interahamwe. Both the Hutu insurgents and the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) continue to commit serious atrocities against civilians. The insurgents attacked and murdered Tutsi refugees, including women and children, and have attempted to reignite ethnic hatred against the Tutsi population.
Meanwhile, the Rwandan Army, according to our own State Department, has ''committed thousands of killings of unarmed civilians in the past year, including routine and systematic killings of families, including women and children.'' There are no clean hands among the parties to that conflict.
During his trip to Rwanda in March, President Clinton properly lamented the horrors of the 1994 genocide and stated, ''The international community must bear its share of responsibility for this tragedy.'' His remarks were correct, as far as they went, but they left many critical questions unanswered.
Those questions can be divided into two basic categories. First, what did the United Nations, the United States, and other non-African governments do either to deter or to stop the 1994 genocide? President Clinton admitted that we did not act quickly enough after the killing began, but he did not address what the United States may have failed to do before the killings began that might have averted the disaster.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC As recounted in the current issue of the New Yorker magazine, a high-ranking Rwandan informant had warned the U.N. leadership, including Kofi Annan, and the United States about preparations for killings 3 months before they began. The recipients apparently did not act on that information. Without objection, the full article will be made a part of the record.
[The information appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Furthermore, the United States has been accused not merely of inaction, but also of obstructing preemptive multilateral efforts to quell the crisis. Some have alleged that, in the words of Refugees International president Lionel Rosenblatt, the ball was not only dropped by the United States, it was blocked by the United States.
The second category of questions concerns what the United States is doing today to affect the situation in Rwanda for the better. Have we really learned any valuable lessons from the horrors of 1994? The one lesson that the Clinton Administration has drawn is to back the current Tutsi-led Government of Rwanda. Whether or not this is the wrong lesson, it is at best a tragically incomplete lesson.
Somehow the international community, as it likes to call itself, has failed to learn the most important lesson of all. When we have information that suggests innocent people are about to be massacred, we must act on that information, rather than ignoring it and hoping that it will go away. Yet, in July 1995, not even a year after the Rwanda genocide, U.N. peacekeepers in Bosnia ignored all the warning signs and let the massacre at Srebrenica happen. As in 1996 and 1997, when Hutu refugees were being slaughtered by the thousands in eastern Zaire, the U.S. policymakers seemed more interested in disputing the number of refugees than in stopping the slaughter.
None of this is meant to suggest that there are not important differences between the participants in the Rwanda conflict. The recent killings by Hutu insurgents may well be motivated by the desire to complete the genocide they started in 1994, whereas the RPA killings may be motivated only by the desire for power and for revenge. The fact that the massacre is not genocide, however, does not make it any less of a massacre.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Moreover, the United Ststes bears a special moral responsibility when it comes to those whom we are supporting, both symbolically and financially, when they are killing thousands of innocent men, women, and children. An end to such killings must be an absolute condition on U.S. military assistance.
I must add that, despite continued attempts to get a complete picture of the nature and extent of that assistance, I still have not received satisfactory answers from the Administration about the military support the United States has provided to the RPA. Without objection, I would like to make my latest inquiry to the President a part of today's record.
[The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. I hope that our witnesses today will suggest ways in which the United States might improve the behavior of both the Hutu insurgents and the Administration's chosen ally, the Rwandan Government. Any lasting peace in Rwanda must be based on reconciliation, and reconciliation must be based on democracy and respect for human rights.
Finally, I am disappointed that all but one of the Administration officials responsible for the U.S. policy toward Rwanda refused to be here today. Although I asked the State Department to send a representative to participate in this hearing some time ago, the Department turned down my request, citing an internal rule that State Department representatives are not allowed to testify while the Secretary of State is appearing elsewhere on Capitol Hill. That rule, which is a public relations gimmick, pure and simplemotivated not by policy but by spin controlhas caused the State Department to be absent from numerous Subcommittee hearings. It is particularly irksome in this case because it turns out the Secretary of State will not be testifying on Capitol Hill this morning after all. As we all know, she is not even in the country.
The Defense Department initially agreed to testify, but then used the State Department's nonparticipation in this hearing as its justification for not attending. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly protest this practice, which elevates public relations over substance, and significantly obstructs efforts to hold the Administration accountable to Congress and, by extension, to the American people.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I want to thank, however, Mr. Richard McCall, USAID's man, for having the courage and the courtesy to testify before our hearing today.
Finally, I would like to thank my very good friend and colleague, Representative Cynthia McKinney, whose dedication and persistence has contributed mightily to this hearing today. I would like to yield for any opening comments she might have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Smith appears in the appendix.]
Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. After centuries of living together in relative peace, Rwandan Hutus and Tutsis were taught to fear and mistrust one another because of disparaging treatment at the hands of Belgian colonialists. The Belgians treated Tutsis as an upper class, providing them with an education and important government positions, while relegating the majority Hutu population to agricultural work and manual labor.
Furthermore, the Belgians began requiring Hutus and Tutsis to carry identification cards, further creating an atmosphere of fear and hatred. The strong animosity created by colonialists was maintained after independence as extremist Hutu leaders sought to strike back at Tutsis by removing them from all positions of power and refraining from punishing those who committed acts of violence against Tutsi civilians.
The ethnic cleansing of Tutsis in the early 1960's led to an exile population that was spread across Uganda, Zaire, Burundi and Tanzania. Persecution and expulsion of minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus continued through the 1980's and early 1990's until the tragic events unfolded that led to this genocide.
I provide this history, Mr. Chairman, to enlighten those who find it convenient to attribute the killings to the irrational tribal hatred and bloodthirstiness of Africans.
Rather, what subsequent investigations have revealed is that the killings were not spontaneous expressions of inevitable hatred, but a well-orchestrated pattern of genocide, planned for and prepared by extremists, indeed ethnic supremacists to be sure, but essentially extremists concerned with holding on to power and wealth that they had come to control after 20 years in power.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The tribal card was played by these extremists, who accused any Hutu who did not join in their cause of betraying Hutus, and used propaganda and fear, the twin tactics of Nazis and fascists in Europe, to intimidate many into joining the killing. Those who resisted, many being moderate Hutus, were themselves murdered.
What makes the genocide even more tragic, Mr. Chairman, is that the United Nations, as well as the United States and its allies, could easily have prevented the slaughter. After the death of 10 Belgian U.N. peacekeepers at the hands of extremist militias known as Interahamwe, Belgium decided to remove all of their troops. To keep from appearing as if they were acting alone, the Belgian foreign minister telephoned U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and asked if the United States would call for the withdrawal of all UNAMIR troops. The United States agreed.
Despite the calls for additional assistance from General Romeo Dallaire, the U.N. Supreme Commander in Rwanda, the Security Council voted to withdraw all but a few of the peacekeepers. Most of the Interahamwe were armed with nothing more than machetes and clubs. Thus, a well-armed force of a few thousand strategically placed peacekeepers could have stopped or at least greatly reduced the killing.
In 1994, close to 1 million people were killed in a planned and systematic genocide. How did this carnage occur when the world declared after World War II that it would never again tolerate such violence? Who is responsible? Why did the international community fail to respond? How can we stop the continuing cycle of violence in the Great Lakes region? In this, the most inclusive examination into the Rwandan genocide ever conducted by the United States, I hope we can begin to find the answers to these and other questions. Regardless, eventually the truth will be known.
It is interesting that Secretary General Kofi Annan will be in Kigali tomorrow. Perhaps his visit will shed some light on the reasons why the United Nations and the international community abdicated its responsibility in 1994.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would like to thank the witnesses, some of whom have traveled great distances to be here with us today. They have come because of the tragedy that the world knows as Rwanda. They have come because they viewed this hearing as an important step in informing the Congress and the American people of what went wrong in Rwanda and how we can help to make it right.
But although these witnesses travelled great distances to be with us, I regret the U.S. State Department deemed a hearing investigating this tragedy, the death of 1 million men, women and children, unworthy of their traveling just across town. In the weeks leading up to today, State Department officials telephoned my office on more than one occasion expressing their displeasure with this hearing. One person actually raised her voice at my staff, asserting that this is completely unnecessary.
All of this opposition raises a question as to whether the State Department officials believe that today is simply unworthy of their participation, or perhaps there is another reason why they don't want this event to happen.
I do, however, welcome Mr. McCall from USAID. Formulating an effective policy can only be accomplished in learning from previous mistakes, from rehabilitation, so it must be clear that our purpose for asking how and why is not simply to condemn, but rather to ensure that ''never again'' means ''never again.''
The Great Lakes region has vast natural and human resources, offering enormous economic potential. Crafting an effective partnership with this region will benefit the people of central Africa and the United States.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for calling this hearing.
Chairman SMITH. Thank you for your very strong opening statement.
I would like to ask Mr. Richard McCall, who was appointed Chief of Staff at the U.S. Agency for International Development in May 1993, to present his testimony.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Before joining USAID, Mr. McCall was a professional staff member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Oceans, and the Environment. During the Carter Administration, Mr. McCall was the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs.
Thank you, Mr. McCall. I look forward to your testimony.
STATEMENT OF RICHARD McCALL, CHIEF OF STAFF, UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Mr. MCCALL. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, I wanted to express my appreciation for your inviting me to participate in today's hearings. The manner in which the international community reacted to the Rwanda genocide before, during and afterwards, has led to considerable soul-searching among donors, both international and nongovernmental relief organizations.
The international community was ill-equipped to deal with the post-cold war world, particularly the emergence of complex emergencies, many of which have had as their underpinnings ethnic, religious, cultural and nationalistic roots.
This vexing reality has led to several informal meetings comprised of donors, international humanitarian organizations and NGO's. The most recent meeting was held on April 3 and 4 of this year in Stockholm, Sweden, with some 40 representatives of these institutions participating. Swedish Foreign Minister Jan Eliason opened the meeting by raising five questions which were directed at the functioning of the international system.
One, have we sufficiently analyzed and adapted to the reality of today's conflicts? The answer is no.
Two, do we have comprehensive answers to those complex conflicts and do those answers reflect the realities on the ground? The answer is no.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Three, do we look at these conflicts within the totality of all interventionsmilitary, political, humanitarian, and economic? The answer is no.
Do we have the mechanisms not only to mobilize effective resources, but also to ensure that those resources are used to ameliorate the root causes of conflict? The answer is no.
How can we maintain the integrity, let alone apply the principles of humanitarian law, when many actors are nonstate actors? That is a challenge we have faced not only in the Great Lakes, but in Bosnia and Somalia, as well, in recent times.
The primary focus of the Stockholm conference was a retrospective of the Great Lakes crisis. As I mentioned in my prepared statement, the issues raised by these questions have been more than amply documented by a number of assessments.
I have at length described Rwanda's recent past. Our challenge now is to chart a course for the present and the future which reflects the reality of that past. Genocide is a historical event that informs history from the day it begins and forever into the future.
We have a problem. The international community initiated its long-term engagement with Rwanda by accommodating violence, and we allowed the genocidaires to set up shop in the camps. Unfortunately, this contributed to the institutionalization of violence, rather than breaking the cycle of impunity which gave rise to the genocide in the first place.
The solution to that problem is to be unequivocally clear about the genocide and its perpetrators. The nature of the evil continuing to plague the region cannot be underestimated. Not only are the genocidaires committed to finishing what was left undone in 1994, but they continue to be willing to kill and sacrifice their own people to do so.
Another part of the solution is to take serious stock of the lessons learned. In my view, the stakes are high enough that only this kind of structural response will get to the root of the problem.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Administration certainly has made clear its commitment in taking the lead and meeting this problem head on:
First, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's speech before the Organization of African Unity in December, where she acknowledged our responsibility for not acting sooner to deal with the unfolding genocide in Rwanda;
Second, the President's recent historic trip to Africa, where a considerable amount of time was spent both at the Entebbe summit with heads of state and in Rwanda detailing the commitment of the U.S. Government in preventing a reoccurrence of the events of 1994. At the behest of the Administration, the U.N. Arms Flow Commission for the Great Lakes has been reconstituted in an effort to cut off the supply of arms which is fueling widespread conflict in the region and the continued genocide in Rwanda.
The Administration is committed to taking the lead in the creation of an international coalition against genocide in the Great Lakes region. The Administration looks forward to working with you and other members of the legislative branch in securing funding for the Great Lakes Justice Initiative. In the case of Rwanda, that initiative will build upon work we are already doing with the government to strengthen the justice system, including the system of military justice.
Following the President's visit, resources have been made available to work with Radio Rwanda to develop reconciliation programs and to deal with the hate propaganda the genocidaires continue to promote.
One of the most significant achievements of the President's trip to Africa was a communiqué agreed upon by the heads of state who attended. All the leaders, including President Bizimungu of Rwanda, committed themselves to the protection of human rights, democratization and the promotion of the rule of law.
The Administration is committed to working with Rwanda and the region to accomplish the goals set out in the Entebbe summit. The Entebbe communiqué also committed the heads of state to deny extremist networks the use of their territory, postal services, airports, financial institutions, and communications systems. The heads of state called upon all states to implement tight controls over these networks abroad.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The heads of state also pledged to support the efforts of the OAU imminent personality study of the Rwandan genocide and the surrounding events.
The U.S. Government will be working closely with the Government of Rwanda in preparing for local elections to be held in a number of communities later this year. The goal is to begin building the processes of participatory democracy from the bottom up. One of our flagship projects in Rwanda is the Office of Transition Initiatives' ''Women in Transition'' program, designed to meet economic and social needs of women in Rwanda, Hutu and Tutsi alike.
We will be participating in meetings with like-minded donors later this month and in early June to work out a strategic framework for the Government of Rwanda to more effectively meet the economic and social needs of all Rwandans.
In sum, we are forging a comprehensive political, economic, and social strategy to prevent the recurrence of genocide and to promote a transition to a stable, inclusive, and peaceful Rwanda, and we are not doing it alone. We will be engaged collaboratively with other like-minded donors who share the same concerns and the same goals. We look forward to working with Congress and moving this process forward.
Once again, I want to express my appreciation for your invitation to testify today. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. McCall appears in the appendix.]
Chairman SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. McCall.
Mr. Ballenger, do you have an opening comment?
Mr. BALLENGER. I would just like to thank everybody for having the hearing. I have no statement. I am here for an education, to be frank with you.
Chairman SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Ballenger.
Mr. McCall, let me ask you a couple of questions. First, I think you probably saw the article, which brought renewed focus, in the New Yorker magazine that has just been published, ''The Genocide Fax, Annals of Diplomacy,'' by Philip Gourevitch. He makes the point, after pointing out that after the fax from the U.N. military commander on the scene in Rwanda, Dallaire pointed out that an informant had given incredibly incisive information about an upcoming mass slaughter. As a matter of fact, the informant was given the sad and sorry task of compiling names of Tutsis who would be then, according to him, executed systematically in a massive way.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The information goes on, it was given over the name of Kofi Annan, who is obviously the head of the U.N. peacekeeping operations, and the response back was to do nothing, apparently. Yet the information was told to be shared with certain ambassadors, including the U.S. Ambassador in Rwanda.
What was done with that information when it was received by the United States?
Mr. MCCALL. Mr. Chairman, I have no knowledge of that. What I know is what I have read. Early on, after the genocide took place, we established an interagency working groupand I don't know if this answers your questionto basically start looking at crisis early warning and melding that into a preventive strategy. And in one of the sessions that we had that included the State Department's INR Bureau, DIA, CIA, USAID, I asked the question.
I said, if you go back and look at the genesis of the Rwandan genocide, why didn't the red flags go up when the Interahamwe militias were being trained and armed? It was public knowledge. Everybody could see these exercises that were going on. The response from the DIA analyst was that our biggest problem is we have not adjusted to the post-cold war era.
The only concern we had was, who was arming the Rwandan military and who was training the Rwandan military? So within the context of an analytical framework, these things don't show up on the radar screen.
I have argued for some time, from the very beginning of this Administrationand it wouldn't have been just this Administration; I don't care who would have won the election 8 years ago or 5 years agothe biggest challenge we had was to make the adjustment from the cold war era. We were not structured in a way to really look at information within the context of the types of crises that we now are experiencing, and the ones we are going to have to deal with well into the future.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This is not to apologize whatsoever for information that may or may not have been available and not acted upon. But the simple fact of the matter is we in the international community have been ill prepared to deal with this information and to act upon it.
Mr. SMITH. I appreciate that answer. Major General Dallaire, however, a person who obviously had information that was absolutely timely and was, according to this article and according to other information that we on the Subcommittee have seen, ready to act very quickly, but got the word back from Kofi Annan, and by way of a memo or fax, apparently, the other international participants, especially the United States, had this information.
Again I want to echo what my good friend, Ms. McKinney, said earlier, we wanted to hear from the State Department. It probably would have the information that we seek as to what did we know, when did we know it, and what did we do with it. Not to listen to the head peacekeeper when he has information that is timely about a horrific potential massacre that is in the making is incompetent, at best.
Notwithstanding the post-cold war environment, hopefully we learned those lessons from Bosnia. I remember hearing General Brent Scowcroft, when I came back from Bukavu, telling me this is a post-cold war period. Let Europe handle it. Things will take place.
By the end of the Bush Administration, they had come to the agonizing realization that Europe had dropped the ball on it and the time for decisive action had passed. Hopefully, that lesson was learned in Rwanda or when the potential of a massacre was beginning to become apparent.
Again, to have such timely information seemingly was a godsend, because, as Ms. McKinney again pointed out, a well-armed action on the part of Dallaire might have stopped hundreds of thousands of people from being slaughtered.
I would respectfully request on behalf of the Subcommittee that we get that information from the State Department in detail as to what did we know, where were the decisions made, what kind of collaboration did we have with our other Western allies who, according to the fax back to Dallaire, admonished himor advised him, I should sayto deliver this information to the French and the Belgian ambassadors. What did we do? Did we just put it on a shelf or did we at least take it seriously? It seems to me we need to know this to better get a handle on the situation.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have received some reports that equipment purchased for the use of judicial personnel, particularly motor vehicles, have been confiscated by the military. Is USAID aware of such reports and what are we doing in response to that?
Mr. MCCALL. Just a second.
I am not aware of any.
Mr. SMITH. If you could
Mr. MCCALL. We will look at that, yes.
Mr. SMITH [continuing]. And get back to us for the record, we would appreciate that.
In your opinion, what impact do the recent public executions of convicted genocide perpetrators, what impact does that have on the prospects for peace and reconciliation? Especially since, if the reports are correct, people were in an almost jovial, laughing mood. It reminds me of the pictures we see sometimes of the French guillotine during the French Revolution, of this almost carnival-like atmosphere.
Second, shouldn't those cases be handled by the War Crimes Tribunal as a better venue to adjudicate those cases?
Mr. MCCALL. OK, let me answer that in two parts.
I have been to Rwanda a number of times. We lost 18 of our foreign service nationals who worked for USAID during the genocide. Our people were evacuated; they weren't. Every one of the nationals that survived had family members who were lost in the genocide.
When I go back, I spend a considerable amount of time with the survivors, and I keep running through my own mind how fortunate I am that it wasn't my children and my family that were the subject of such horror. I have two sons and a wife who are the most important people in my life.
I will say love is a most powerful, if not the most powerful, emotion that anyone could experience. But when you lose someone under those circumstances, I wonder in my own mind what my reaction would be. What thin line is there between love and revenge?
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I go back. I sit down with these people and they say, you know, we act as if life is normal. We act as if we enjoy our work. We laugh. But deep down the pain won't go away. You walk around that country and you can see the physical scars, the healed machete chops on faces and heads. But I will tell you one thing, the scars that will never heal are the emotional scars.
I can't judge in my own estimation, because I don't know what my reaction would be under similar circumstances. But all I know is that the executions did accomplish one purpose. It is like lancing a boil. And the end result is that what is happening now within the prisons in Rwanda is that people are starting to lay out confessions, and the plea bargaining process is under way.
It may not be something that we find particularly acceptable, but I can't judge something when I myself have doubts in my own mind how I would react under similar circumstances.
It may not be a good answer, Mr. Chairman, but all I can do is basically reach inside myself and ask myself the question, would I have reacted differently? I am not so sure I would.
Mr. SMITH. So is the Administration convinced that those who have been executed were guilty, that due process was followed?
Mr. MCCALL. I think for the most part. William Chavis, who is a law professor, I think at the University of Quebec, who has spent 5 years in Rwanda looking at the judicial processes, says early on a handful of defendants did not have benefit of attorney; but he also states that since a number of people have been acquitted, it is his sense that they are getting as fair trials as possible under the circumstances.
If you look at the tribunal, it has been 3 1/2 years since the tribunal was established. Not one conviction yet.
I think from the standpoint of reconciliation and the ability of the Rwandans to start beginning to resolve this question, you need to see at least some semblance of justice finally being rendered.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I do think over the long term if we address what I think are the fundamental issues that have been laid out in the U.S. Committee on Refugees' recent report on Rwanda, the basic economic and social problems that continue to plague all sectors of that population; if we do not deal with the social and economic deprivation that is going on in that society that will continue to create tensions among the various groups; I think it will contribute not only to the continuation of the tensions, but also remain a major obstacle to reconciliation in that society.
Rwandans have to pull together, but they have to have the tools to pull together.
Mr. SMITH. Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the War Crimes Tribunal?
Mr. MCCALL. I think the War Crimes Tribunalafter foot-dragging and administrative problems, is finally reaching the point where it should be. But it took far too long for it to get to where it should be.
Mr. SMITH. Could you tell me if USAID is funding and will continue to fund the U.N. human rights field operation in Rwanda? Is it the policy of the United States that this operation must continue to investigate alleged civil rights abuses by insurgents and by the Rwandan Government, as well as to provide tactical assistance to the Rwandan Government?
Mr. MCCALL. We support the human rights field operation in Rwanda. I think one of the things early onand it is very, very important for that operation to begin accomplishing thiswe felt that not only the monitoring and reporting was important, but they had to start building up the capacity and society to do that job themselves. And I think that is a major and still remains a major issue for them to focus on.
But they need to build up the indigenous capacity from the standpoint of respect for human rights, but also for people to, for the first time in their history, raise their hand and stay, stop, when it comes to threatening to kill somebody or killing somebody, stop. That is against the law.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Society has to be mobilized across the board if human rights over the long term are to be something that is cherished and respected in that society.
Mr. SMITH. Has there been any resistance by the Rwandan Government to the continued monitoring by international investigators of the U.N. human rights field operation?
Mr. MCCALL. Mr. Chairman, not that I am aware of. I heard there was a report a couple of weeks ago where the head of the human rights operation in Rwanda had expressed satisfaction that the Rwandan Government was responding very positively on the human rights side.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. McCall, how much assistance does our government provide to Rwanda today and, in your estimation, do you think that is enough? And if it is not, what are the areas we should be involved in to help that country rehabilitate itself?
Mr. MCCALL. Our total assistance for this fiscal year is $16.5 million. Our planned assistance for next year is $7.5 million.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Planned assistance is going down?
Mr. MCCALL. Yes.
You are asking me a question that I am going to give my personal view
Ms. MCKINNEY. OK.
Mr. MCCALL [continuing]. Which is sometimes one of the reasons they don't like me coming up.
I think we are clearly not doing enough. I think from the very, very beginning the problem inside Rwandaand once again, you have to get an understanding of the sense of the government during this whole episode the past 4 years. I mean, we have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the refugee camps in the case of Rwanda.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I attended the donor conferences. Pledges in the hundreds of millions were made. But the way donors operate within the context of post-crisis, very little disbursal of these resources was made in a timely fashion.
I firmly believe that unless the basic issues of economic deprivation, which include basic health services, education and job opportunities, are addressed, reconciliation will not take place in that society. You have basically, as the U.S. Committee for Refugees has detailed in their report, five different populations thereit is not a Hutu-Tutsi situationfive different populations that have different experiences that basically shape and influence their view of life inside Rwanda.
Our biggest challenge is, at the community level, to get people to come together around common problems and to assure that resources are there, quite frankly, for them to deal with and solve their common problems. We clearly are not doing enough.
This whole issue of debt and managing the external debt from the previous regime is a major, major obstacle from the standpoint of the government's ability to provide the resources to tackle some of these fundamental problems.
I might add that in the context of what we are planning to do next year, a significant portion of the Great Lakes justice initiative monies will be going to Rwanda. That is why it doesn't show up in the planned expenditures.
Ms. MCKINNEY. When the President went to Rwanda, he announced $30 million in the Great Lakes initiative. However, that is money that hasn't even been authorized or appropriated yet. So that is not money that is on the table.
Mr. MCCALL. That is absolutely correct.
Ms. MCKINNEY. So that is engaging in public relations and not substantive contribution to the rehabilitation of the country as far as I am concerned.
$2 million was announced for the survivors. Is that enough?
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MCCALL. I think it is a start, and I think it will catalyze contributions from other donors as well. But, no, clearly it is not enough.
Clearly we don't have enough to do everything we are called upon to do in Africa. I think that is a major issue not only for the Administration, but for the Congress as well. Africa is going through transitions. Some of these transitions are going to be very, very messy. It is going to require us doing business differently than we have ever done before if we are going to be able to help mitigate the consequences of many of these transitions and prevent, quite frankly, violent transitions, that in the event we can't completely control it, at least to mitigate it.
That requires not only resources, but it also requires the ability of us to put people in the field. Our operating expenses right now will not allow us to adequately staff our programs in the field.
So these are the realities that we are going to have to address if we are going to be able to more effectively respond to these challenges. I think, quite frankly, despite the Rwandas, despite the Democratic Republics of the Congo and the like, the opportunities are there if we just demonstrate that we have the capacity, will, and resources to participate in taking advantage of these opportunities.
Ms. MCKINNEY. So could you remind us how much was spent on the refugee camps?
Mr. MCCALL. The estimates go up to $2 billion.
Ms. MCKINNEY. $2 billion?
Mr. MCCALL. Yes.
Ms. MCKINNEY. And our contribution next year is estimated to be $7.5 million?
Mr. MCCALL. When I say $2 billion, not the United States.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. MCKINNEY. I understand. I understand.
Could you tell me who the leader of the rebels is? The leader of the rebels who are now continuing to fight in Rwanda?
Mr. MCCALL. I don't know who the leader is, and I don't consider them rebels; I consider them genocidaires. There is a difference between a rebel and a genocidaire.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Do you know who their leader is?
Mr. MCCALL. No.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Does anyone know?
Mr. MCCALL. I don't know.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Do you think a negotiated settlement is possible with a genocidaire?
Mr. MCCALL. No. In the history of this kind of murder, would anybody ask you to negotiate with your killers whose primary purpose in life is to finish the job?
Ms. MCKINNEY. It is my understanding at one time the U.S. Government was asking the RPF to negotiate with the genocidal leaders.
Mr. MCCALL. It certainly didn't come up in the context of any of the interagency meetings we had. I would have, since I have a volatile temper anyway in these meetings, you would have seen an explosion that would have ripped off the top of the building if it had come up.
I am not aware that that was ever done. But I find it totally offensive that we would even contemplate asking for something like that.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Finally, Mr. Chairman, I have one more question.
Mr. SMITH. Yes.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Has the Africa Bureau or State Department, to your knowledge, made any changes as a result of what happened in Rwanda so that at least its response time, its recognition that there is a problem of substance more than just a civil war kind of situationwhat have we done to change the way we operate so that we can be better equipped in the future?
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MCCALL. I think basically there have been changes, and I have tremendous respect and admiration for Susan Rice. I think she is very dedicated. And if there is one thing that she is very, very adamant on, this is not going to happen again, and we will focus our attention on resources in any way, shape or form, to prevent it from happening again.
Yes, I think it has changed.
Ms. MCKINNEY. That is with the culture that Susan Rice brings. Have any institutional changes been made?
Mr. MCCALL. I think changes are as much personality as anything, and I think from the top of the department on down, this is an issue that the people are not going to let go of. This is something that they are not going to sit back and basically say, well, there is only so much we can do. This is not something that people are going to allow to fade from their memories.
So I do think that from the standpoint of the commitment of the Administration, and it is from the President on down, I think it is reflected throughout the executive branch, there is a greater focus on the Great Lakes at every effort of the United States, at every level of the U.S. Government, than there ever has been before. So I think, yes, it has affected institutional changes.
I think a primary example is when hate radio broadcasts started once again, teams were deployed basically to get a handle on how we deal with it, and I think the issue of dealing with hate radio and propaganda and the need to work with the Government of Rwanda to deal with the reconciliation throughout that society, using radio, which is a major means of communication in that country, yes, does demonstrate a change and a more proactive stance on our part.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much. Mr. Ballenger.
Mr. BALLENGER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As I said, I am not terribly knowledgeable along these lines. Was there not a genocide that occurred here previously? I don't know whether Hutus attacked Tutsis or Tutsis attacked Hutus, but wasn't there sometime in the fairly recent past, 40 or 50 years ago? Or am I mistaken?
Mr. MCCALL. I am not familiar. Burundi has beenthe neighbor to the south has seen massive killings that are ethnic-based over, particularly, the last decade.
In the case of Rwanda, in 1959 when Rwanda gained independence and the Belgians turned over the government to the then-Hutu majority, you had a number of killings which led to a massive exodus of Tutsis into the surrounding countries, particularly Uganda and Tanzania.
Many people who understand the history of this country say the genocide began in 1990 when 500 Tutsis were killed in the Ruhengeri area, which is the hotbed, the northwest is the hotbed of the genocidaires, when 500 people were killed. The people involved in the killings were identified, and when the case went to court, it was thrown out by the judge on a technicality.
So from the standpoint of history, 195960 and 1990 are kind of similar events that laid a framework for the ultimate genocide to begin in 1994.
Mr. BALLENGER. Again, just trying to educate myself on why this occurred. Was it not a position that the Tutsis supposedly were the superior race and Hutus were enslaved or something? Again, I am just remembering vague things that come out of the past to me.
Mr. MCCALL. Going back in history, before colonization, you had a Tutsi kingdom in Rwanda. You had Tutsi royalty, you had Hutus and Tutsis serving under that royalty, primarily as equals.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The dispute arose when the Tutsi kingdom, which the Army comprised both Hutus and Tutsis, expanded into what is now northwest Rwanda and into areas of the Kabus.
This was a system from a cultural standpoint that treated members of society, whether you are Hutu or Tutsi, the same under the royalty. They were equals; there were customs that basically rewarded each other for particular valor in combat. But it is the northwest where this kingdom was expanded that met the most resistance; and historically, it has been the northwest that has been the primary hotbed of radicalism.
In the post-independence era, when you had a Hutu Government, it wasn't a Hutu Government per se, it was comprised of an elite from the northwest. The southerners, southern Hutus, were treated as less than equals as well. There has been this north-south divide between Hutus historically, which is a reason why a lot of Hutus were killed in the genocide as well. They wanted accommodation with the Tutsis. They wanted to find a way to build a society that hopefully, ultimately would be a nonethnic society. But that wasn't to be.
Mr. BALLENGER. As you may know, I was heavily involved in both El Salvador and Nicaragua during their wars and in each case, a person, an individual stepped forwardI was thinking specifically of Mrs. Chamorro in Nicaragua, who was a person that both sides could support. She spent her whole years in reconciliation, because so many people killed each other.
Is there any kind of leadership like that available in this area, where somebody really cares enough to try to put it together?
Mr. MCCALL. I think the current government, which is comprised of Hutus and Tutsis alike, are committed to that, and I think, quite frankly, and it may be naive, there is a commitment to creating a nonethnic society.
One of the first things this government did was issue new identity cards that did not have the ethnic identity on the card. Those cards were cards that were developed during the Belgian occupation, as colonial powersto make a distinction between Tutsis and Hutus; this government doesn't want a distinction between Tutsis and Hutus. Those cards basically became the death warrant.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BALLENGER. Do you personally have a feeling that there is a chance or a hope in this community?
Mr. MCCALL. Congressman, you have to. You cannot give up on the world, particularly this part of the world.
I think genocide has implications far beyond the area in which it happens. To not feel it deeply inside youthis has changed me. I never have experienced anything that has impacted on me personally as something like this. This is something I will carry to my grave because of the implications it has for humankind.
You can't get it out of your system. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about it. But it is my obligation, and I think it is the obligation of all of us, to hold these feelings. That is the only way, in my estimation, as a public servant, that I can push when I see things that may be developing, that are reminiscent of this, that I push to make sure as a public servant, I carry out my moral obligation to ensure it doesn't happen again.
Mr. BALLENGER. Mr. McCall, thank you. I would say that I hope there are a whole bunch more people like you in the world. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. McCall, when the mass exodus into Zaire was occurring, and we had some timely information from people like Lionel Rosenblatt and others that another massive killing was occurring, what was USAID's response to that? Because Assistant Secretary Phyllis Oakley came and testified, and at that point the word from the Administration was in the not-too-distant future, almost imminently, there would be access so that the international humanitarian assistance could find a way to those who were suffering and dying.
Was the lesson learned applied there? Because I felt personally, as chairman, that we were being stonewalled there. Hutu, Tutsi, if a child is being slaughtered or hacked to death, I couldn't care less what their ethnicity was or what sins or crimes their parents may have committed. That person is in need of help, and a refugee is a refugee regardless of race or color and, as I said, regardless of whether Hutu or Tutsi.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Was that lesson applied there? Because many of us felt that we were being stonewalled, and as I said in my opening comments, we were getting back from our own representatives on the ground that they were unconvinced about the numbers that we were getting from the refugee community which has no ax to grind other than assistance. That is their whole raison d'etre.
Mr. MCCALL. Mr. Chairman, that is a good question. We didn't know what the numbers were. One of the big issues the summer before this happened was the unwillingness of the camp leaders to allow us into the camps. I talked to refugees who came back, in the repatriation working with NGO's, who basically walked away from the camps; and they said the reason they walked away from the camps was because of the morality of sustaining basically genocide there in the camp, but also there was double-counting going on in the camps, that a number of the identity cards to get rations, Zaireans were using them.
So from the standpoint of how many people existed in the camps, particularly in the Goma camps, we have no idea because there was an unwillingnessand they got very violent about it when the census takers tried to come into the camp. So I think there was a dispute as to how many were actually in those camps.
We sent a DART team out early on during this crisis when the alliance forces were moving against the camps to see if we could establish humanitarian aid corridors. It was just complete chaos at that particular time.
I would also like to give you a sense of the discussion on the multinational force. I would like to go back to October 1993 in Somalia when U.S. servicemen were killed in Somalia and the outcry in this country about U.S. servicemen dying in a country where we have very few interests; and once again, I disagree with that.
I think humanitarianism isprobably from a morality standpoint and from a human standpoint and from the standpoint of the human community dealing with this problem is not something that you put down at the bottom of the priority list.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. And this was done in a totally bipartisan way.
Mr. MCCALL. I agree.
Mr. SMITH. You may recall the outcry that came from the Hill when Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and others within the Administration came forward and it became apparent that there was a refusal to provide the requisite backup to our men, that the killings of our servicemen were unnecessary because they did not have the kind of firepower that the commanders on the ground, a political decision was made, and that is where the angst was on Capitol Hill. I will never forget the meetings we had where Democrats and Republicans rose and took the Administration to task.
Loss of life is part of the sad equation when people are deployed in such hazardous areas, but when a political decision was made such as it was in Somalia not to back them up, that is when both sides of the aisles went ballistic.
The lesson of Somalia was, if you are going to make that kind of a deployment, do it in a way, as Colin Powell would say, so that you have a superior force to meet any contingency. And that was not done, because it wasn't politically correct or could not carry the day based on a calculation at the White House.
Mr. MCCALL. Let me complete what I was saying, Mr. Chairman.
Once again, I think from the standpoint of the international system it has to be restructured from the peacekeeping standpoint. Peacekeeping doesn't get you what you need in situations like this. You have to have within the international system the political will to implement it and the forces that will go in basically to do the disarming.
We are kind of caught betwixt and between, patching a system together. There has to be a consensus within the community and the countries comprising a multinational force, that is a primary responsibility of that force, to engage, to use force, and to be willing to take casualties in the name of dealing more effectively with these problems.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. McCall.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Yes, I have one additional question, although I understand that we are operating under time constraints.
My question is that we have had some previous testimony at other hearings about the nature or the characterization of the current Rwandan Government as one of exclusion. Would you agree with that or disagree with that?
Mr. MCCALL. I disagree.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Would you explain?
Mr. MCCALL. You have a President who is Hutu. As I recall, I think the parliament, the national assembly, probably has more Hutus than Tutsis. I think it is a government that is committed to inclusion.
The fact that they want, from an economic standpoint, decentralization down to the commune level and focus on the political and economic structures of the commune level, is not a government that is committed to exclusion. I mean, you are giving up power by wanting to decentralize control down to the local level, so I do not think it is an exclusionary government at all.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SMITH. Any other comments from the panel?
The gentlemen from New Jersey.
Mr. PAYNE. Let me first of all apologize for being late. My plane was delayed.
I didn't hear the testimony, but I certainly have had strong concerns about the behavior of the world community during the tragic time when the genocide took place. The fact is that the Western world, the U.N. apparatus and the member states found reasons not to get involved, and this was wrong.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We made appeals to our government to involve itself in this. There was a request for 50 armored personnel carriers. There were requests from us for our government to get involvednot our government per se, but for our representative to the United Nations to urge the United Nations to act, and we did not have that.
I will save most of my questions and comments for later. I went with Secretary Perry to the camps when cholera was taking many lives after the tremendous number of people went into the Goma camp. I went back several months later with a number of NGO's, with C. Payne Lucas from Africare, with Julia Taft, an NGO, and we visited the camps where at that time there was no disarmament going on. There were probably weapons starting to come into the camps. We urged that there be a separation of the refugees from the Interahamwe and the ex-FAR, but that never happened.
I will just conclude by asking to have put into the record three letters that I wrote the Administration and to President Clinton on May 4, 1994, requesting that we urge the United Nations to move, make a plea to Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, May 4, 1994, signed by the then-chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Kweisi Mfume and myself as the ranking CBC member and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Brain Trust on Africa.
I have a second letterof course, we got no responsethat we sent again to the President of the United States on June 16 outlining three steps that we thought would help the situation. Those went unresponded too.
And I have a third letter that we wrote on July 20 to the President asking that assistance be given there.
I also would like to have in the record a copy of a tape from the MacNeil-Lehrer show when Ms. Albright was speaking about how ineffective the United Nations was, and I expressed my indignation and outrage that we would be questioning the U.N.'s ability to act effectively and, therefore, decided not to do anything; and it was wrong.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I have a second tape from another show that I want to have put into the record.
And finally, I would like for the hearing that was held in June 1994 where the former Assistant Secretary for Africa, Mr. Moose, testified, where we attempted to see if the word ''genocide'' would be mentioned because we were wondering if genocide is going on, shouldn't there be some international reaction, and the word ''genocide'' was never mentioned.
And so I would like for the transcript from that hearing, because once again it was abysmal, shameful behavior on the part of an Administration; and the entire world sat by for the first time on television to watch a holocaust. And I will have those submitted for the record.
Mr. SMITH. Those will be part of the record.
You want Secretary Moose's statement, just to be clear?
Mr. PAYNE. Yes.
Mr. SMITH. Without objection, those will be made a part of the record.
Mr. PAYNE. And also my questions to him.
Mr. SMITH. Sure.
And if there is something else, let us know.
[At time of printing, the material had not been received. The abovementioned letters, tapes and statement are filed in Mr. Payne's office.]
Mr. SMITH. Mr. McCall, thank you very much for your testimony.
I would like to have the second panel come to the witness table.
Mr. MCCALL. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. The first panel is Dennis McNamara, who is the Director of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Division of International Protection. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. McNamara was director of the human rights component of the U.N. transitional authority in Cambodia, and he has served UNHCR in several capacities throughout Southeast Asia during the last 20 years.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ambassador Shaharyar Khan is currently the chairman of Pakistan's Foreign Service Reforms Commission. From 1994 to 1996, Ambassador Khan served as the special representative of the U.N. Secretary General in Rwanda. In his 38 years of governmental service, he has served as Pakistan's Ambassador to Jordan and the United Kingdom and also as Pakistan's Foreign Secretary.
Mr. Alain Destexhe was appointed president of the International Crisis Group in 1997. As a senator in the Federal parliament of Belgium, he initiated the country's parliamentary commission inquiry into the Rwanda genocide in 1995. From 1991 to 1995, he was Secretary General of Medecins sans Frontieres International, and was directly involved in mobilizing relief operations in Rwanda.
STATEMENT OF DENNIS McNAMARA, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES
Mr. SMITH. Mr. McNamara, you may begin.
Mr. MCNAMARA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
May I first say how much I appreciate the opportunity to be here. I thank you and Members of the Subcommittee for that opportunity, and may I express appreciation for your support, and that of your staff, on this difficult problem over a number of years.
Mr. Chairman, with your permission, I would speak to the formal statement that we have submitted which is rather lengthy. It is difficult for us, as for others, I am sure, to summarize in 10 minutes the complexities of the refugee aspects of the Rwandan tragedy. I will attempt to do so very briefly.
Because the Rwandan genocide and tragedy has also been a refugee tragedy, it has been one of the biggest refugee tragedies that UNHCR has faced since its creation nearly 50 years ago. I would like to concentrate on what UNHCR has attempted to do, what it has failed to do, and what it is trying to do in the Great Lakes region since 1994.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would like to emphasize, at the outset, that UNHCR is, first and foremost, a refugee protection organization. It was created to be a protection agency. It subsequently became one of the major U.N. relief organizations, but its raison d'etre, its primary role, remains protection of refugees.
A mass exodus from Rwanda followed the genocide. The mixed nature of the camp populations, the location of camps on Rwanda's borders, the nonvoluntary nature of the exodus and of the camp populations, in many respects, the lack of consistent and adequate international backing for refugee protection, among other aspects, have raised some of the greatest challenges and led to some of the greatest failures of refugee protection.
I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, that the debate that has taken place over the numbers of refugees who are missing, unaccounted for, has been largely unproductive and often not very scientific. But by any account we can still not account for many tens of thousands of persons who were previously in camps.
One of the lessons from this tragedy has been the inability of UNHCR and the refugee protection system to function properly in a lawless or semilawless conflict environment. It has raised fundamental challenges which have led to intensive soul-searching and reflection within our organization, as in many others.
If I may briefly summarize or attempt to summarize the main points of my statement, Mr. Chairman:
The mandate of UNHCR is to protect refugees, and parallel to that there are treaty obligations on states to do the same. One hundred thirty-two states are party to the Refugee Convention and Protocol worldwide, 43 states in Africa are party to the OAU Convention. I would emphasize that all states in the Great Lakes region of Africa are a party to the OAU Refugee Convention, and that Convention imposes state responsibilities, treaty obligations on the state's parties. Those treaty obligations are supposed to be supported and supervised by UNHCR.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The treaty obligations include defining who is a refugee entitled to protection, who should be excluded from refugee status for crimes against humanity or war crimes, which would include genocide, and when the refugee provisions of the treaty should cease to apply to those populations.
The fundamental underpinning of the system, as you know, Mr. Chairman, is the principle of ''non-refoulement,'' nonforcible return to a situation where life or freedom of the persons concerned will be in danger. I would like to emphasize throughout, Mr. Chairman, the state responsibility, the treaty obligations that these instruments impose on states.
The exodus from Rwanda in 1994 overwhelmed the international system. It wasn't the biggest of all time, but it was the fastest mass exodus that we had ever faced. A quarter of a million people entered Tanzania in 24 hours in April 1994, and that figure reached a half million a few days later. By July, 100,000 persons a day were entering Goma, into eastern Zaire from northwest Rwanda; and by late July, probably a million Rwandans had entered Zaire. And as Mr. McCall has mentioned, an indication of the overwhelming of the system was that 50,000, mainly women and children, died from cholera in the camps in Goma in the first weeks.
By August 1994 we had approximately 1.3 million refugees in Zaire, 200,000 in Burundi, and 530,000 in Tanzania.
The camps in Zaire, I would like to emphasize, were in unsuitable locations, too close to the borders, designated and insisted upon by the Government of Zaire. Already in the early months of the exodus there was an emphasis on trying to promote repatriation to Rwanda, and in fact, some 200,000 or 250,000 Rwandans did spontaneously return in August 1994 from Zaire.
When UNHCR tried to organize return convoys, our convoys were attacked by the leadership of the refugee population opposed to repatriation. There were also appeals from an early stage for separation of the ex-FAR, the ex-military, the militia, the Interahamwe, the genocidaire, the political leadership from the refugee civilian population. Those appeals started almost immediately after the exodus, including by UNHCR, and they were, by and large, ignored by the international community.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In October 1994, for example, the High Commissioner, Mrs. Ogata, publicly announced the risks in the camps by the control and the intimidation of the militia and the control of the assistance in the camps through the political-military leadership of those camps.
By the end of 1994, she had formally requested in New York to the United Nations for military support to ensure separation of the fighters from the civilians of the genocidaire from the civilians. By the end of 1994, the Secretary General of the United Nations reported that having approached some 40 governments without positive response, he could not follow up the recommendation for a security force to separate those elements of the population, and requested the UNHCR to attempt to make other arrangements.
As a result of that, UNHCR entered into an exceptional bilateral agreement with the government of then-Zaire for 1,500 Zairian elite troops to be made available under a civilian management system, which we organized to try to restore some security in the camps for humanitarian workers and to try to prevent some of the intimidation and harassment that was taking place.
In February 1995, at the Bujumbura conference, which was held with all parties attending, again there was an emphasis on the need for separation, relocation and repatriation. There were consensus proposals from that conference, Mr. Chairman, again not acted upon by the international community.
At the same time during 1995, there were reports of revenge killings within Rwanda, massacre of IDPs and generally displacement and insecurity in a number of parts of the country, also not unlinked to cross-border attacks by the exiled militia groups in Zaire.
In mid1995, I think it is important to note that Zaire attempted to force back a large number of Rwandan refugees. They expelled 15,000 refugees, as a result of which 130,000 other refugees fled into the hills in Zaire to avoid being expelled.
Nevertheless, repatriation efforts continued throughout 1995, including, you may recall, an initiative by former President Carter with the Cairo conference pronouncing that some 10,000 refugees a week would return, but without any of the necessary details for that to take place.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC 1996 also saw a continuation of those efforts. In the middle of that year Burundi sent back 85,000 refugees from the camps in northern Burundi. The High Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs. Ogata, appealed to the Secretary General in New York in September and to our executive committee of governments in Geneva in October to take further action to deal with the ''lethal quagmire,'' as she called it, of the mixed camp populations.
Following attacks on Tutsi minorities in the Masisi region of north Kivu, an announcement of similar action against Banyamulenge minorities in south Kivu, there were armed attacks led by the alliance forces of Mr. Kabila at that time on the camps starting in Uvira, working up through Bukavu and Goma beginning in October 1996. As a result of those attacks, some 600,000 Rwandans went back into Rwanda from Zaire, and a large numberin our analysis, over 200,000fled west into Zaire.
You will recall the proposal for a multinational force, which Canada offered to lead, which we strongly supported in order to try and ensure humanitarian corridors, protection for humanitarian workers and protection for genuine refugees, endorsed by Security Council Resolution 1080. But again it failed because of a lack of agreement in the Security Council, a lack of support by key governments for what we believed was a crucial initiative at that stage.
As a result of that failure, we faced one of the most chaotic refugee situations we have ever tried to deal with in attempting to track, assist and protect scattered civilians, I would emphasize, civilian Rwandans, throughout Zaire as they moved westward.
We were finally able to arrange evacuation for a group of 63,000 Rwandans back to Rwanda by air, in addition to some 215,000 who went back on foot from Zaire into Rwanda. This is in addition to the 600,000 who immediately went back at the time of the attack. So total return from Zaire of Rwandans as a result of these initiatives by September 1997 had reached 880,000.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There were at the same time pressures by the Government of Rwanda on neighboring states to return remaining Rwandans. As a result, Gabon expelled 150 Rwandans, including recognized refugees, in August 1997; and the new Zairian authorities expelled some 600 Rwandans and Burundians from Kisangani in September 1997.
As a result of that action, Mr. Chairman, for the first time in the history of UNHCR, Mrs. Ogata announced to the Security Council in New York the suspension of UNHCR's activities in eastern Zaire for Rwandan refugees. We could no longer be assured of sufficient security for our staff, we couldn't be assured of access, and we couldn't be assured of basic protection of the persons that we were trying to assist. That suspension remains in effect today, and in October 1997 we were asked by the new Congolese authorities to leave Goma, as were a number of other agencies.
If I may, in summary, Mr. Chairman, come to the current activities that we are undertaking, I should emphasize that in addition to the expenditures on refugees in Zaire which probably (we could give you exact figures) exceeded $200 million from UNHCR but not by very much, during the same period we have spent or planned to spend in the region of $180 million, inside Rwanda for reintegration, and returnee stabilization linked to reconciliation.
It is important, I think, Mr. Chairman, to recognize that the refugee population returning to Rwanda includes the old caseload, essentially Tutsi refugees who had left since 1959, estimated by the government to now number some $1.7 million in total returns. And up to $40 million of our program has been to assist those old refugees to reestablish themselves in Rwanda. The program that we had planned for this year was $59 million for Rwanda. I regret to say, because of the very severe lack of support by governments for funding that program, it will probably have to be cut almost in half, and as a result of those cuts, we will not be able to undertake the sort of rehabilitation, reintegration linked to reconciliation projects, such as housing, which are desperately needed. The President of Rwanda has strongly urged the High Commissioner and recently our Assistant High Commissioner to continue for as long as we possibly can. The lack of financial support for this program is a major concern for us today.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Finally, Mr. Chairman, we have still, in our estimate, some 80,000 Rwandans scattered through 14 countries in the central African region, most of whom have refused to repatriate to Rwanda.
As a result of that refusal, last year we encouraged and supported the governments in the region to undertake a screening, a status determination to try and decide who among this population should be recognized as refugees and who should be excluded as perpetrators of genocide or crimes against humanity. It was an attempt to try to make that crucial distinction that was never made at the time the camps were established.
Today, over 4,000 Rwandans have been screened by the governments in the region; a large and difficult population remains throughout that region which still needs to have their status properly determined. In this process, we are cooperating closely with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which is supportive, but unable to deal with large numbers of those who might be excluded, which is a problem; and through the International Criminal Tribunal we are trying to obtain all possible information on those persons among this population who might be perpetrators of the genocide.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, if I could emphasize that UNHCR, like many other agencies, feels that it has been unfairly left alone in the Great Lakes crisis. We have been too often unsupported politically. Today, we are underfunded and we have been unprotected. As a result, we have lost more of our staff members in the Great Lakes operation than in any comparable operation of our history. More than 30 of our staff, principally local staff, are missing or dead as a result of our operations in that region since 1994. And this, I would suggest, is inevitable if humanitarian agencies are pushed into conflict areas and left unprotected by either the political or military support that we so desperately need.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, refugee protection also will only succeed if the states which drafted the Conventions and signed them and which created UNHCR and fund it give it the political backing necessary, particularly in these lawless conflict areas, for those functions to be carried out. We don't have that backing today necessarily, and as a result, we have had massive failures in refugee protection.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC My final appeal would be for all steps, any steps that your Subcommittee could also take to support the need for institutions such as ours to be strongly and properly and consistently supported in these crucial and difficult areas of refugee protection in such situations.
Thank you very much.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. McNamara, and thank you for the good work that you do, and you are speaking to the choir because we do believe very strongly in refugee protection on this Subcommittee, but it can't be stated often enough and I thank you for reminding us and encouraging us.
[The prepared statement of Mr. McNamara appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Ambassador Khan.
STATEMENT OF SHAHARYAR M. KHAN, CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN SERVICE REFORMS COMMITTEE AND FORMER SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL TO RWANDA
Mr. KHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am very grateful for the opportunity to state my views on Rwanda before this august house. I was the U.N. Secretary General's Special Representative in Rwanda between the 4th of July and the 19th of April, 2 years, and therefore, I witnessed the aftermath of genocide but not the buildup to it.
I assumed that the reason why I was selected as the U.N. SRSG was, I was completely distant from the theater of operations. My predecessor was an African, a Cameroonian who came under a great deal of criticism; and I was selected partly because I came from a distant land and partly because, I suppose, Pakistan has played a leading role in peacekeeping operations.
Mr. Chairman, I have selected four subjects because we have a shortage of time, and four questions which I have put before you, Mr. Chairman, and which I think are relevant, and they are:
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC First of all, were early warnings of genocide apparent? Were they given? And if so, could these early warnings have prevented the genocide that we saw after April 6?
My second question is, why was the international community so slow to respond to this crisis? Why was it so slow for a troop buildup in the theater of operations and why were the mandates not fitting the situation on the ground? This was the second question.
The third question I ask is, why were the refugee camps allowed to become hotbeds of militarization? Why was so much money poured into camps, knowing that they were controlled by what we now know to be the killers? And this went on for a long time, and my colleague to my right has given a rational background. I think we need to probe further into that.
The fourth question which I think is relevant is the question of international justice and national justice. We know that in Rwanda there are over 120,000 people squeezed into prisons. The situation is horrendous and the process of judging these criminals has just begun. Thirty-three people were recently sentenced to death.
But we also have in Arusha an international criminal tribunal which generally has been felt to be too slow and too expensive, and therefore, we need to focus on that. So if you allow me, I will just answer these four questions very briefly within the 10 minutes that you give me, Mr. Chairman, and then pass on to my very distinguished colleague on my left.
Now, as regards the genocide, could it have been foreseen and, therefore, could it have been prevented?
With the benefit of hindsight, the answers to both these questions appear to be in the affirmative. So where did we go wrong? Where did the world go wrong? And I would venture to suggest the following points.
Against the backdrop of continuous ethnic strife, frequent violence, and mounting political tension in the region, it was evident that after the breakdown of the Arusha Accordsthat was in autumn 1993that Rwanda was heading for a civil war. This was very apparent. The vital failure of the international community was that it did not make the distinction between a civil war and a genocide. These are two qualitatively different situations, different crises.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have seen about 30 civil wars since 1970 in Africa alone, but in this whole century, the whole of mankind has perhaps not seen three genocides. The whole question of what is genocide is perhaps beyond the comprehension of ordinary human beings.
I won't take your time, but I can describe the kinds of things that went on. Even today, one cannot believe that this kind of horror actually took place on the ground. You cannot believe that a family is entered in its house; its children are placed against the wall, the parents are made to watch while, limb by limb, each child is dismembered, and that is not enough, then the child is gashed here with a machete and the parents are told we want to see you watch the child die slowly.
Now, this kind of horror is alien to the human conception. You cannot forecast this kind of horror, this kind of genocide, but it happened. It happened. We were not prepared for it.
Why were we not prepared for it, I believe it is because the world was expecting yet another civil war, yet another clash between ethnic opponents, Hutu killing Tutsi, Tutsi killing Hutu. And this was the picture that came out from the media, there were massacres taking place, but very few people realized and much too late that we were engaged in seeing a much more horrendous exercise, and that was genocide. And the world didn't react.
The fact that genocide took place is no longer in doubt. The International Commission of Experts, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, the Secretary General himself have recognized genocide was committed in Rwanda. The crucial point was whether its planning was discernible. The RPF has maintained that between August 1993, that is when Arusha broke down and April 1994, it had repeatedly informed the SRSG, that was my predecessor, and the force commander and important ambassadors who were still in Kigali at the time, that genocide was being planned. The RPF leadership stated that houses of Tutsi and Hutu moderates had been marked, personnel identified and armed militia trained to start these executions at the appointed hour.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, there has been a lot of controversy about that Dallaire telegram. There has been controversy in Belgium, in France, and now here.
There is a telegram from General Dallaire, the force commander, stating that an informer had come and told him precisely what I have just said, that there was going to be a horrendous massacre of Tutsis, a planned massacre, and nothing was done about it.
I want to place on record the real perspective because I was asked by the United Nations at the insistence of the Belgian, the French and the U.S. Governments to see if the United Nations had actually reported these cases; and the Dallaire telegram was, Mr. Chairman, the only telegram in a mass of telegrams that were going from Kigali to New York. It was the only telegram which suggested genocide. All of the telegrams that I saw suggested a descent toward civil war, a descent toward rearming and military confrontation, of high ethnic tension. And certainly a civil war was imminent, but this was the one telegram that indicated that something worse was afoot.
So what are the reasons for this gap. The first is perhaps that the RPA leadership did not convey as emphatically as it now claims regarding the mass killings of innocent civilians. This is possible.
What is also possible is that if these indications were given, they were regarded as huge exaggerations. Human beings cannot behave in this manner, human beings fight each other, and in this fight you have a lot of terror, you have a lot of massacres, a lot of bloodshed, but this kind of genocide was perhaps seen as an exaggeration. It so happens, wrongly, it was not an exaggeration.
And the third reason was the concept of genocide is beyond human comprehension as we know it, and perhaps it was these reasons that led to the international community, the main actors, that is the Security Council, the neighbors, the African countries closely involved. It led to them feeling that yet another civil war was afoot and that they did not anticipate the genocide coming through.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, this is an explanation that I offer. It is not a perfect explanation, it may not even be a good explanation, but it is, as I see it, the reason why the world did not react faster to this horror, because whereas the world can get sick and tired of civil wars, no country in this world is going to turn its back on preventing genocide, and this distinction was not made. I belabor this point because I think it is important to accept that there were two syndromes interlinked into one blurring the fact that the two are separate syndromes.
Let me try and answer the second question, Mr. Chairman, very quickly; that is the peacekeeping force. Why was it so slow and did it deliver?
The United Nations was represented in Rwanda in three distinct phases, first, as a watchdog ensuring the implementation of the Arusha Agreement; next, when Arusha broke down, it tried to keep the ''warring opponents'' apart and stop the violence; and third, when the collapse came, it was there actually to protect human life. But on all three of these crises that developed, the United Nations was not able to muster enough troops on the ground to give a proper mandate to the U.N. troops on the ground to be able to perform the very function that they were supposed to perform.
For instance, I will just give one example. When, after April 6, the plane crash took place, we were supposed to have over 1,500 troops on the ground, the 6th of April. In fact, we had only 444. What could one do with 444 troops when genocide had been unleashed.
If we had had 1,500, as the letter says rightly, we might have been able to do something on the ground, but we didn't have the mandate. We had a Chapter VI mandate, we could only fire when fired upon; we didn't have a Chapter VII mandate, and therefore, those troops were found to be inadequate. And our friends in Rwanda rightly feel that the United Nations had let them down. There should have been more people. There should have been protection. There wasn't the protection that was demanded.
And then much too late after 6 weeks when the United Nations decides that genocide is taking place and, instead of 444, there should be 5,500 people there, it takes the United Nations 6 months to build up to that force of 5,500. It wasn't until October that we had that 5,500 with equipment, with all of the various accoutrements that the United Nations has in place in order to fulfill our mandate, but at that point, even if we had 5,500, it was too late.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It was too late because the RPF had won. It had brought peace, relative law and order, and now those 5,500 troops were protecting the humanitarian convoys, but they were not enabled. They were not allowed by the mandate to perform a peace-building role.
Everything, Mr. Chairman, was shattered in that country. Every shop, every house, every hut was broken. Every bridge was blown up. There was nothing. There was no water. There were no telecommunications. There was no food. There was no hospital. There were no schools. There was no government. Nothing. Absolutely smashed. And here was the United Nations with 5,500 troops who were not mandated to rebuild and to help reconstruct this country.
Now, as Special Representative I thought that was very sad. I will just pinpoint, Mr. ChairmanI am probably going to overshoot my time, but I thought I would mention thisthat the mandate was not sufficient for our needs.
Third, the question of refugees. As my colleague has said, the return of refugees was seen rightly as the fundamental point of reconciliation. The refugees in the camps we divided into basically four categories.
One was the leaders, the top people, the Prime Ministers. There were 1,228 of them.
Next was the Army people who wore the uniforms.
The third were the criminals, the Interahamwe.
But by far the largest majority, by far, 80 to 90 percent, were the ordinary folk who had just gone along with the people who told them to go because otherwise they would be killed.
Now, it was these people that we wanted to bring back. And sadly, we were not equipped with either funds or mandate to show to those people in the camps that life is coming back to normal. That schools are opening. That roads are built. That they can go and find a job in their villages, that reconciliation can be brought about. But not to the criminals, they would have to go through the process.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Unfortunately, what happened was that vast sums of money were spent in the camps, and I frankly state that within Rwanda for the survivors there was barely a trickle. So you got this imbalance of about $2 millionat the height, $2 million a day being spent in the camps and practically a trickle coming through, rather reluctantly, into what I have just described, a totally shattered country. And so this imbalance certainly inhibited the return of the refugees.
Last, Mr. Chairman, the question of international justice, national justice. I know that there is a feeling that the international criminal tribunal on Rwanda which is operating in Arusha, it has now 23 prisoners; and generally there is a feeling that it has been too slow and that it has been too expensive and really it doesn't deliver where it should. Although these sentiments are true, I cannot honestly see how we can hasten this process. How can we put this process in a pressure cooker so that it comes out cheaper and faster in future situations?
Perhaps the formation of a permanent international criminal tribunal is a direction that we need to follow, but this is something that we should consider and look forward to in the future. For the present, let us be satisfied with the 23 that are there.
But the national process of justice is equally in a critical period because 120,000 prisoners is something that is abhorrent. It is abhorrent because I have seen the prisoners, and although the Rwandan Government has increased the space in the prisons, nevertheless putting 120,000 people, packing them close together like sardines, and the horror of being in that prison is something which is unbelievable.
I do urge and hope that now that the process of justice has started in Rwanda that the Rwandan Government will implement the degrees of culpability that it itself made known. The people who are most culpable, the people who are secondary, and the third who went along with the crowd, who perhaps did something that they regret now, it is this third group, having served 4 years in those prisons, I reckon have served their sentence, and if they can be put out on probation and start life again, it will be a step toward reconciliation and a humane attitude toward people.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I will stop here with these four questions. I just wanted to pinpoint. Obviously there is a great deal that one can discuss. I have even tried to write a book, which is not yet published, but in 10, 15 minutes, one can only flag the issues and put out the main points that one has felt all along over Rwanda.
Thank you very much.
Mr. BALLENGER. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Khan appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Destexhe.
STATEMENT OF ALAIN DESTEXHE, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP, AND DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS
Mr. DESTEXHE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ms. McKinney, gentlemen. Thank you for this opportunity to present my view on the Rwanda genocide. I will also shorten my statement in order to deliver my speech within 10 minutes.
During the 1994 genocide, I was the Secretary General of Medecins sans Frontieres which is known as Doctors without Borders in America. In 1995, I became a Member of Parliament in Belgium and was the initiator of the Belgian Senate Committee of Inquiry of the 1994 Rwanda genocide which released its final report in December last year.
Today I would like to sum up the main finding of this Committee, but, Mr. Chairman, my main objective here today is to try to convince you that a similar investigation to the one that we have conducted in Belgium and the one currently taking place in France is necessary both in the United States and in the Secretariat of the United Nations.
Two main questions were addressed by the Belgian Committee:
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One, before the genocide, were the Belgian authorities and others aware of the fact that a genocide was under preparation?
Two, after the genocide started on 7 April, 1994, why did the United Nations decide to withdraw almost all of its forces from Rwanda?
Concerning the period before the genocide, our Committee concluded that, at the latest, in mid-January 1994, the Belgian authorities had a series of relevant information regarding if not the preparation of a genocide, at least the preparation of large-scale massacres.
Several actors, the United Nations, other states, had the same type of information, but did not give it the necessary importance.
Although the Belgian Committee decided not to be more specific about the other states, this is clearly a reference to France and the United States. We based our conclusion on various evidence, in particular, several documents found in the archives of the Belgian Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs.
Here, I should voice some disagreement with the presentation of my predecessor, Mr. Khan, because the evidence we find is not based on one single document but on a wide range of evidence. Among others, we find 19 documents in which there is mention of either a Machiavellian plan of destabilization or large-scale massacres likely to occur.
In two of these documents explicit mention is made of the possibility of a genocide. In two others, similar suggestions are made.
We also discovered a telex from the then Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, dated February 25, 1994, mentioning the possibility of a genocide. And last but not least there is that cable which was published this week in the New Yorker, sent the 11th of January, 1994, almost 3 months before the genocide started by General Dallaire, the commander of the U.N. forces in Rwanda to the U.N. headquarters in New York, based on information provided to him by a key informer. This cable revealed a fairly detailed plan explaining how the genocide was organized in Kigali.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The cable, which you will find attached to this speech, mentions that the principal aim of the militia of the President's party is now to register all Tutsis living in Kigali. The informer says he suspected that this was for an extermination. He also quotes that in 20 minutes his personnel could kill up to 10,000 Tutsis.
Now, this cable is crucial, and its importance cannot be underestimated. I would like to ask the Committee and also the U.N. Secretary General, how many times since 1945, did the United Nations in New York receive a fax from its force commander in a country warning of the likely possibility of an extermination?
I fully agree that the reason for the mistake which was done by the international community was the failure to make the distinction between a civil war and genocide. I wrote a chapter in my book on that specific issue. But that mistake should not have been made based on the information which was available to the U.N. Secretary, out of the United Nations, and also to the Belgians, the French and the U.S. Governments.
In this cable, General Dallaire, the U.N. force commander, announced his intention to take action within 48 hours and requested protection for his informer. The U.N. headquarters answered that the action he was planning to take was not authorized because it was not within the U.N. mandate.
General Dallaire was instructed to contact the three ambassadors from Belgium, France and the United States in Kigali, and ask them to intervene with President Habyarimana of Rwanda. He was also instructed to request from these countries protection and asylum for his informer.
At that time, Boutros Boutros-Ghali was Secretary General of the United Nations and Kofi Annan, the present Secretary General, was director of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. We find in the files of the Belgium ministry that the information provided by the informer was shared with the Americans, the French and the Belgian ambassadors in Kigali.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, Mr. Chairman, at that stage, I would like to react to the comment made this morning in the New York Times and in the Washington Post by Secretary General Kofi Annan saying that this cable is an old story. I think this comment is insulting for the victims, because when we are talking about the genocide, it is never an old story. I mean, 50 years after the genocide of the Jews and the Holocaust, we still think it is a very important story. And the Secretary General, as anybody else, is accountable for his decisions and his behavior.
The fact that this information was passed to the Belgian defense and U.S. Ambassador doesn't mean that the U.N. Secretary General has no responsibility in what happened in Rwanda.
There are several other pieces of evidence, but many questions remain that should be addressed concerning the role of the United States and the United Nations, among others:
Protection and asylum were not given to the informer, and after a while the contact was lost with this informer. Why?
It seems that the U.N. Security Council was not informed of the gravity of the situation by the U.N. Secretary General. Why?
And why did the Secretariat of the United Nations not authorize General Dallaire to go ahead with the mission of arms recovery he proposed to carry out?
The 1948 U.N. Convention on Genocide puts a legal obligation on all signatory nations to take all possible steps to prevent genocide. Wasn't it the role of the Secretary General to do everything in his power, both on judicial and moral grounds, to prevent the slaughter of close to 1 million people in Rwanda?
Finally, even if some key member states of the United Nations were reluctant to act, was it not the Secretary General's role to warn the Security Council, or even to go public and speak of the genocide about to be committed in Rwanda?
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I strongly believe that if General Dallaire's cable had been published on the front page of the New York Times or the Washington Post, the genocide could have been avoided.
I should also mention that both Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Kofi Annan refused to testify before our Committee, the latter claiming immunity for all U.N. staff.
Once the genocide began, the Security Council decided to withdraw all but 270 soldiers from Rwanda. This decision remains very difficult to understand, particularly in light of information which was available to the Belgian, French and U.S. Governments months before the genocide.
So in light of all these questions and concerns, I am calling for a full investigation on the role of the United Nations and the United States before and during the genocide.
We should remember that up to 1 million people were killed in less than 3 months. We should also recall that the Rwandan genocide is only the third or the fourth unquestionable genocide in the 20th century. I fully agree with what Mr. Khan says on that, and to try to be brief and to explain why we should speak of only three or four genocides in the 20th century, I would like to say the following:
What makes the characteristic of a genocide is the systematic extermination of mothers and children in order to avoid the perpetration of a group defined on ethnic or religious grounds. That is why we could basically speak of only three genocides in the 20th century.
In Rwanda, the Hutu opponents were killed because they were opponents to the regime, but their children and their wives were not killed as such. On the other hand, in contrast, the Tutsis were systematically wiped out, men, women and children. That is what makes this a genocide.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So a crime of that nature and of that scale deserves full investigation.
The role of Belgium in this tragedy has been fully examined by the Belgian Senate Committee. The role of France is currently being investigated in the French Parliament. The victims, but also humanity at large, deserve to know the full truth concerning the two other major international players, the United States and the United Nations.
To conclude, Mr. Chairman, I would like to note the welcome initiatives of the Clinton Administration to prevent further genocide and bring justice to the Great Lakes region. I would like to make four brief recommendations.
First, the past should be taken in account. Peace and reconciliation cannot be built if the lessons of the past are not learned. The 1994 genocide remains a central issue and a benchmark to understand the situation in the Great Lakes region. Perhaps an initiative to do something akin to the Cambodia genocide program is necessary for Rwanda.
Second, justice is crucial. No reconciliation is possible in Rwanda as long as justice is not done and also seen to be done by survivors and the larger population. Justice is also necessary to break the cycle of violence and impunity which continues to fuel conflict in central Africa.
There is no political alternative to the present Rwanda Government. Its legitimacy still comes from the fact that it defeated a criminal regime that organized a genocide.
Third, foreign aid, which is still far from the levels which were given to the criminal regime, needs to be boosted.
Fourth, the military threat at the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo should be seriously addressed. For the Tutsi, survival is at stake. I think it is very difficult to ask the Rwandan Government to be really serious about human rights as long as they face destabilization from abroad by the same people who carried out the 1994 genocide and whose dream is openly to finish the job.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC My book on Rwanda, written in 1994, and also the official report of the Belgian Committee, is at your disposal, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Destexhe appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Senator. I would like to begin the questioning. I would like to first begin with you, Senator, or maybe Ambassador Khan.
Senator Destexhe has just indicated they tried as a parliamentary committee to obtain the testimony of Major General Dallaire and were rebuffed in that request. He also made, and he does so in this article, a very poignant statement when he says, I would like to know if ever before, in the years prior to 1995, the United Nations received a fax or cable announcing an extermination.
In the article in the New Yorker, Mr. Risa, who actually signed the cable, according to this report which was over Kofi Annan's name, mentions that we get hyperbole in many reports, adding that in the months that followed incidents continued, but there were no signs to corroborate Dallaire's warning.
Does the United Nations usually take the recommendation coming from its chief military officer in a U.N. peacekeeping mission as something in need of corroboration, and did you yourself see any signs that a potential extermination was about to begin?
Mr. KHAN. Mr. Chairman, the telegram, of course, was sent on the 11th of January, if I am not mistaken, and these events took place several months before I took over.
My responsibility was to look at all the telegrams that were sent, and I will describe to you very briefly what the process is.
The process is that normally when there is an important political development, that the SRSG, the chief of the peacekeeping operations, sends a highly secret confidential telegram addressed to the Secretary General, giving his views on various topics and events. These telegrams are seen by the Secretary General, and certainly by his staff, and naturally they have a certain importance, and usually the reports from these telegrams are shared with members of the Security Council.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There is another group of telegrams which is what we call open or en clair or non-secret telegrams which are sent for information for various other instructions, and when we looked at all the telegrams that we could find from August 1993 right through to the time that the genocide took place, we found no evidence whatsoever in the secret telegrams of a mention of genocide or of planned massacres.
What did go through was a telegram from Dallaire to the head of the military, which was, of course, repeated to the political side, in which he gave the information that has been referred to. And, of course, with hindsight, we know that this information was accurate and what you might call very hot. But, unfortunately, it was not contained in a confidential telegram. It was contained in an open telegram to the chief of the military.
Now, I wanted to mention this because clearly there are very strong feelings, and rightly so, that the signs of genocide were not picked up. But I would at the same time add that for reasons that I have already mentioned, the main assessment of the people on the ground, as well as the embassies, was that a horrible civil war was about to take place. There was no indication in these assessments that genocide was about to take place.
Now, they were wrong. They were wrong. But I think to pick out that one telegram by Dallaire and to state that this is what was actually happening, why didn't the United Nations react, I think it is going a little out of perspective. This is my own feeling.
Mr. SMITH. I understand. With all due respect, Ambassador Khan, according to the report, Major General Dallaire was ready towithin what he perceived to be the parameters of the U.N. rules of engagementwithin a 36-hour period raid an arms cache, believing that if you nip it in the bud, you might prevent any horrific outcome. As a matter of fact, if the scenario as described by the informant is accurate, and it seems to have been very accurate, it was a very plausible, a highly plausible set of potentialities. Again, he took it very seriously.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Why is it that the responding telegram, the fax, if you will, is not made public? This Subcommittee would like to see it. Why would we be denied the opportunity to see Kofi Annan's response back to General Dallaire?
Mr. KHAN. I can only hazard my own assessment, Mr. Chairman, and that is that Dallaire aimed to defuse this germ, this cancer, that was about to overtake Rwanda, and he sought the mission to be able to take preemptive action.
This permission, to the best of my knowledge, was denied to him on the grounds that the mandate that he had was a Chapter VI mandate and not a Chapter VII mandate, and, therefore, he could not, according to the mandate, move in that direction. Therefore, in a sense, his hands were tied, and he could not act on the basis of that mandate.
May I say that 6 weeks later, a mandate was given that Operation Turquoise was to begin, to France, and that operation was under a Chapter VII mandate, and France landed its very significant force in Rwanda, in the southwestern corner, and there they were able to get 2,500 troops, 100 APCs, helicopters, Jaguars, Mirages; within 8 days they were organized and ready on the ground, because it was a one single country operation, and they were sitting there in the southwestern corner ready to do the task that they had been given and a Chapter VII mandate.
So you had the extraordinary situation where in Rwanda you had one group that was operating under Chapter VII and which would act on its own to do the kind of things that Dallaire had asked for, didn't even have to seek permission from headquarters, it could go ahead and take action; whereas in the rest of Rwanda, UNAMIR was acting under a Chapter VI mandate and unable to respond to critical situations, as we saw on the ground.
When questions are asked at headquarters, well, according to the book rightly they said no, you are not permitted, according to the mandate.
Mr. SMITH. What I find so baffling, General Dallaire obviously is a man of perception and credibility, who has an informant with a very credible story at great risk to himself and his family, has been told to compile lists of Tutsis for the purpose of extermination, at least as far as he can tell, with the Interahamwe doing the killing, and yet it is either disbelieved or shunted aside or perhaps, because of the bulk of cable traffic, not given the weight that it deserves. But he was willing to take action.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Then, in what has the appearance of a cover-up, General Dallaire cannot present his testimony to the Belgian Parliament, if I understand that correctly. We and the Belgians and the other interested governments are not privy to the fax that was sent back, which would at least document what was said from New York back to Rwanda.
I would ask you if we make the request as a Subcommittee to hear from Major General Dallaire and to receive that fax that was over Kofi Annan's name, would we receive it?
Mr. KHAN. I do not think I am able to fully answer that question, but let me state that I worked with General Dallaire for 4 months. I had a very high opinion of his professional qualities and of his political judgment.
I do know that he had an opinion that differed with that of the SRSG at the time, and there was, therefore, if you like, a divergent view of how they both saw the situation on the ground.
Naturally, Dallaire had to defer to his senior, and this was one of the reasons, perhaps, why my predecessor became controversial in Rwanda. He was not seen as being neutral, and therefore you can imagine that there was at the higher level a difference of view that reflected itself in the reports that were going up to the Security Council.
One other point, Mr. Chairman. Everyone wonders why the Security Council, why the international community, was not sensitive to the fact that massacres were on the cards. I think one of the reasons was that by pure coincidence, Rwanda itself was on the Security Council.
Now, you imagine that here is a situation where every mission has left Kigali, every diplomatic mission. No one is there to report except a few diehard U.N. people. The U.S. Embassy, the Chinese Embassy, the Russian Embassy, the French Embassy, they are all closed down, everyone is gone. Genocide is taking place.
Dallaire with 444 soldiers is on the spot, and there is the SRSG with his small staff. That is all.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So how does the Security Council form an opinion of what is happening on the ground? CNN, BBC? Perhaps. They, too, are indicating a two-sided massacre. But the ''only'' information coming to the Security Council, the representative of the Rwandan Government itself, who happened to be the representative of the FRG, and he is saying to his colleagues, and I can imagine this, that the situation is that one side is killing the other, it is a horrible civil war, don't interfere, et cetera, et cetera.
So I think the discoloring of the situation in the Security Council, which is not taking up a position to react quickly to this horror situation, is partly due to this distortion and partly due to the experience of Somalia and other peacekeeping operations in which countries feel they had enough of civil wars and they stand back.
So this is my explanation. Whether it is a valid one or not, I cannot say.
Mr. SMITH. Do you believe it was prudent, according to the story that we understand to be correct, for Kofi Annan and his shop to advise the informant and the governments, the U.S. Government and others, to tell the Rwandan Government from whence this plan seems to have been hatched? It is likeyou have a whistleblower who comes out to say, there is going to be a genocide, extermination, call it whatever you will, and you go tell the people who are planning it.
Mr. KHAN. In my discussions, Mr. Chairman, and I am leaving aside the telegrams and other evidence, my understanding is that the head of peacekeeping, who was Mr. Kofi Annan, and his colleagues were briefing the Security Council regularly about the increasing horrors that are taking place in Rwanda, and they are, in fact, putting into the report that the Security Council must have a much larger force, I think this is there on the records, in order to prevent a deterioration.
But the Security Council itself withdraws from this position. It withdrawsin fact, it withdraws a number of people in Rwanda and decides, as my colleague on my left has said, to actually reduce the number of forces in Rwanda after April 6th.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So to answer your question, I understand that Mr. Kofi Annan and his colleagues were regularly informing in their informal contacts that the situation was quickly going out of hand and something should be done. This is my impression.
Mr. SMITH. Would you join us, would you support this Subcommittee in asking that General Dallaire be permitted to testify before the Belgians
Mr. KHAN. I would say that it would clear the situation.
Mr. SMITH. It sure would. You would be in favor of that?
Mr. KHAN. Certainly. I feel that General Dallaire should be heard and asked. I agree with that view entirely.
Mr. SMITH. In addition to that, that the stolen fax, I think is the way it is reported in the papers, the information that went back from over Kofi Annan's signature, be made public?
Mr. KHAN. I would say that the more light that is thrown on this critical issue, the better, whether it is through investigations or subcommittees. I feel greater light should be thrown on it, and a balance and perspective should be brought to what actually happened. Because, Mr. Chairman, let's face it, this is the most horrifying thing that has happened to humanity in the last 50 years. It deserves to be investigated thoroughly.
Mr. SMITH. Senator.
Mr. DESTEXHE. Mr. Chairman, with your permission, the whole question, as my neighbor just said, as we are talking about the genocide, I think the world deserves to know the full truth. To know the truth on that, we cannot rely exclusively on your judgment, because as a member of Parliament, you know very well that any administration or any bureaucracy facing difficult questions has a tendency to protect itself and should not give answers. In Belgium, in the beginning when we were asking questions of the Belgian Government, we got the same kind of answer, nothing special, and everything was under control, and it was impossible to say that the genocide or large-scale massacres were happening. After investigating for 600 hours, we find a totally different conclusion.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So I am just calling for an independent investigation by Parliament or by some judges. But I think, as you said, this cannot be refused, particularly because it has been done in Belgium, and it is being done now in France. So there is no reason why the United States and the United Nations should escape that.
Now, concerning the appearance of General Dallaire, I think there is some double standard, because I remember very well myself watching on CNN live General McKenzie, who was a U.N. General, the first U.N. Commander in Sarajevo, Bosnia, when the conflict broke out in Bosnia in 1992. I remember watching General McKenzie live on CNN testifying before the United States. So I suppose he was authorized to testify at that stage.
Kofi Annan refused the appearance of General Dallaire, but he is both judge and party because he is involved in that process, there is no reason why General McKenzie could appear and General Dallaire not.
Last, the answer to that fax is really critical, because General Dallaire in the field got the feeling that he could do something, intervene, within the mandate, and Kofi Annan got the feeling that no. But General Dallaire, he is not an academic, he was the head of the U.N. military mission in Rwanda, and his feelings were that he could go ahead with the arms recovery operation.
Last, it is my second last, I apologize, but if Kofi Annan is so confident with the whole process, I think there is no reason not to disclose all the correspondence between Kigali and the United Nations in New York. Again, we are talking about genocide. There is no national interest or international interest that could be evoked. There is no secret concerning genocide. We should know the truth. I think that is another point.
Let me read two short abstracts of some facts sent by the predecessor of Mr. Khan which were sent to the United Nations in New York. One is after the meeting of the Ambassador, when they explained that there was a problem. The predecessor of Mr. Khan, Mr. Booh Booh from Cameroon, reported the following: The President of the party seems unnerved and is reported to have subsequently ordered an accelerated distribution of weapons. It may force them, meaning the political party of the President, it may force them to decide on alternative ways to jeopardize the peace process.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Another fact, this is the second of February, 1994, so that means almost 3 weeks after that cable. So the predecessor of Mr. Khan wrote to Kofi Annan, each day of delay in authorizing the arms recovery operation will result in an ever-deteriorating situation and may, if the arms continue to be distributed, result in an inability of the United Nations to carry out its mandate in all aspects.
I mean, these are strong words. These are very strong words. I think it is necessary to know the full truth.
Mr. SMITH. Senator, I agree, and I think it is important, because judgments can be replicated. For example, many of us are concerned, and still the jury is out as to whether or not the negotiated interim settlement with Saddam Hussein was actually a carefully worded document that will lead to the destruction of the weapons of mass destruction presumably owned and capable of using by Saddam Hussein. Judgment is extremely important.
Let me ask you, before yielding to my distinguished colleague from Georgia, to deny an important witness to your investigative body or to this Subcommittee or any other parliamentary body, namely for General Dallaire, denying an important document, the fax or other documents, do you or any of you suggest that that might be suggesting of a cover-up? This isn't the Manhattan Project. We are talking about a genocide. We want to know what happened, who knew what when, and the judgments that were made. We need to know so they are not replicated again.
Mr. DESTEXHE. I think there is no rational explanation. Obviously it seems to be a cover-up. I don't know if it is a cover-up. But obviously the fact to refuse to appear before a committee for such an important matter would raise more questions about what do we try to hide by refusing to appear before a committee.
Now, you should know that General Dallaire has personally said many times that on a personal basis, he was ready to appear before any committee if he has the authorization of the United Nations. So General Dallaire personally would be happy to appear before your Committee, if he can.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Ambassador Khan.
Mr. KHAN. Yes. I don't get the impression, Mr. Chairman, that the United Nations is wanting to brush something under the carpet or to not have an inquiry or not to bring to light the various factors. There is, I believe, a very strong feeling in Belgium, especially after the loss of those nine soldiers, that an inquiry ought to take place.
I repeat that it would help in placing a focus on an event which has horrified the human conscience of the time, and I see no reason why bringing facts and faxes and telegrams and assessments to light would be harmful to anyone, because I honestly believe that Kofi Annan and his colleagues in peacekeeping, and my experience of them, has been that they were very, very professional, that they were very sincere in preventing bloodshed, and that they could only act as a result of what the international community gave them.
They presented all the facts before the international community, and by that I mean the Security Council. It is the Security Council that did not give them the authority to act in the manner that they thought fit. It was bizarre that you had in Rwanda a Chapter VII operation on the one hand, and in the same country a Chapter VI operation, and it was something that I feel came out of the strange tensions that were taking place in the Security Council at the time.
So I would say that not only should all these documents be brought to light, but also let us look at why the Security Council itself did not give that mandate to the Secretary General and then onwards down to the field. I think the whole syndrome needs to be looked at, not simply whether one or two civil servants in the United Nations did not react.
Mr. SMITH. If this report in the New Yorker is correct, Mr. Riza says that there was no sign to corroborate Dallaire's warning. Now, again, why your chief military person who presumably has intelligence assets at his disposal would be dissed simply because there is no diplomatic or some other corroboration on the ground, it seems to me this is the person you listen to, because he should be your eyes and ears about what is going on militarily.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. KHAN. I did not read the report. I was made aware of it this morning that there was such a thing. I just arrived in this country. So I really cannot react to what has been stated there without seeing it.
But I would say that the response that is given by officials in the United Nations, as far as I am aware, has always been to look at these issues in an objective manner and to ensure that no exaggeration is given one way or the other to the positions that have been repeatedly stated, particularly with regard to the Dallaire telegram. So I don't really want to comment on that without seeing all the statements that have been made on this issue.
Mr. SMITH. It does, however, with all due respect, beg the question of cover-up when vital, absolutely linchpin information, is withheld, when it has been requested. Again, that is something this Subcommittee will pursue, and I am sure there will be a parallel effort with the Senator.
Mr. DESTEXHE. To date there is no proof that the Security Council as such was informed about the gravity of the situation. They may have been informed, they may not have been informed. The next panel may have some information about that; Alison Des Forges, because she spoke with different U.N. Ambassadors at the time.
We are sure that the content of the faxed information was shared with the Belgian, French and U.S. Ambassador. We are sure it was taken seriously and there was some discussion in the following weeks. But there is absolutely no evidence that the Security Council was warned about the gravity of the situation.
A major question to be addressed, we shouldn't forget the whole thing started with this informer. The informer requested protection and asylum for himself and for his four-member family. That protection was not granted, neither by Belgium, nor by France, nor by the United States. And believe it or not, Mr. Chairman, the contact with this informer was lost. We spent a lot of time in the Belgian community trying to investigate that, and we spoke with all the Belgian officers who were in touch with him. The contact was lost.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So, you know, that means you get a key informer who comes to see you with the plan of a genocide, and then you are never to provide him with protection, and after a while you lose the contact. That means you become in a way blind to understanding what is going to happen.
So, again, these questions should be addressed, because maybe if the protection would have been granted to the informer, we would not only have one fax, as you said, but much more information which would have been available to the United Nations and the world about what were the preparations.
Mr. SMITH. Is the whereabouts of the informer known today?
Mr. DESTEXHE. No, because the contact was really lost.
Mr. SMITH. Ms. McKinney.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to state for the record that our office did call Dallaire in Canada, and we spoke with him. He indicated that if he were given permission to appear before us today by the United Nations, that he would come. Of course, that permission was not granted, and therefore he is not here.
I would agree with you, Mr. Chairman, that we need to follow up with that and make sure that our Subcommittee and the Full Committee follow up and make sure we get Dallaire to the United States.
I would also like to request, Mr. Chairman, of the information that Senator Destexhe has brought with him, how is that going to be made available to the public? Will it be submitted on the record?
Mr. SMITH. I would ask the Senator, is there an executive summary? We could make copies available, but that would exceed probably the hearing record itself of this Subcommittee.
Mr. DESTEXHE. Well, unfortunately, there is no executive summary. I don't know if there is a possibility to translate at least three chapters which are chapters 3,6, which is all the information available concerning the genocide, and 3,8, which is all the information concerning the withdrawal of the United Nations; 3,6 and 3,8.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, there is also an index, which is a summary of all the evidence found in the files of the Belgian Minister of Defense and the Belgian Foreign Minister. I should say we were quite critical of our own country, and we considered because it was a genocide, we shouldn't respect the general rules concerning the protection of the people. We were not allowed to make photocopies, but the 15 Members of our Committee were allowed to consult these documents.
So we may keep in touch, and I can check in Belgium if it is possible to translate the chapters.
Mr. SMITH. We will ask the Library of Congress. They have expert translation specialists to do so. At the end of the hearing, if we could go through all of the relevant chapters you feel are necessary.
Mr. DESTEXHE. This is for you, by all means.
Ms. MCKINNEY. I would also like to just suggest that if we think that the United Nations, by continuing to pull these no-shows, may have something to hide, then it certainly doesn't stand the U.S. State Department in good stead that it would also pull a no-show today. It then leads to the question what does the U.S. State Department have to hide and those in charge of this country's foreign policy?
Mr. Khan, I would like to ask you to explain the divergence a little bit more between Mr. Booh Booh and Dallaire in more detail.
Mr. KHAN. The second part of your question?
Ms. MCKINNEY. If you could explain the divergence. You talked about the divergence.
Mr. KHAN. Yes, yes, yes. My predecessor and General Dallaire were known to have divergent views. I think basically I was aware of the fact, and this has to be stated, frankly, that in Africa particularly, there is this surprising and extraordinary division on francophonie and anglophonie. For an Asian, like myself, it is extremely surprising to find the depth of this division. One comes to recognize it as time passes, and you become part of that syndrome, that this is something that goes deep. It is not superficial.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I come from a country which, if you like, belonged to the British Commonwealth, but we in South Asia never have this feeling of anglophonie, francophonie. There isn't this rivalry in Asia. We are not part of it.
But in Africa it is very real, very real, and it impinged on the Rwanda situation because the RPF, who were mainlynot entirelywere living in Uganda and brought up speaking English, apart from their own language, of course. The reason for that was that for the last 20 years, they had been located in Rwanda. Now, when they come into Rwanda, which is essentially French-speaking, there is this clash that emerges, and, as I said, it goes deep.
As a result, this tended to some extent color the attitudes of various people operating within Rwanda, even civil servants. And although I cannot say for certain that there were differences of approach that I was aware of later between my predecessor and Dallaire, I am not saying based on francophonia and anglophonia, but there were differences, and these differences were, broadly, that Dallaire was nearer the RPF position, which was that a terrible disaster was about to take place, whereas my predecessor felt that, no, we are descending into the usual syndrome of a civil war.
I mean, I do not want to assume points that he held, but I get the feeling from the telegrams that this was the point of divergence, and it reflected itself in assessing the situation on the ground.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Let me pursue that just a little bit more with a question about the OAU. It is my understanding that the OAU had mobilized 5,000 African troops but lacked financial and logistical support.
Why would the U.N. apparatus not support the OAU initiative, but support Operation Turquoise from the French?
Mr. KHAN. The Operation Turquoise took place at the very strong initiative in the Security Council of the French Government. I believe the French Government felt the humanitarian situation was descending into a complete disaster, and the Security Council sanctioned the initiative taken by France by sending or by giving France a Chapter VII mandate.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The OAU, I was not aware, had actually offered to send in a troop contingent. What I was aware of was that among these 5,500 that I have spoken of, there were a number of African countries, but not the OAU. There was Ethiopia, Nigeria; Ghana was already there. There was Malawi, and these countries maybe coordinated with the United Nations to send their troops.
The problem was that although the troops were ready to come, the equipment was not there, and it was really, if you like, the developed countries, the donor countries, who were to provide the equipment. United States, Holland, France, Belgium, these were the countries that had the logistics, the communications, the APCs, et cetera.
Now, there is no point in the troops coming in without the logistics being there. So the matching up took a long time. As I said, it took until the end of October for all of them to be in place, and by then it was much too late for them to carry out the mandate that they had.
They should have been given the mandate to rebuild, to restructure a completely shattered country and a completely shattered people. Now, that wasn't there. It was my frustration to live through that and to see vast sums of money being poured into the camps, and nothing coming through to rebuild the totally shattered economy and structure of the country itself. It was appalling, frankly. I made it known. But here, I have to again state that what I stated was conveyed to the international community. There were no buyers. No one came forward.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Mr. Chairman, one last question, observation perhaps, and that is about the francophonie/anglophonie illustration that you gave. I am just wondering if we should, if we could, look at that as a possible explanation for how the Security Council operated as well, and with the Secretary General being from Egypt, being a part of the francophonie and having a particular point of view and closeness to the Habyarimana Government, that would also have skewed the behavior of the U.N. Secretariat and the Security Council. What are your thoughts on that?
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. KHAN. I think it was an important factor, particularly if you could imagine that in Rwanda itself, except for a few NGO's, a Representative in Congress from and they were one of the best, I would give them any medal for the work they did, despite the horrifying conditions there, the ICRC, but except for these people, I have to state that there was no basic rational evaluated data going back to the Security Council.
Let me just state that the Security Council, apart from the five members, has ten others. Now, out of those ten, only two had embassies in Rwanda: Egypt, and there was one other, I forget. Now, all these seven embassies had gone. They were not there. The information coming in was, therefore, very strongly colored. And I know, because I went to the United Nations for a briefing, and who should brief me but the Ambassador of the FRG Government.
Naturally he was doing his job, he was doing it well. He was putting across a point of view, which was that, look, we have been through these wars several times. We are the majority. The minority wants to come and wrest power away from us. We are stopping them from doing it. This is undemocratic, et cetera, et cetera. I can quote to you. But the fact that he was able to project a coloring that was not counted by any other source seems to me to be a very important factor in the assessment.
I would go one step further. I think the United Nations has learned a number of lessons from the experience in Rwanda. We have been through an exercise several times, and if you look at the document that has just come out, and I have been reading it last night, from the Secretary General to the Security Council, in which he has proposed measures to prevent and preempt such disasters, I think that it is an excellent document, pointing in the right direction, pointing in a direction which is, as I said, learning from the experience of Rwanda. I do commend it to you.
For instance, it says, in the future the United Nations, one of the many recommendations, must involve regional and subregional countries, OAU in the case of, let's say, another Rwanda, in trying to preempt a disaster. It must have regional and subregional. And I can see it happen. I can see it happen in my country. In Afghanistan today, the United Nations, the OIC, sit together and try and find a solution to the problems. Previously they were trying to do it separately. I think this is pointing in the right direction, and I do commend this document as a very good way forward.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Mr. McNamara.
Mr. MCNAMARA. Could I clarify two small points for the record? As a U.N. official I am here with the knowledge and approval of the United Nations in New York. My understanding was, but it is informal, that had the U.N. headquarters been asked to appear, they would have been willing to consider that also. That is the basis on which I appear.
Second, just to clarify, if I may, the record, Mr. Khan has mentioned a number of occasions now the lack of funds going into Rwanda compared with the camps. I just wanted to emphasize that UNHCR alone has spent $127 million inside Rwanda since 1994 for returns, including $20 million in 1994, the first year of the operation. So, yes, the camps were hugely expensive, but the figures that have been mentioned are not our figures. Certainly we didn't spend anything like the amounts mentioned here for camps. But I just wanted to make it clear there has been a very substantial investment within Rwanda by UNHCR, at least on returns.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Finally I would like to say also for the record, this hearing was supposed to be about security issues, but because the State Department declined to participate, the Department of Defense also declined to participate, and we can't even get to those issues. So, Mr. Chairman, I have some questions about the arms trafficking from Belgium into the Great Lakes region and some loopholes that some scholars in this country have found in Belgian law, and I was wondering if perhaps we could submit our questions to the record for Senator Destexhe, and then he could respond to us in writing.
Mr. SMITH. That would be fine.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you.
[At press time, questions and answers had not been received.]
Mr. SMITH. And any other questions you might have for Defense and State, I think we should also provide those for the record to the respective agencies.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Mr. Payne.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. I have a lot of questions, which I will try to zero them in.
First of all, in order to go from Chapter VI to Chapter VII, I understand there is a two-thirds vote necessary in the Security Council; is that correct?
Mr. KHAN. As regards Chapter VI and Chapter VII, it is the Security Council that, of course, decides on whether there should be a Chapter VI or Chapter VII, and it is decided usually on the basis of a consensus. Of course, if there is no consensus, a veto by a Security Council member would prevent any action. So, therefore, usually it is through a consensus that it is decided whether a Chapter VI or Chapter VII operation is to be given.
Mr. PAYNE. According to information that I had at the time, the U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali made an urgent plea to the Security Council for additional peacekeeping forces to be drawn primarily from Africans to reinforce the 270 peacekeepers in Rwanda with an expanded mission to protect innocent citizens. Unfortunately, the Security Council has not yet responded. That was as of May 4th. The Secretary General on his own initiative has also requested African countries individually to supply troops.
The problem seems to be the lack of advanced logistical capabilities to rapidly respond as well as funds to support the effort. At that time the United States was $300,000 behind in peacekeeping assessments, and it was felt that to urge other countries to bring up their share of the peacekeeping burden would not go over too well since we were so far behind.
Do any of you have a feel on what impact the lack of funds that the United Nations was owed had as related to the Security Council having an inability or less of an interest, and with Mr. Kofi Annan involved in that mix-up, attempting to get the troops? And also the question of the 50 armored personnel carriers which were requested by the United Nations back in April, which didn't get delivered until August, which was a part of the apparatus needed in order to involve itself.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Could anybody expand on that?
Mr. KHAN. Yes, sir. I would say that the shortage of funds very severely inhibited the action on the ground to bring order and to restructure and to repair the damage that took place as a result of the genocide.
Just let me mention one small example,. One illustrates better with examples than by making general statements.
When I was there, as I said, everything was shattered, including the telecommunications. No telephone worked, not at all, except the United Nations'. After about 6 weeks that I had been there, a Canadian major came into my room and said, ''Sir, I have good news. I have gone and seen the shattered house where the international communications between Rwanda and the international world is housed. Although the house is completely shattered, the actual machinery is in order, and it has not been damaged. All it requires is a cable that we can get from Nairobi, and if we attach that cable to the circuit, you have an international communications capability restored in Rwanda.''
Now, this was very good news, because, as I said, nothing worked. And I said to this young Canadian major, please let me know how much it costs. I remember he said it coststhe cable would cost $1,500.
Now, I can tell you that my mandate, strictly speaking, did not allow me to pay from my peacekeeping funds $1,500 in order to repair a major facility in Rwanda. What we did was to take out the dollars we had. We gathered $1,500, we gave it to the Canadian major, and he went to Nairobi.
What I am trying to say is that the shortage of funds does affect the situation on the ground very seriously, and any appeal that is going to help the United Nations address these issues of peacebuilding after a crisis, of providing a basic small trust fund, $10 million, $20 million, which is going to help peacekeepers start up, jump start, the process of recovery, I recommend if we had those $10 million in our hands, we would have been able to persuade far more people in the refugee camps to come back than was actually the case.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So yes, it does inhibit action on the ground. It would help to have greater flexibility. It would help the United Nations a great deal if we were funded in a manner in which we could act in a flexible manner on the ground.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
There is very little discussion that has gone on about the April 6 plane that was brought down, and I know looking at the report of the French hearing, the allegations were about these missiles that were captured from Iraq by French forces in the Persian Gulf. This came up in the French hearing. I am not making it up.
The fact that Mr. Mobutu at the last minute did not take the flightof course, Mr. Mobutu and the French also have a very close working relationship, and I am not accusing anyone of anything, I just wonder whether any of these areasthere were French troops in Rwanda at the time, did virtually nothing to intervene, and have there been any discussions around the United Nationsand there were not only French, but the Belgian Government said that they were unable to stop the flow of arms because these were contracts of private companies, and the government had no right to intervene.
Has the United Nations looked into these issues at all, to your knowledge?
Mr. KHAN. Yes, sir. I forget the date, but it was toward November 1995, the United Nations did appoint a commission to look into the supply of arms to the military activists in the camps. It was, I think, the International Commission of Inquiry, and it was headed by an Egyptian diplomat.
They came to Rwanda and also went to the other side. They went to the camps in Bukavu and Goma, and in their report they came out basically with a view thatand I may not be totally accurate on this because I don't have the document here, I read it recentlybut they came out with the view that arms were being supplied to the former killers in the camps; that these arms were probably supplied by private parties and not directly by government; and that as a result of the supply of arms, the tension in the area was again going up.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Commission of Inquiry strongly recommended steps to be taken to prevent arms flows into these areas, and once again I would say that this is something that needs to be taken into hand immediately. It is one of the points that the document that has recently been prepared by the Secretary General does mention very specifically, and the stoppage of arms into hotbeds of tension is something that I think the international community has to concentrate on very, very seriously.
Mr. DESTEXHE. If I may follow on this, today there is no evidence who shot the plane of the President. It is still totally unknown. It was the triggering factor of the genocide, but the plan was there. Everything was ready to start the genocide, and it has certainly triggered the speed and the magnitude of the genocide, but the plan and the organization was there before.
Concerning your previous question, I think it is very important to make the distinction concerning the role of the United Nations before the 7th of April and after the 7th of April.
I think before the 7th of April there was some misinformation of the Security Council by the U.N. Secretariat concerning the preparation of the genocide. After the 7th of April, it is very true that the U.N. Secretariat was in favor of maintaining the same strength of the U.N. troops or increase, and the African and also the nonaligned movement were in favor of that. There was even the resolution from the nonaligned movement, which is made up of mainly Asian and African countries, requesting Chapter VII and to increase the strength of the forces.
Belgium and the United States were against. France had a much more ambiguous attitude. At the beginning they were in favor of maintaining the force at the same strength. After the genocide started, the role of the U.N. Secretariat did whatever they could to get a normal force and to try to do something amidst the worst conditions. But the question remained whether the Secretariat as such was correctly informed as to what was going on, because if you speak to ambassadors from like New Zealand, Czechoslovakia, I think Brazil was also there and Pakistan, these people, if you speak with the diplomats, were not informed, neither before the genocide, nor when the genocide started, that it was genocide that was going on.
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I think one of the problems also with the Clinton Administration was that the word ''genocide'' was not used for a very long time, although with the information which was sent since January 1994, the Clinton Administration and the Belgian and French Government should have known that genocide was in preparation. And even if Ambassador Khan could say that there was some doubt about what was really going on between January and April, I think in light of the information which was there before, after the 7th of April, it should have been obvious to all of the diplomats that genocide was going on because it was exactly what has been announced before, among others, in the General Dallaire cable.
Mr. MCNAMARA. Could I just add the reference in our report to a Human Rights Watch report on arms reaching Rwanda through eastern Zaire was as early as May 1995, and that report led to the lifting of the arms embargo on Rwanda, and that should be put into the wider issue of the international inquiry.
Mr. PAYNE. The Dallaire cable, that went directly to the Security Council?
Mr. KHAN. No.
Mr. PAYNE. There is information that said that cable went directly to the Security Council.
Mr. DESTEXHE. It went to General Baril, who is also a Canadian general who was the military adviser of Kofi Annan. After that it is not exactly well known the whereabouts of the cable within the U.N. system. It seems that while Kofi Annan saw it, or at least his deputy replied, but it is not known exactly if Boutros Boutros-Ghali had seen it, and it is not known whether the Security Council was informed or not.
I think, according to all of the evidence, what could be said is that the Security Council was informed that there was a serious situation in Rwanda going on, but not with the kind of specific information which was in the telegram. It is not known when the Security Council was informed, whether it was immediately after the 11th of January or if it was much later.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Today with the information which is at our disposal, we could sayif there is no other evidencethat the Security Council was not correctly informed as such about that cable.
The Belgian, the French and the U.S. Government were correctly informed about the situation, but not the Security Council as such. I think you can organize some hearings also with some U.N. ambassadors of small countries like Czechoslovakia or New Zealand. If you speak with their ambassadors, they never get the feeling that something of that scale was in the preparation.
Mr. PAYNE. My time has probably run out, but let me ask two final quick questions.
One, why do you feel that the Operation Turquoise by the French and Chapter VII was requested when it was requested and that there was no initiative for a Chapter VII before that time?
Mr. DESTEXHE. At that time nobody was willing to do anything. The Belgian Government wanted to get out of Rwanda, and the Belgian Government unfortunately did all it could to convince the Security Council as a rule that the whole U.N. force should be withdrawn. And it has very damaging consequences because Belgium, because of the colonial past, was considered as kind of a reference on Rwanda. Belgium was the country with the best knowledge of the situation in Rwanda. So the fact that Belgium said to the Security Council the only thing to do is get out had a very bad and negative impact on the Security Council.
The United States, because of Somalia, was totally against any kind of involvement in Rwanda. The French were much more ambiguous, and the rest of the Security Council were not correctly informed. They were told that it was a civil war. They were told that it was the secular fighting between the Hutu and the Tutsi. But this was the planned extermination of a segment of the population. It was a genocide.
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But if you read the press at the time, the general feeling was that it was a civil war, the secular fighting between ethnic rivals, so the rest of the Security Council was not correctly informed. And it should be said that the French intervention, despite all of the ambiguities, the French were the only ones very late to try to do something; maybe with a hidden agenda, I don't know, but at least they did something. Although it had several drawbacks, it saved between 6,000 and 16,000 Tutsis. And the only Tutsi who were saved were saved either by the French or by the Rwandan Patriotic Front. None of themI should say very, very few of them were saved by the United Nations or by the Belgian or the U.S. Government.
Mr. PAYNE. I really have to end, but the other part was the fact that Radio Milles Collines was broadcasting continuously, and the fact with troops that are sophisticated there, why no one could take that radio out, whereas in Bosnia they took four radios out at about the same time because they could be taken out. And, of course, one of the individuals who controlled the radio was one of those executed in Rwanda a week ago, but finally had not the RPF come in when it did to save the country, I would imagine that the genocide would have just continued. I mean, no one was really willing to step up and to protect the people from the genocidaires. And I had some other questions, but I guess the time has run out, but once again I thank you for your statements.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Payne.
Mr. DESTEXHE. Very briefly on that issue, it is often said that doing something before the genocide started would have required a strong military intervention. I don't think that is true.
The key things were that at that time the United Nations and all of the major players were in the logic of the Arusha Agreement, in the logic of the peace accords, and this logic is that you have to deal with belligerents fighting against each other.
I think the major failure was at the end of December 1993 or at the beginning of 1994 not to recognize that the Arusha process was clean because it was killed by President Habyarimana and his party, who killed an alternative to the Arusha process, and the alternative was the genocide. They were departing from the peace process, and they went with genocide rather than to share power with the opposition, both Hutu and Tutsi, in Rwanda.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This, I would say, is the intellectual and the political failure of the United Nations, it is not to recognize that despite all of the evidence that we find in the archives of the Belgian diplomatic service, because the evidence was there, they continued in the logic of a civil war. That means that they continued in the logic which is you deal with the murderer, you deal with the perpetrator of the genocide, and that logic was maintained until the 7th of April.
What should have been done somewhere at the end of 1993 or 1994 was to recognize that it was not working and to take side very clearly against President Habyarimana. This didn't necessarily imply a military U.N. intervention or U.S. intervention. It is like saying, look, if you don't stop the broadcast of Radio Milles Collines within a week, we are going to stop all foreign aid to your regime. You should know that the regime which organized the first ever genocide ever organized in Rwanda was on top of the regime receiving foreign aid over all of Africa, so this kind of strong logic saying, if you don't stop broadcasting Radio Milles Collines, you are going to be cut from all foreign aid being given to you, things like that hasn't been tried, and this could have worked.
The problem is that the signal which was given in January 1994 to the perpetrators of the genocide by the United Nations and by the United States to Belgium and the French Government, the signal was, look, we know that you are preparing a genocide, but we are not going to do anything about it. Go ahead.
I mean, if you tried to interpret it in a rational way, if you put yourself in the skin of Habyarimana and his followers, and if you tried to see out from the evidence of that fact, Mr. Chairman, what would be your conclusion?
Your conclusion should be, look, they know what I am doing, and they came to see me and they just made some verbal diplomatic protestations, and so we want to make some organized genocide. The conclusion that we make is that we can go ahead for the genocide. Of course, I have no proof of that, but I think it is very logical that if being warned, the international community knows your project, and nothing is done to stop them, then your rational conclusion is that you have a kind of green light to go ahead.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And the genocide after the 7th of April happened exactlyincluding the Belgian withdrawalhappened as described in that famous cable. This cable announced 2 1/2 months before exactly as it happened 2 1/2 months later.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Senator, and Mr. Payne.
I would just like to ask one final question, Mr. McNamara.
The UNHCR had a meeting in Geneva, and the representatives of the Congo and Rwanda publicly blamed UNHCR for the deaths of refugees in eastern Zaire. These were the very refugees that forces of these two governments were accused of denying humanitarian access to, and in some cases actually killing. I understand that the U.S. representative at the time, Phyllis Oakley, did not come to the defense of UNHCR and, in fact, lavished praise on those two governments, Rwanda and Congo. Was this a helpful contribution by the U.S. Government, in your view?
Mr. MCNAMARA. In my personal view?
Mr. SMITH. Yes.
Mr. MCNAMARA. No.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you.
I would like to thank our very distinguished panel for their insights and candor, and I would like to ask if our third panel would come to the witness table.
Leading off our third panel is Dr. Alison Des Forges, a consultant to Human Rights Watch, who has undertaken some 2 dozen missions to the Great Lakes region of Central Africa. She has provided expert testimony regarding the Rwanda genocide to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, as well as to judicial authorities in Canada, Belgium, and the United States. Trained as a historian at Harvard and Yale Universities, Dr. Des Forges has written numerous articles and monographs on Rwandan history. Perhaps more than anyone, Dr. Des Forges has worked to alert policymakers to impending violence in Rwanda and not to let them ignore violence that is ongoing no matter who are the perpetrators and who are the victims.
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. Kathi Austin is currently a visiting scholar at the Center for the African Studies at Stanford University, a director of the African Project, and a consultant for the Human Rights Watch Arms Project. In her efforts to document conflicts in Africa during the last 10 years, Ms. Austin has conducted extensive field investigations on that continent.
Holly Burkhalter is the advocacy director for Physicians for Human Rights. Before joining Physicians for Human Rights in 1997, Ms. Burkhalter served for 14 years as Washington director and advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. Before joining Human Rights Watch, she worked in Congress for 5 years as a staff member.
Jeff Drumtra is the Africa policy analyst for the U.S. Committee for Refugees. He has conducted site visits to assess refugees in Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Zaire and other parts of Africa and Asia. He is author and editor of reports on refugee situations in nearly 3 dozen African countries.
Finally, Mr. Francois-Xavier Nsanzuwera is the Secretary General of the International Federation of Leagues for Human Rights, Rwandese Association of Human Rights as well as the president for the Center of Rwandan Information and Studies. Previously he was district attorney of Kigali in Rwanda and the president of a prominent Rwandan human rights league in that country. He has twice served as an expert witness for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Dr. Des Forges, if you could begin.
STATEMENT OF ALISON DES FORGES, CONSULTANT, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH/AFRICA
Ms. DES FORGES. Thank you.
I think the extent of information revealed in the hearings today indicates how important this question is that you have raised, and I think we all must deplore the absence of responsible people from the Administration to deal with the many pressing issues which have come out and which will come out as a result of this hearing.
Page 81 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I have submitted a prepared statement, but rather than dealing with that, I would like to address a few specific questions that were raised by the preceding speakers as well as to deal with a couple of comments of my own about the whole history of the genocide.
First of all, in terms of the United Nations itself, I was happy that Ambassador Khan was willing to share with us the importance of the split between Dallaire and Booh Booh. It is clear that this was not, however, a split between French speakers and English speakers because Dallaire was also a French speaker. It was rather a split between a man who came from the outside, Dallaire, a Canadian who had no connection, and Booh Booh, who was an insider in the African power elite, and who was very close to Habyarimana. So it was the local political dynamics which caused this division between them.
The division was extremely important in shaping the kind of information that was received and processed by the Secretariat. I have a telegram, which I do not have with me, but which I will be publishing shortly, which will point out the difference between Booh Booh and Dallaire in their assessment of the genocide. It was sent on April 8 as the violence was beginning. The first half of the telegram was written by Booh Booh and the second half by Dallaire. And the first half minimizes the existing violence and, as Senator Destexhe pointed out, puts a great deal of stress on the sort of aspect of the recurrence of the civil war; whereas the second half which begins in the middle of the third page, and all of a sudden the entire thing is written in capital letters, fairly screams out at you in Dallaire's voice, pay attention, something terrible is happening here, and we must react.
The split at the level within the sources of information to the Secretariat is one of great importance, and it seems that in general the Secretariat chose to privilege the information from Booh Booh rather than Dallaire. That, it seems to me, is quite clear.
On the question of what the Security Council did or did not know, Ambassador Khan has suggested that the nonpermanent members basically had information that came from the point of view of the Rwandan Government, and certainly the Rwandan Government representative was very active in trying to make his views known, but to the credit of those nonpermanent members, they made a serious effort to inform themselves.
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I myself was called at home on a Saturday morning by the representative of the Czech Republic, who said, you have got to understand that Rwanda is not a priority for the Czech Republic, but as a human being I cannot sit here and do nothing, and he did indeed take action.
The following Monday afternoon he organized a meeting, it was not a formal meeting, of course, it was an afternoon coffee at his house at which all nonpermanent representatives of the Security Council attended and where I had the opportunity for 3 hours to present a point of view diametrically opposed to that of the Rwanda Government representative.
So Security Council members had at least one alternative source of information, and I am quite sure that they had others because they took their responsibility seriously once they understood what the situation held.
That, I believe, is the chief importance, from my point of view, of the January 11 telegram. It is not that it stands as the only warning, because it certainly was not, but had that warning been effectively delivered to the nonpermanent members, some of them who behaved so responsibly later on might have begun to behave responsibly earlier and forced the hand of the permanent members, notably the United States and the United Kingdom, who were completely opposed to taking a stronger position at that time.
So I think you have to look at one level at what is happening within the United Nations, the U.N. Secretariat, its own dynamics and politics, but then you have to go beyond that and say why are the Secretariat personnel behaving as they did, and there the answer is quite clear. They are behaving as they did because of pressure from the major member states.
So it is not the U.N. Secretariat here alone that you need to look at, but who is, in effect, suggesting the course to those people in the U.N. personnel, and of course that was largely the United States and the United Kingdom.
Senator Destexhe, perhaps because he was being too kind for our feelings here, did not bring to your attention a point of great importance, which was in mid-February Belgium made a serious attempt to extend the mandate of the peacekeeping force. Had that extension been done in mid-February, there would have been a strong possibility of action on April 6 or 7th.
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Boutros-Ghali refused to bring that issue to the Security Council because he said the United States and the United Kingdom have made clear that they do not want that extension to go forward.
So here is one very clear case of U.S. policy having an incredibly important effect on the politics within the Secretariat and the decision about what will or will not be discussed by the Security Council.
I would like to deal more specifically now with some other aspects of U.S. responsibility. If we can go back just a little bitactually quite a bit before the start of the genocide and look at the question of U.S. aid. In the late 1980's and early 1990's, Rwanda was for a long time considered the model of economic development, and here is a lesson which is very important for the current situation in Rwanda. Are we prepared to sacrifice human rights considerations for economic progress and so-called political stability? That was the choice that we made at the end of the 1980's and early 1990's when we turned our eyes away from the massacres of Tutsis and other abuses in order to continue this hope of economic progress with a regime that we thought was stable.
In that situation in 1991, when the United States was beginning to put money into democratization projects in Rwanda, a team of consultants looked at the whole political situation there, and their first recommendation to the U.S. Government, and, in fact, to all of the donor communities, because the U.S. Ambassador called together the ambassadors of the other embassies to hear their report, and the first recommendation was any further economic assistance to this government must require them to give up the use of ethnic classification on the identity cards. That was in July 1991, and no one responded to that suggestion, including the U.S. Government. Had that suggestion been implemented at that time, identity cards would not have borne the mark ''Hutu'' or ''Tutsi'' when the genocide began.
When you come to the question of the establishment of the UNAMIR, of the U.S. peacekeeping force, it is important to look at the influence of the United States in shaping the size and the mandate of that force. Because of financial considerations, because of the desire to economize, partly prompted by pressures within the Congress, the Administration had in its mind the idea that this peacekeeping force must be cheap. It must not cost a lot. Therefore, when military experts from the United Nations said to be effective this force must have at least 5,000 soldiers and should have 8,000 soldiers, the United States countered by saying 500. Now, the figure that was finally settled on was slightly less than 3,000, but it was clear that this was the U.S. pressure in part that forced the limiting of the size of the first U.N. force and consequently the limiting of its mandate.
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The mandate spelled out in the Arusha Accords was quite a serious mandate that tasked the soldiers with protecting citizens throughout the country during the transition period. By the time the force was actually negotiated at the Security Council, what emerged was a force which had the task of supervisingnot guaranteeing, supervising security not within the entire country, but in the capital of Kigali, so a vast shrinking of its area of responsibility.
On the question of what was known throughout this period, there is a great deal of evidence from many sources about warnings that went on throughout this period. There was on December 3 a letter by high-ranking military officers to General Dallaire, and I quote, ''They told him that massacres are being prepared and are supposed to spread throughout the country beginning with the regions that have a great concentration of Tutsis.'' That was a month before the famous telegram.
After January, Dallaire submitted no fewer than six requests in that period to have more troops and an extended mandate, so he clearly knewand the telegram that Destexhe quoted from, February 3, made that point again, that we are being backed into a corner. We are not going to be able to do our job here unless you give us something more to work with.
The question of what the United States knew, something which hasn't been mentioned today is the CIA study which was called for within the U.S. Government, produced at the end of January, a look at possible scenarios in Rwanda in the coming months, and the worst-case scenario at the end of January predicted renewed conflict with half a million people to be killed. This was our own CIA study. It was produced by an analyst whose work was otherwise highly valued in the Intelligence Community, but in this case they disregarded his conclusions.
At the end of March when the mandate was once more being considered at the Security Council, Boutros-Ghali brought forth the information on the training of militia and the distribution of arms, for the first time formally presented that to the Council, although it was true that there were informal briefings before that time, but instead of requesting an extended mandate and more soldiers and better arms as Dallaire had been asking for, he said instead what should happen is an additional 45 policemen should be sent; the reason for 45 policeman rather than many more troops and a better mandate, because it fell within the cost parameters which were being set by major players on the scene, namely the United States.
Page 85 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In terms of when the violence begansorry, let me go back 1 minute.
When Senator Destexhe was talking about Habyarimana he probably figured that if they did nothing about the information from the January 11 telegram, that meant that it would be OK to go ahead with the genocide and no one would intervene, that wasn't a deduction that had to be made, that was the specific message that was delivered by Boutros-Ghali in a phone call to Habyarimana. He said to him, if you keep up with this kind of stuff, we are going to pull out. So it was already clearly specified from January on that the United Kingdom did not intend to play a serious role if there was a renewal of conflict.
At the time, the first weekend, it was already clear that this was going to be a campaign of ethnic cleansing and of terror. It is true that there was confusion in the minds of many people between civil war and genocide. It is true that many of the press accounts were inaccurate, but the New York Times on April 11 published a story saying that civilians were seeking refuge in U.N. posts because they were, ''terrified by the ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing and terror.''
As I mentioned, the April 8 telegram which came into the U.N. headquarters from Dallaire and Booh Booh, Dallaire also specified in that ethnic cleansing was going on in a systematic fashion throughout the city.
Let me refresh your memories. That weekend there were more than a thousand elite Belgian and French troops sent in. The Italians followed soon after, and the U.S. Marines were on standby 20 minutes away in Bujumbura, all for the purpose of evacuating foreigners.
Let me quote the opinion of the Commander of the Belgian troops in the U.N. peacekeeping force at the time. He said, in a confidential assessment after the fact, speaking of that weekend, the responsible attitude would have been to join the efforts of the Belgian, French and Italian troops with those of UNAMIR and to have restored order in the country. There were enough troops to do it, or at least to have tried. When people rightly point the finger at certain persons presumed responsible for the genocide, I wonder after all if there is not another category of those responsible because of their failure to act.
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC On the question of troop withdrawal, it is clear that the Belgians were very embarrassed by pulling out their troops, and the United States, wanting to help out a friendly country, participated in that effort to decide to pull out the entire force.
I would like to make a point here that seems to me of extremely great importance, and that is the extent to which international actions had their impact within Rwanda and helped to shape the course of this genocide.
In those first hours moderate military officers made contact with the United States, with France, and with Belgium and asked for support in opposing the genocide. They received no encouragement, so they did not ever come together in a cohesive enough force to oppose the genocide.
The RPF on April 9 proposed a joint military operation between RPF troops, moderate military of the government, and UNAMIR troops to put down the massacres, to stop the killing, but because the United Nations was circumscribed by its mandate, there was no response from that quarter, and that effort failed.
Within the country there was a constant awareness on the part of the extremists about what was happening in the rest of the world and a serious attempt to maintain contact with foreigners. There were delegations sent abroad to try to publicize the Rwandan Government position, including to the United Nations itself, and there one of the most disgraceful scenes in the United Nations was at the Security Council table when the representatives of the genocidal government were allowed to present a justification of their point of view and where virtually none of the delegates at that table had the guts to confront the representatives of this government about what it was doing back home.
I believe that there were very fewI know that the Czechs spoke up and the New Zealanders spoke up, but many others did not. They simply sat there and listened to this. And of course they never challenged the right of this government to continue to sit on the Security Council.
Page 87 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC On April 15, there was a confidential session of the Security Council to discuss the withdrawal of the U.N. troops. Of course, the member from Rwanda was present, and he heard this discussion. At that session the United States took the position that the entire force should be pulled out. Now, they later changed this position, but at that point that was at the close of business on that day, that was what the Security Council was leaning toward was a complete withdrawal. It was the next morning that the Rwandan Council of Ministers met and decided to extend the genocide into the central and southern parts of the country, which had until then been relatively untouched.
I think that it is certainly a reasonable conclusion that the information that the international community was planning to get itself out of there facilitated those extremists who wanted to push for the extension of the genocide into other parts of the country.
The protests of the United States when they finally were made were heard not just in the councils of government, but all of the way down to the level of the local communities out on the hills. The responsiveness to international criticism was such that it transcended down that administrative hierarchy to the prefecture of Kibuye in the western part of the country, and communications networks may have been disrupted, but they were working well enough for signals from Washington, faint as they were, to reach down to those hills so that the local government official told people, you've got to stop killing because Washington is making that a precondition for dealing with our government.
Now, did they really mean it? Of course, this was so late, many people were already dead by then. Or did they mean simply remove the killing from public view, because they went on to say, remember there are satellites overhead that are monitoring what we are doing.
That was the level of consciousness, not appropriate, not accurate, but there was a sense that we need to be careful because of what people are thinking about us.
And the other prime example of that is when Rwandan military went to Paris and asked for support and for arms, the French response was, we cannot help you as long as you continue doing these horrible things so publicly. And the message went out 2 days later over Radio Rwanda or Radio RTLM, I have forgotten which one, saying to people, please, no more cadavers on the road. Get them out of the way.
Page 88 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So you can see the extent to which international opinion could have its influence within this system, how it could have influenced moderates and given them courage to resist, how it could have influenced extremists to control their behavior. But none of that happened because we didn't act.
The lessons from all of this we will be talking about for a long time to come, but the superficial lesson is the easy lesson. We all know don't let a genocide happen again; if you see the signs, do something about it.
But what I would like to say is that there is another lesson underneath that lesson, because we are not likely to see this same situation again. Why not? Because although the international tribunal is not doing a great job, it is working. There has been a condemnation. Ambassador Khan apparently wasn't aware of that. There has been one guilty verdict handed down already, and people in that region are now knowing enough not to go out and put it on the radio that our intention is genocide or to publicly organize militias to go out and kill. Instead it is becoming more difficult to know exactly what is happening.
The next time around we will have the problem not just of mobilizing the political will when we have a situation that we clearly know the realities, we will also have the problem of knowing the realities, and in that connection I want to draw your attention to a whole series of problems that we are now encountering in knowing what is going on in the Congo with the lack of cooperation from the Kabila Government, with the end of the effective post of special rapporteur for Rwanda, with the banning of the special rapporteur from the Congo, with the suppression of the results of international investigations as was done with the Gersony report in the Rwanda context, with the whitewash of the Kibeho massacre, and now with the effort on the part of the Rwanda Government to end the monitoring function for the U.N. human rights field operation.
We must find accurate sources of information. We must know, or the next time we will end up compounding the error of the Rwanda genocide because not only will we not act, we will not know that we should be acting.
Page 89 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Dr. Des Forges, thank you very much for that very comprehensive analysis and warning with lessons learned and the fact that many things going on today, unfortunately they are not on many people's radar screens, that could lead to another repeat of such killings.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Des Forges appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Before I go to Ms. Austin, you mentioned that several of the delegations or the delegates just sat while the presentation was made. Was the U.S. delegation silent?
Ms. DES FORGES. I would have to go back and look, and I don't want to condemn them, but my feeling is if they said anything at all, it was extremely wishy-washy. The only ones I remember having made a clear statement were the Czechs, the New Zealanders and perhaps the Spanish.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. Ms. Austin.
STATEMENT OF KATHI L. AUSTIN, VISITING SCHOLAR, AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER, STANFORD UNIVERSITY
Ms. AUSTIN. Thank you, Chairman Smith, for calling this important hearing, and I want to also thank your colleagues, Ms. McKinney and Mr. Payne, for calling this really important and timely hearing on Rwanda. You could not be concerned with a nobler cause than that of preventing genocide, crimes against humanity and wide-scale violence against civilians.
Since the middle of 1994, I have traveled to Rwanda and the Great Lakes region on several lengthy field investigations, most often as a consultant to the Human Rights Watch Arms Project, in an effort to research and document the impact of arms flows and military assistance on the continuing conflicts in the region.
Page 90 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Since the outbreak of civil war in Rwanda in 1990, the country has experienced a rising tide of militarization with a corresponding decrease in human security. Contributing to this horrific state of affairs is the seemingly unending flow of weapons and military assistancewith very few constraints and often no conditionality appliedinto the region.
My research shows also that one area of total policy failure by the United States has been its minimalist concern for security flows, including arms, training and military equipment for all of the warring parties in the Great Lakes region. If U.S. policy had forcefully addressed the ongoing militarization of the region, the prospect of repeated cycles of genocide or massive violence would be different.
This hearing also today coincides with growing public concern about the significance of the arms trade, especially the trade in small arms and light weapons, and its relationship to conflict and human rights abuses.
But governments in general are very protective of their arms networks, usually because they serve as an instrument of foreign policy, or because of their commercial benefit. Today the volatility of the Great Lakes region demands that more attention be paid to arms trade issues.
We have talked about the background of the current patterns of supply of weapons. I would just like to make a few remarks and talk a little bit about what was going on during the Rwandan civil war and the genocide.
The fact is that in 1992, the Rwandan Government was the third largest importer of weapons in sub-Saharan Africa behind Angola and Nigeria. There was information that was published about covert arms brokering and deliveries to the Rwandan Government, for example by the Governments of France, South Africa and Egypt, and nothing was done. There was a very small mission set up to stop supplies from Uganda to the RPF, but that was very inadequate to the task. Much of the military assistance that went to Rwanda during the civil war and leading up to the genocide flew in the face of the internationally negotiated Arusha peace agreement.
Page 91 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In Rwanda, the Arusha Accords, along with the arrival of U.N. peacekeepers, lulled policymakers into thinking that they were doing enough. Weapons flows were assumed to cease automatically, and the peacekeeping forces were expected to monitor security. As we have heard today, a variety of international actors did very little to prevent the genocide. Even though, as Alison Des Forges mentioned, U.S. intelligence and analysis projected as its worst-case scenario hundreds of thousands of casualties in Rwanda, it did nothing to concern itself with intervention to curtail this violence.
As we have also heard today, the U.S. peacekeeping commander, General Dallaire, was prohibited from seizing arms caches even on sites identified by U.N. intelligence, although he made persistent requests to do so.
While France withdrew the bulk of its troops from Rwanda, no international pressure was put on France to withdraw as the main military patron of the Rwanda regime. No thought was given to the disarmament of the Hutu militias.
Tragically, a U.N. arms embargo was not proposed for Rwanda until a month and a half after the genocide commenced, and even then the embargo had no rigorous enforcement measures.
We have also heard today about how the perpetrators of the genocide led a mass exodus of Hutu refugees into the neighboring countries. The immediate impact of this refugee crisis was to extend Rwanda's political strife throughout the region and lay the groundwork for continued regional warfare. France and Zaire both facilitated the safe exit of the defeated Rwandan Army and its militias along with their weapons, and this is one of the reasons why the refugee camps quickly became militarized.
Following the genocide, I spent 4 months in the field documenting the rearming of the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide based not only in the refugee camps, but also in the neighboring towns of eastern Zaire. This was all being done in violation of international arms embargo. I was able to document how, in contravention of the arms embargo, weapons poured into eastern Zaire from traffickers or governments based in Belgium, China, France, South Africa and Seychelles. I was able to interview and observe the comings and goings of the key architects of the Rwandan genocide, including Colonel Bagasore and the former Prime Minister Kambanda. Most often they weren't in refugee camps, but they were sitting poolside in very nice hotel areas.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In my interviews they spoke openly of their plans to finish their ''job'' in Rwanda. Despite calls from the International Tribunal for the arrest of the Genocidaires, the international community shunned its role in Zaire where many of these perpetrators were based. As we now know, a successfully rejuvenated ex-FAR and its militias forged alliances with the local Zairian military and political authorities as well as Burundi insurgents in order to attack Rwanda, Burundi, and certain ethnic groups within eastern Zaire, mainly the Banyarwanda of the Masisi region and the Banyamulengue of South Kivu.
Continuously these kinds of attacks and the ethnic massacres that went on were ignored. Again the international community failed to address the mounting security concerns. A policy aimed at conflict prevention would have required the dismantling of the refugee camps and an end put to the military threat of the ex-FAR and its allied militias.
What is most startling for us here today was that the U.S. Government was well aware that their failure to address these securities concerns would lead to a Rwandan invasion and the massive loss of human life among the refugee population. As early as December 1994, U.S. military intelligence was reporting that the Rwanda Government would use force in neighboring countries. It also was reporting that this would result in the death of tens of thousands as Hutu insurgents used the refugees in Zaire's camps as shields.
At the same time U.S. intelligence acknowledged that in part Rwanda was responsible because its own military campaigns within the country were contributing to the heightening of the tension since it was ruthlessly pursuing a counterinsurgency campaign.
The war in Zaire in 1996 and 1997 was a direct outgrowth of the regional destabilization by the allied Hutu insurgent forces. Both the Rwandan and Burundian Governments became actively involved in invasive military operations to stymie these constant insurgent attacks on their territories. The war widened as arms and other forms of military support were provided to the ADFL from Uganda, Eritrea and Angola, all three of which were receiving U.S. military support at the time.
Page 93 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Kabila, the leader of the ADFL was also receiving direct support from U.S., British and Canadian corporations. The U.S. Government provided military equipment and training to other regional governments who were militarily supporting Kabila and the ADFL forces.
By the time the ADFL had conquered the capital, Kinshasa, the RPA and its allied ADFL forces had massacred thousands of Hutu refugees, innocents and genocidaires alike, whose deaths some U.S. officials in the region have described as ''collateral damage.''
Currently civil war wages on in both Rwanda and Burundi. While the U.S. Government has issued a statement that genocidal acts are being committed in Burundi today, the Clinton Administration appears most preoccupied with preventing the resurgence of genocide in Rwanda. At the same time there are a growing number of reports of the intensification of military cooperation between the Governments of Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and their plans to launch offenses against the remnants of the former Rwandan Army, the former Zairian security forces, extremist Hutu insurgents and UNITA. War is again in the wind.
In reviewing the horrific facts of Rwanda's cycles of violence, it is necessary to take stock of what difference the U.S. Government could have made. The failure of early warning and preventive action is absolute. As with the genocide, the militarization of the refugee camps and the massacres of thousands of refugees by the ADFL and its allied RPAforces all foretold there was an unwillingness to risk either military or more robust strategies which would have been necessary to mitigate this violence.
The failure to intervene during the genocide and then afterwards to demilitarize the refugee camps clearly were failures of inaction. However, the U.S. response to the Zaire crisis of 1996 and 1997 might be seen as a failure of actions taken. Slowly emerging is a picture of U.S. security policy toward Rwanda which wittingly or unwittingly may have contributed to the massive loss of civilian life inside Zaire as well as internal human rights violations and the atrocities that have gone on inside Rwanda.
Page 94 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It cannot be understated that the security concerns for Rwanda and ethnic Tutsis in the region are very real. It cannot be understated that little has been done by the international community to address these concerns. But it is also the case that U.S. policy has erred in addressing these concerns by becoming partisan, at minimum by closing an eye to human rights abuses and atrocities, and at worst providing military, political and psychological support to a government which has encouraged these offenses or participated in these offenses.
What is most troubling is that U.S. security assistance to Rwanda and other governments in the region have possibly facilitated the killing of tens of thousands of refugees in Zaire.
I would like to just give some thoughts on what my key findings have been throughout my research in the Great Lakes region.
On security issues, the resort to violence on all sides of the conflict in Rwanda has completely overwhelmed today the political process, and the security aspects of this are not being effectively addressed by U.S. foreign policy. Most of the foreign policy and domestic political changes being wrought in Rwanda and neighboring countries has been through the potential threat of or the actual barrel of the gun. In this respect much of the political process has evolved around shoring up one's military prowess and alliances and finding both external and internal legitimacy for one's military campaigns.
What is frightening about this sorry state of affairs is that moderates continually are being pushed out of the political process. The all-out pursuit of military might lessens the efficacy of diplomacy or negotiating to achieve peace. U.S. policy in support of the Rwandan Government, as well as its own geostrategic political interests in the region, has become entrapped in this dynamic.
Security assistance and weapons are also being acquired, not only by regular armies and insurgencies, but also by irregular groups such as civilian defense forces and ethnic militias, and, in large part, this is because they have found that obtaining arms is a prerequisite for survival in the absence of any other kind of national or international mechanisms to ensure their security.
Page 95 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Again, I want to reiterate that the United States has taken a minimal response toward the problem of weapons flows and military assistance to the Rwandan belligerents and to the region in general. The United States has not been transparent about its own military involvement, nor has it effectively monitored the use of its military transfers to the region.
To conclude, while the United States has talked endlessly of how to stem ethnic warfare or avert another genocide in the Great Lakes region, there still remains a notable silence about the way in which foreign weapon transfers and security assistance influence the likelihood of such outcomes.
Even graver still, certain members of the international community continue to supply arms or other forms of military assistance, often covertly, to various parties at war in the region. Others have allowed insurgents to base and arm themselves within their countries, and, more commonly, private merchants are taking advantage of foreign government sponsorship, loose restrictions on arms transfers, pliable transshipment countries, poor control at border points and/or corrupt officials to operate with impunity in the region.
While efforts at reversing the tide of militarization in the Great Lakes region is very complex and the challenges are obviously enormous, no other place in the world is in dire need of such efforts as the highly volatile Great Lakes region.
I would like to make a few recommendations for U.S. policy, chief of which is that the United States should establish a coherent security policy toward the Great Lakes region which emphasizes conflict prevention and minimizes further militarization. In doing so, the U.S. Government should make public all information on its security assistance, training and arms flows to Rwanda and the region since 1993, as well as publicly disclose all information on current and future sales, transfers and assistance, and the United States should pressure other foreign governments to do so. The U.S. Government should also monitor the end use of its own provision of training, military equipment, arms transfers and security assistance to all warring parties in the Great Lakes region.
Page 96 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Finally, we have talked a lot today about the reactivation of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry into arms trafficking, but I would like to state that its mandate is limited only to investigations. The mandate really should be extended to prohibit current and future transfers and to vigorously enforce the arms embargo that is against the ex-FAR and allied militias, and the mandate should also be extended to Burundi.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much. I appreciate your testimony.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Austin appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Holly Burkhalter.
STATEMENT OF HOLLY BURKHALTER, ADVOCACY DIRECTOR, PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Ms. BURKHALTER. Thank you very much for inviting me to testify. It is particularly gratifying to be able to sit on the same panel with Alison Des Forges, who was my mentor and the person I admire most in the human rights field.
This hearing comes at a very important time. I never imagined 4 years after the genocide we would have this interest and this level of an investigation and this opportunity to change U.S. policy for the future.
There are three factors, I think, that contribute to widening the perception of the genocide, widening that crack just a little. The first is the President's trip to Africa, where he acknowledged Western failure, as did the Secretary of State, and where there was an appropriate expression of contrition for Western neglect of the genocide.
Second, of course, is the European investigations, which I think we have heard a lot about today, and which brought a lot of new information to the floor, including the very important information about the U.N. lack of response.
The third, of course, is your own hearing, and the combination of those three crack-widening events I think promise or at least permit the possibility of some really good dialog on a changed U.S. human rights policy as it relates to genocide.
Page 97 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In my view, an apology without a changed policy is rather cheap, even though I thought the apology was appropriate and welcome, and I am gratified by it. But it is a fact that not one single factor that was operable in April 1994 or in January 1994 has been changed. Thus, there can be pledges of ''never again'' by any of these people, by Clinton, by Susan Rice or anybody else, but the peacekeeping policy has not been changed. There have been no orders given to the Pentagon, nothing has changed that contributed to the inaction and the efforts to impede U.N. action that the United States engaged in, which I detail in my testimony. All that is absolutely unchanged. So in my testimony I would like to concentrate on what policies need to be changed for the United States to respond to a genocide in the future.
First of all, there needs to be a formal expression by the President of the United States, and it needs to be integrated into all U.S. military and diplomatic policies, that it is a vital interest of the United States to prevent and punish genocide in keeping with our treaty obligations.
You would not think you would need such a statement since we have signed the treaty that obliges us to do that. But actually this is not a sort of a whimsical or rhetorical recommendation. If the United States were to identify suppression of genocide, prevention of genocide, as a vital interest, then all of these policies that we have been hearing about today would have been on the table and would have been talked about and might actually have been done.
Second of all, the Presidential decision directive that is operable on peacekeeping, and participation in peacekeeping and support for peacekeeping operations, which is PDD 25, must be changed so that the United States will formally have in its policy that it is a policy of the United States to support humanitarian intervention for stopping genocide.
That doesn't necessarily mean it has to be American troops, but the PPD must be changed so all our other policies flow therefrom. And I see no evidence that it is going to be changed, and I don't hear any congressional clamor that it should be changed. I think without getting at those peacekeeping policies by both the executive branch, and by Congress as well, we can have a lot of wind about never again, never again, and not one single bit of difference when the next mass ethnic slaughter comes around.
Page 98 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC As Senator Destexhe was describing, preventing genocide and acting on a commitment to prevent genocide does not necessarily mean throwing a lot more troops in right at the beginning, and I will not reiterate some of his recommendations.
It is very important to know that the United States knew exactly what was going on well before January 1994. I know who the human rights investigator was at the U.S. Embassy. She was excellent. The Country Reports in 1993 were full of information about targeted execution of Tutsis, of whom thousands were killed. Accordingly, the United States could have engaged diplomatically in a whole variety of activities that could have encouraged moderates within the military to step forward, et cetera, including donor meetings, public condemnations, jamming of radio. There are dozens of things that could be done, short of introducing troops.
Frankly, by the time UNAMIR had to be enlarged, if you had made that decision on April 6, it was very late in the game, and the possibility of success was on even then though, of course, I was in favor of enhancing the force.
But I just wanted to make the point that it tends to be a conversation stopper in this town when we talk about suppression of genocide and peacekeeping policy. One word stops all conversation: and that word is Somalia. The United States will not support another engagement like Somalia, and therefore we will not support others going in that we are going to have to go bail out as we did in Somalia, et cetera.
That is an absolutely wrong paradigm to use for a situation like Rwanda. It is not necessary or inevitable that it always be Americans who go in. In fact, the rules of engagement that the United States has placed on its own troops make it such that Americans are not necessarily the best ones to do a peacekeeping operation.
Much has been said about the tragic loss of the Rangers' lives in Somalia, and Americans will not tolerate that, et cetera. Much less has been said about the fact that several days before that tragic operation in which the Rangers lost their lives in the search for Aideed, American troops under American command went looking for Aideed in a C130 gunship and completely hosed a residential area of Mogadishu and killed about 1,000 unarmed Somalis. Now, that type of military operation is entirely in keeping with U.S. military doctrine which places the security of American soldiers first and foremost. I am not going to argue with it, but that is an inappropriate mandate in a peacekeeping or humanitarian operation, where you kill 1,000 unarmed people and, by the way, don't get your target.
Page 99 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Several days later came the tragic operation where the Somalis were mad as hell and went after the American Rangers, who were not well protected. But there was a context for that. I am not saying it was justifiable. I am saying the introduction of American troops with that mandate is problematic, in a Somalia and in a Rwanda.
So even though I favor the Americans being involved in peacekeeping operations to save lives, and I would note that the Genocide Convention does not say you must prevent genocide using a multilateral force, if no multilateral force is available, every treaty signatory has the obligation to stop genocide.
But I would say the United States can do a great deal, short of obliging its own soldiers, to help prevent genocide. And my views are very much informed by what the United States refused to do, failed to do and prevented from happening in the Rwandan genocide.
For example, the United Nations has been requesting for years that troop-contributing countries and wealthy countries preposition or predesignate in advance armored personnel carriers, communications gear, a whole variety of things that could be used in an emergency. We do not have a rapid response force specifically designated for genocide intervention, and I recognize we do not have the political will to have one, though I think should be required and think it should be talked about certainly in the light of two genocides in the 1990's, Bosnia and Rwanda. In the absence of such a force there is still much that could be done to shorten the response time.
I went into quite some detail in the sad story about the 50 APCs (armored personnel carriers). That was, in fact, designed to divert our attention. But it does, I think, illuminate the point that the United States has things that the United Nations needs, and they don't necessarily involve soldiers from Ames, Iowa. It could be 50 APCs that could be there in 2 days.
I think the discussion about Operation Turquoise is instructive here. Turquoise was a very problematic operation. Let us not forget it did save some Tutsi lives. It also ushered the genocidaire, complete with their weapons, their tanks and everything else safely into Zaire. It created a cordon sanitaire to move directly into Goma, where they then continued to engage in genocidal activity, both at home and in Congo. But it does show you how fast an interventionary force can be put in place.
Page 100 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The United States could have gotten those APCs there on April 8 if they wanted to. So let's learn from that. I would love to know, has the executive branch ordered the Pentagon to designate supplies we could make available and, in particular, tanks or armored personnel carriers or whatever would be needed to get peacekeepers safely into the countryside to make a show of force and not be at loss of life themselves? No, they have not.
The Pentagon's procurement procedures are only eclipsed by the United Nations. We have got to cut through that red tape, and it is possible to do so, but not without the President ordering that it be done, and he has not ordered that it be done.
I have a whole variety of other recommendations, practical recommendations, that flow from this policy: that it is a policy of the United States to respond to genocide quickly I hope because I wrote them carefully to be practical it isn't all pie in the sky. There are all kinds of things that could be done. But until the Administration does more than say, ''We are sorry,'' they are not going to be done. I must say that Congress has a vital role to play here. Some of these things are expensive. They are going to cost money. It means an American involvement with the United Nations to make it better. We don't have the political will that I can see in the U.S. Congress at this time to do what needs to be done. The United Nations is only as good as the great nations demand that it be, and in the Rwandan genocide, I think the United States drove it to its lowest possibilities. But I don't think that is inevitable or has to remain the same. I think the soul-searching going on in Europe and here, and the openness of some within the U.N. system to speak plainly about their own failings and the failings of the system do provide this unique opportunity to do better the next time.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much for your excellent testimony, and also for the many recommendations you provide.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Burkhalter appears in the appendix.]
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. I think it would be helpful, I was just talking to my good friend from Georgia, for this Subcommittee to take many of these recommendations being presented and ask the Administration and get into a dialog with them as to what they will do to act on many of these things, because like you said, an apology without substantive reform is very hollow. It makes for a nice splashy headline the next day, and we are all grateful the President acknowledged our collective inactivity during the crisis, but it is time to do something so it doesn't happen again, especially since, as I think Ms. Austin indicated, there are some signs that things are happening anew; what was it, that war is in the wind.
So I think we need to be very, very vigilant. We will try to engage the Administration. There are representatives from the Administration here, and I hope they will take back all of your recommendations and begin to carefully study them.
Mr. SMITH. I would like to proceed to our next witness, Francois-Xavier Nsanzuwera.
STATEMENT OF FRANCOIS-XAVIER NSANZUWERA, FORMER PRESIDENT, CLADHO (FEDERATION OF RWANDESE ASSOCIATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS)
[Mr. Nsanzuwera's testimony and answers were delivered through an interpreter.]
Mr. NSANZUWERA. Mr. President, my name is Francois-Xavier Nsanzuera, and I am Rwandan. It is an honor to be testifying before this Committee. I will try to be brief, but it is hard for a Rwandan to speak very quickly about what has happened to his country.
At the time that the genocide began 4 years ago, the genocide of the Tutsi and the moderate Hutus, I took refuge at the Mucolline Hotel with my wife and my family. For 2 months we stayed in the hotel. We were terrorized. We were drinking the water out of the pool that the military were washing their clothes in, but at least we were under the protection of the blue helmets. We were lucky to survive, and there were those who said we were only able to survive because of some of the things that the Americans told to the Rwandan military. I then was able to get to the zone controlled by the RPF. Why did I have to take refuge, if I myself was a Hutu?
Page 102 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In 1993, I denounced the climate of fear that was evident in Kigali. During a meeting at which General Dallaire, Colonel Marshall and others participated, including the Ministers of Justice and the Interior, I denounced the terror of the Interahamwe militia and the complicity of others in the army.
In March 1994, I was the prosecutor at the time, and I arrested people for political assassinations in Kigali. The Hutu extremists considered me complicitous with the blue helmets, the Belgian blue helmets. During the genocide, I lost my sisters, my father, and many other members of my family. After the genocide, I took up again my responsibilities as prosecutor of the Republic. I had lost so much of my family and my friends, but like so many of the others who survived, I hoped to restart my life, beginning at zero.
I started interrogating the prisoners who were suspected of participating in the genocide. At the time we didn't have many means, but we had the will. But at some point, I began to realize the RPF soldiers were arresting people without proof, people who occupied houses that they wanted or land, and they were denounced and put in prison. The word ''General Dallaire'' was used as an arm to arrest people that you didn't like.
I denounced the situation, but didn't get any response from the authorities. In a radio broadcast in March 1995, I denounced the massive and arbitrary arrests. I was threatened by the police who were in charge of the arrests, and I told them if they didn't stop, I would resign. I told them that they had to identify the people that they were arresting, which they wouldn't do.
At that time there were 10 deaths a day in the prison of Kigali. This officer told me that death is going to deal with justice. I said, those of us who survived the genocide have need of other kinds of justice. So at the first anniversary of the genocide, I was in Belgium, and I decided not to go back, because my security could not be assured.
I continue to be very involved and interested in the question of justice. Like the other participants here, I want to speak not as much about the past as about the present and the future. In order to deal with the future, Rwanda has to also free itself a bit from the past. Like many others, I think that justice is a precondition for reconciliation. Sometimes I ask myself whether this justice is possible. There have been many crimes committed, and many people responsible for those crimes. There are the authors of the genocide, the authors of war crimes, and there were war crimes committed by both sides. There was the massacre of the refugees in former Zaire. Today there are massive human rights violations in Rwanda itself. The survivors of genocide continue to be killed by the former genocidal forces. The RPA continues to massacre the civilian population, so the civilian population finds itself held hostage by the two sides.
Page 103 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So my question is, does the current government have the political will to see that justice is done? Because now when Rwandans, whether they are inside the country or outside the country, denounce what is happening, they are branded as genocidaire. The genocide was an outrage to human dignity, but it cannot justify other crimes. Now it is being used as a political weapon to brand people who are opposing the government.
My question is for the international community that failed before the genocide and during the genocide, what are they going to do now? Many people want to give more funding to the Rwandan Government now and then to ask about accountability for human rights later. As Alison said, this same situation was under Habyarimana. They want to give without pretending that they know what is going on.
I think you have to help the Rwandan Government to see that justice is done, but you also have to ask it to respect human rights, and you have to try to help create a political space for the moderates inside the country and outside the country. Any lasting solution has to be able to involve Hutu and Tutsi in the diaspora outside the country and inside the country.
That is my message. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Nsanzuwera appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much for your testimony and for your commitment to justice. Crime does not mean that crimes cannot be committed in the name of rectifying or revenging past wrongs, so I do appreciate, we all appreciate, your testimony and your call to the international community to be vigilant with regard to human rights, particularly as it relates to providing help to the Rwandan Government, the linkage.
We will get to questions momentarily, after Mr. Drumtra.
STATEMENT OF JEFF DRUMTRA, POLICY ANALYST, U.S. COMMITTEE FOR REFUGEES
Page 104 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. DRUMTRA. Thank you.
Well, we are down to the bitter end, the hard core. So be it. Thank you for your persistence. I hope the record of this hearing shows the intensity of the testimony of so many of the witnesses of these three panels. It is extraordinary.
Mr. Chairman, Congresswoman McKinney, thank you for the invitation to testify at this hearing. I am Jeff Drumtra, Africa policy analyst at U.S. Committee for Refugees. As other witnesses have indicated, it is a daunting task to try to summarize in 10 minutes the Rwandan genocide of 1994, as well as the repercussions of that genocide over the past 4 years, as well as the bloodshed that continues in Rwanda to this day.
It is hard to know whether to spend this precious time in front of a subcommittee talking to you about the past, to discuss the genocide of 1994 and how the United States failed to respond, to our eternal shame, or to testify to you about the present situation, to take this opportunity to examine Rwanda today with all its complications, a situation that begs for our understanding and as much patience as we can bring to bear.
I would like to depart from my extensive written testimony, which goes into great detail about the past, week-by-week genocide, the statements that various organizations, including our own, were making to the U.S. Government to bring this to their attention, and the response or nonresponse of U.S. policymakers week by week during the genocide. All that is in my written testimony.
What I would like to say here is I was in Rwanda a few months ago, and perhaps the most useful perspective that I can offer you now at this hearing is this: The 1994 genocide is not only something that happened 4 years ago. It is not just an event that is in the past tense. The genocide of 1994 is still part of the fabric of everyday life and everyday thought in Rwanda to this day.
Page 105 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, if you were to go to Rwanda at your next opportunity and you would see the hundreds of churches in the streets of Kigali, in the countryside, it is a Christian country. And when you or I look at those churches, what we see is the church, the steeple, the cross. But when many Rwandans, Tutsi and Hutu, see those same churches, what they see is something that we don't see. They see a genocide site. They see piles of bodies hacked to death. They still see in their minds the atrocities of 1994 as clearly as if they had happened last week.
So the genocide is very much alive for them. It is emotionally part of the here and now on the streets, on the ground, in Rwanda. And it is important to understand this perspective, I think.
Congresswoman McKinney, I know you have been to Rwanda often, and you have seen the countryside, the beautiful hills shrouded in mist, the lush green valleys. As a Westerner, you and I, we see the incredible beauty of those hills and those valleys. But when many Rwandans look at those same scenes in their own country, what they see is entrapment, death. They see in their mind the thousands of people who died or were forced to kill in the relative isolation of that very idyllic setting. They were cut off from the world and cut off with no place to run. They know, still, that in some of those hills the killing continues, and the threat of more violence still lingers.
In Rwanda today there are hundreds of NGO vehicles and U.N. trucks driving the streets and the highways. They are busy doing the relief and development work that we sent them there to do. And when you and I see those U.N. and NGO vehicles, we see proof of the international community's commitment to Rwanda and its people. And I think the Rwandans see that, too. But they also remember that those same NGO emblems and those same U.N. flags abandoned them in 1994 when their world exploded, and they cannot forget. They cannot forget that the international community left them to their fate, and it does affect how they relate to us.
So what is my point? What is the policy implication in all of this? My point is that if we in the international community are to be of any real use to Rwanda whatsoever, we have got to see what they see. We probably cannot feel what they feel, but we can at least partially understand their perspective. And it has to be incorporated into the aid and reintegration programs that we fund there. If we fail to do that, our policies will fail to connect with their reality on the ground.
Page 106 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So, yes, as a matter of policy, we should continue to bolster Rwanda's justice system and the rule of law, but we should also recognize that the domestic trials and the guilty verdicts handed down by Rwanda's courts might inadvertently in the short term raise tensions, not eliminate them.
We should, as a matter of policy, continue to emphasize the principles of international refugee law and the right of refugees to flee persecution and receive protection and asylum. These are fundamental human rights. But we should also recognize that some asylum-seekers are criminals, and there is a real need for reasons of principle and reasons of security to differentiate between those who are legitimate refugees and those who are not.
We have a long way to go to restore respect for international refugee law in central Africa. I would hope that this Committee and this Congress would give UNHCR every resource it needs, financial and diplomatic, to continue and complete the screening of the 80,000 Rwandan refugees in the 14 asylum countries to determine who are refugees and who are criminals. UNHCR has a severe lack of funding right now, which is an impediment to them completing the screening of that refugee population. So here we are 4 years later, and the international community is still not doing the basics to separate innocents from criminals.
I would like to conclude with two thoughts. The first relates to the past and the other to the present or the future.
We have talked here about the parliamentary investigation in Belgium. There is an investigation, a partial inquiry in France. And the U.S. Government should also look in the mirror to examine its response and its nonresponse to the genocide of 1994. We at the U.S. Committee for Refugees suggest the establishment of a special commission of inquiry to examine in detail what U.S. policymakers did and did not do during the 3 months of genocide in Rwanda in 1994.
We in the United States talk eloquently, I think, to Rwanda and to other African nations about the need to establish individual accountability, but we have not completely called our own leaders to account for their actions and inaction during the genocide. Your hearing has tried to do that today, and most of the Administration witnesses did not show up.
Page 107 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC President Clinton finally acknowledged a few weeks ago that the United States made mistakes in Rwanda. Well, Mr. Chairman, those mistakes contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. It would seem that a special inquiry is called for, one that would question under oath Americans who held key government positions in April 1994. Some of their names are listed in our written testimony on page 11. The roster would include former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, former Assistant Secretary of State for Africa George Moose; former U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda David Rawson; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Prudence Bushnell. And on and on, more names are listed in our testimony, page 11.
I realize that government commissions are usually used as glorified trash bins in Washington, DC, but perhaps we could avoid that in this case, because this issue is so important.
Second, and finally, a thought about present-day Rwanda. A couple of incidents have occurred in Rwanda in recent months that I think summarize all that is good and all that is the worst in Rwanda. These incidents capture all that is evil and all that is hopeful.
In one incident, genocidaire insurgents in the northwest attacked a girl's school. They commanded the students to separate themselves by ethnicity, all Tutsi on one side, all Hutu on the other side. The young girls knew what was coming. They refused to separate, so they were all killed, Tutsi and Hutu together, indistinguishable from each other.
A second incident, a similar incident, this occurredthis time it was adults. They were passengers on a bus. Genocidaires hijacked the bus on the open road, demanded that the passengers separate themselves, Hutu on one side, Tutsi on the other. According to the reports, many of the passengers refused to separate, and so many of them were gunned down, Hutu and Tutsi, together.
Now, these cold-blooded murders are the curse of Rwanda. Those victims who refused to abandon their colleagues and their friends, and who apparently were ready to pay with their own lives for the principal of ethnic unity and human decency, are the hope of Rwanda's future. In the truest sense those victims held themselves accountable for doing the right thing. So should we.
Page 108 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Drumtra.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Drumtra appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Thank you for the numerous recommendations made. I do believe, and I think there will be very strong support on both sides of the aisle for the idea of a commission, not just to get at what happened, but so that we will really learn the lessons and hopefully prevent them from happening again. I plan on pursuing that. Hopefully the Administration will unilaterally decide it is in everyone's interests, including their own, to get to the bottom of this and learn those lessons.
Let me also note for the record that the bill pending before the President, H.R. 1757, the State Department reauthorization bill, which the President may or may not veto, provides an additional amount of money, some $54 million more for refugee protection. That is money that I fought for as Chairman of the Subcommittee that wrote the bill. It raises from $650 to $704 million that which would be authorized for refugee protection.
I can tell you last year it was such an insight for me, a troubling insight, when the State Department bill was up on the floor, and then we were talking about 2 years at $704 million, although we are past the first year now, and we were talking about some amendments like a Radio Free Asia amendment and others that would expand the broadcasting, everyone said ''take it out of refugees,'' which I refused. I offered the amendment for Radio Free Asia, and we took it from the fact we were below our allocation.
But it was amazing to me how there was just this chorus of, oh, that is money we can just grab and use, because that is money that is disposable and of very little value in the eyes of many.
If the President does sign that bill, I will do everything, and I know our Subcommittee will do everything humanly possible to get the appropriators to sign on to a level at or very close to what my hope would be at the $704 million. It is amazing to me when we are awash with refugees that we could be so callous and insensitive to those who are in that plight. So we will try.
Page 109 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Let me just ask a couple of questions before yielding to my colleagues. Mr. Nsanzuwera, you mentioned the fact before I left, that some of the RPA people were arresting and, without proof, fingering people for incarceration, I guess, or awaiting trial. We understand there are about 130,000 people who are reportedly detained in Rwanda.
How many people do you think have been wrongfully arrested and held because somebody might want their house or some of their property, again leading to what could be an additional cycle of violence because due process and justice has been shunted aside?
Mr. NSANZUWERA. In March 1995, on the basis of what I had seen, I estimated that about 20 percent were probably innocent, and maybe there were more. After the defeat of the ex-FAR, the soldiers, the militia, the peasants that participated and then others fled, with the military leading them out of the country. The people that stayed, many of them thought one power can fall, another can come, but we are citizens of the country, so we are going to stay. I think there were many less of the killers who stayed in Rwanda. Many of the killers fled with the former authorities and the militia. But it was because of these massive and often blind arrests that people in the country began to be a little suspicious of the Rwandan Army.
So what I have said before is that the first error that the Rwandan Government made was to not gain the confidence of the people who stayed in the country.
Mr. SMITH. Let me ask a question in terms of the health of those who have suffered such trauma. I think, Mr. Drumtra, you painted a picture that to an observer going in now seeing a church or countryside, we would get one impression, whereas pictures of bodies and atrocities is something that would come to mind for those who have lived through the killing.
I have been in Congress for 18 years. I have been on the Veterans' Affairs Committee for all of those 18 years. There was a belated response by our own VA to recognize post-traumatic stress syndrome, for example, as being a very debilitating psychological sickness that leads to suicide, substance abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse and a whole litany of aberrant behavior.
Page 110 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, for a country that has been so incredibly traumatized, is there any kind of assessment going on? I know this is on arms, and we are talking about breaking the cycle, but it seems to me one way of acting out a horrible encounter might be to go back to the violence. Has there been any look at posttraumatic stress at all by any of the humanitarian organizations to see how it might show itself?
Mr. DRUMTRA. I think some organizations are trying to get at that, but, quite frankly, we are all out of our league on Rwanda, genocide, and the after-effects of that.
For example, UNICEF has made an effort to go into the countryside talking to widows of the genocide. I myself met with some of them. They said they had one visit. Some pamphlets were left behind for them telling them how to deal with their emotions and their trauma. They can't read.
These are well-meaning efforts, but both through lack of funding and, I think, lack of expertise, all of us in the NGO and human rights community are struggling to do this in the right way. It really comes down to one person at a time, one-on-one counseling in many respects.
There are also church groups and women's groups in Rwanda who are trying to deal with this on a group basis. I think they have had some success, but it just scratches the surface.
Mr. NSANZUWERA. It is an important question, the question of rehabilitation of the survivors. Now 65 percent of the country are women and children, but I must say there are very few things being done for the survivors. With the massive return of the exile communities, there is a strong desire among the people who survived to restart their lives. There is some activity in the cities and towns, but in the countryside, there is very little being done. Anyone who goes to Kigali is struck by the big number of these big vehicles that we never used to see before the genocide. These are relief organization vehicles. So in the countryside, first of all, many of the men are in prison. Second of all, there is the rebellion and all of the insecurity that comes from that. There is a fear of famine now in certain parts of the country.
Page 111 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Ms. Austin, let me just ask you a question. You spoke of concerns about the end use of military equipment not being monitored. Again, I have asked to be made part of the record, and it will be, a letter I sent on April 24, 1998, just an ongoing request of the President. Of course, it will be answered by somebody at the Department of Defense or State, about the end use of the military training that we have provided to the Rwandan Army and other questions, a number of questions that are laid out in this letter.
[The letter appears in the appendix.]
Mr. SMITH. Without divulging your methods and perhaps sources, how risky is your work? It would seem that like all human rights witnesses who go out and gather information, it is always fraught with some danger. It would seem when you are trying to chronicle arms flows, that carries with it a peculiar risk factor.
But can you shed any light on what perhaps the United States is doing with its end use, and, again, how risky is your work?
Ms. AUSTIN. I think in terms of being in a conflict zone, in a zone where genocide has been committed, where perpetrators are still loose, it is always dangerous work.
Mr. SMITH. You are asking questions about arms flows and information that could be very embarrassing and may even lead potentiallyhopefullyto a cessation of that flow.
Ms. AUSTIN. Right. I was going to get to that. I think that we need to demythologize this sort of mysterious or scary or dangerous aspect of arms flows. It does take intensive skills, investigative skills, and I have been documenting conflicts in Africa for 9 years, so my investigations in Rwanda reflected the expertise that I have developed over a long period of time in looking particularly at security issues.
The arms flows and the networks can really be a known quantity. I spent 4 months in the field in eastern Zaire in Goma and the Kivus, and it was not tremendously difficult to develop relationships with the pilots who were flying in weapons or to observe some of the weapons that were coming in.
Page 112 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Many of the diplomats in the region, many of the representatives for nongovernmental organizations are on the ground and collect information that is usually useful for me to use as leads which I can then go out and document. I think it has basically been a failure that no one has gone out and done a good job of it. The U.N. Commission of Inquiry that was set up was not granted access to Zaire, where most of the arms trafficking occurred or most of the arms flows were coming in, so this really inhibited their work.
That is another item that needs to be clarified. The U.N. Commission of Inquiry needs to have complete access to the areas where it wants to investigate arms flows. It also, in general, obtains permission from governments to go into areas or to seek information about their private nationals involved in arms trafficking. This clearly presents a problem, because a lot of governments are not willing to hand over information about what their own nationals are doing and don't want that information to come under scrutiny. So the mandate of the U.N. Commission really needs to be changed if it is going to be more effective.
In terms of U.S. military assistance and end use monitoring, clearly we have a military attache and the capability out of the embassies in the region to monitor effectively where the equipment is going, and how it is being used. Oftentimes, some of my information about the misuse of some of this military or training assistance or equipment is coming from the very people providing it.
So I think it can be a known quantity. It is just a question of how we get that out into the public domain.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you.
Let me ask one final question, and then I will yield to my colleague.
In her testimony, Dr. Des Forges pointed out that the Rwandan Government is in the process of insisting that the U.N. human rights field operation, halt monitoring within Rwanda. What does that portend to all of you in terms of where that government seeks to take that country?
Page 113 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. DRUMTRA. I think it would be a mistake to withdraw the U.N. monitoring program. I think one of the issues between the government and the U.N. monitoring personnel is where they go. Right now something like half of the country is relatively off limits to most of the U.N. monitors, and those are the parts of the country that are most in need of U.N. monitors.
I know when I was there speaking with the U.N. monitoring leaders last year, last October, they were saying that they had any number of invitations from government officials to go up into the northwest, and it was the United Nations itself that was preventing monitors from going up there on a regular basis because of fear of security.
I don't know exactly what has changed that has made the Rwandan Government, if indeed they have, to ask for the termination of that program.
Mr. SMITH. Ms. McKinney.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SMITH. If you could suspend one brief second.
Mr. NSANZUWERA. I just wanted to mention that when they ended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for Rwanda, it was on the request of the Rwandan Government, who said that the situation was much better and they didn't need to have the Special Rapporteur. But the situation on the ground is perhaps the opposite.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Nsanzuwera, Kofi Annan will be in your country tomorrow. If you had a chance to talk to him, what would you say to him?
Mr. NSANZUWERA. That is a very interesting question. But like all Rwandans who had confidence in the presence of UNAMIR, we have been talking a lot about what people knew before the genocide, and, in fact, for 2 years before the genocide there were massacres, people were forced to flee to Bujumbura, to Kenya. The Rwandans knew well before the genocide that something was going to happen. But because of the blue helmets, there was a sense that they would be protected, that it wouldn't get too bad.
Page 114 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There is no justification. Everything that happened, you could have foreseen, even without raising the number of the blue helmets. Don't forget, there is a psychological element, too, because many of the Rwandans were trained by the Belgians, so there was some amount of respect from the Rwandan soldiers toward their former trainers. So what it was on the part of the United Nations was an absence of will. It was not even as much a question of the numbers of blue helmets, it was a question of will.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Additionally, I would like to know what you think should happen to General Dallaire, who fled the country?
Mr. NSANZUWERA. For genocide to really work, it needs the state structure to support it. So the genocide of 1994 was planned and put into practice by the highest authority, Rwandan authorities. Most of these people are outside the country. They are in France and Belgium and Kenya and other countries. Those who are in Arusha, except for Bagasora and the Prime Minister, are not that important. Many Rwandans are saying to themselves there is no justice because they see 130,000 people in prison, and most of them were responsible for a much smaller scale abuse, and they see there really isn't justice. They see the big fish out there outside the country.
Even countries like Belgium, which have cooperated with the tribunal, have not arrested everyone in Belgium who are responsible for genocide, and the French have done nothing.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Could you tell me again who leads the genocidaires, who continue their mission inside the country?
Mr. NSANZUWERA. Today they do declarations that go unsigned. They put the name of their movement, but in the Rwandan circles in Belgium, they think that it is a former person from the Foreign Affairs Ministry who is now in Kenya. And in terms of the head sort of military strategist, they think it is a former Presidential guard.
Page 115 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The rebellion and the problems in Rwanda have made it go beyond Rwanda at this point, and it is splitting the communities outside the country and inside the country. And because of the problems and deceptions that the Rwandan Government has been responsible for, it is pushing some of the more modern elements inside and outside the country even to have certain sympathies with the rebellion, and it is the fault of the international community for not giving some political space for these moderates inside the country and outside the country to be heard. And now the place is only reserved for people who are espousing violence.
Ms. MCKINNEY. When you say political space, what do you mean?
Mr. NSANZUWERA. At the beginning after the RPF took power, there were people in the Hutu community who didn't think that there was sufficient sharing of power, and the authorities were saying that those who have nothing to reproach themselves for can come back to Rwanda, but there was no dialog, and the Hutu were sort of marginalized.
Ms. MCKINNEY. I don't exactly understand. Is it that, then, the Hutu are not allowed to participate in the government or in the Parliament, or that resources are not shared with the Hutu population?
Mr. NSANZUWERA. The heads of the political party that make up the government don't have a social base. Many of the big leaders of the political parties were assassinated during the genocide, and the Hutus who are part of the government or the Parliament don't have a real political base. So these are people who can't speak freely when there are positions that need to be taken that require a lot of courage.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Well, I guess we will have to continue this after this hearing.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to let you know that I have a letter from Senator Destexhe to Chairman Gilman suggesting that an investigative committee be formed, and I would like to submit that for the record.
Page 116 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Without objection that will be made part of the record.
[The letter appears in the appendix.]
Ms. MCKINNEY. Finally, I would like to say a few words about the arms trafficking. It was supposed to have been the second part of what this hearing is about, but the Administration assured that we wouldn't get to that because they failed to show up.
But I would like to suggest that if there are things that we can do, and I haven't read your testimony, that I would certainly like to speak with you afterwards on things that we can do.
I have also alerted the Senator to some problems that we are uncovering with the Belgians, and, of course, the placing of the factory in Kenya doesn't help. So, I would like to continue our dialog on this situation on arms trafficking.
Ms. AUSTIN. I have also provided you with a number of reports that document some of the details of the arms trafficking and which also make some detailed recommendations.
I did just want to say in response to your question previously that a lot of the perpetrators of the genocide that are on the loose and those who are actually involved in a lot of the insurgency activity that is going on, they, too, can become a known quantity with the right intelligence and the right contacts. When I have been in the field, I have not had difficulty locating them. I have not had difficulty having access to them, and I know that U.S. intelligence has a lot of this information and knows a lot of their whereabouts and knows of a lot of their activities.
Ms. MCKINNEY. The genocidaires?
Ms. AUSTIN. The genocidaires.
When I first arrived in eastern Zaire in the middle of 1994, there were also U.S. military personnel on the ground who were collecting intelligence at that time. They had a lot of the same information that I had.
Page 117 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC As a matter of fact, I was later confronted by one of them who said that, because of my own research among the genocidaires in the refugee camps, I had messed with their access, and they were quite disturbed that I had been there and was collecting independently this information.
Ms. MCKINNEY. If my government tells me that they do not know the leaders of the genocidaires and that there actually are no leaders of the genocidaires, how would you characterize the communication from my government to me?
Ms. AUSTIN. I would say it is inaccurate, although that is up to the point in time that I was in the field.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Inaccurate?
Ms. AUSTIN. I would say that it was inaccurate that the U.S. Government does not know some of the locations or the leaders of the genocidaires.
Ms. MCKINNEY. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. McKinney.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. I couldn't agree more with what has been said. I think Mrs. Burkhalter laid it out properly raising the question of Somalia. The fact that the United States failed an attempt to get Mr. Aideed was clear. There were direct communications between the Pentagon and the Rangers, plus the Turkish head of the operation knew nothing about it and became the one who received all of the information.
I think it is a wrong policy where we feel we should not send U.S. personnel sometimes into harm's way. That is why I guess we continually spend close to $300 billion on military. It is down to $276 billion, but the question in Liberia was the same thing. We were in the Persian Gulf with 450,000 troops but refused to have the marines go in, which would have ended the civil war.
Page 118 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I also criticize the human rights organizations, as you have heard before, for not putting the pressure on as it has happened in the postgenocide with what is happening in the Congo region, because it shows with an organized and vocal and committed group of people believing in something, that you can change the way that the United Nations operates. And there was not enough of a hue and cry at the time that the United States and the French and the Canadians and the British did not want to act, and it had to take another form of people coming forward saying it has got to act. And although organizations did it, you testified there were a few others, the magnitude was not there. It was not coordinated in a way to have moved the United Nations and the people from the positions.
This is not criticizing anyone. I just think that in hindsight the manner in which the human rights communities have organized themselves after and have influence on what happens in the United Nations and in the United States and other places shows what could have happened had there been more of a force out there.
Let me just say that looking at attempting to do justice with the Rwandan tribunal, I have been to Arusha, and I have seen the complications of how they do it there, the conditions of the prison, U.N. standards. And I have been to Rwanda a number of times, and the fact that there are a tremendous number of people in the prison, you know, when perhaps up to a million people were killed, many by machetes and axes and picks, there were a lot of people involved, and I don't know why you have to estimate, because there are 120,000 in prison. Many are wrongfully in prison. There probably are many who were falsely accused, but I don't know how we can come up with a quantitative number when the systemI hope there is some way to flesh out, and I imagine that the government after perhaps some casesthey have had trialsthat there will be some point where it is impossible to try 120,000 people, and hopefully there could be some kind of reconciliation or something to relieve that number. But people were killed. They had their arms and legs cut off, and it took time. It took a lot of people to do that, and so it is not incomprehensible that 120,000 people could have been involved.
Page 119 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Probably there are numbers of people who are there wrongfully, perhaps, but I don't think that it should be presumed that people are there because someone wanted to move into their house or someone figured, let me make an accusation and get them out of the way.
Another point that I want to mention is that it appears to me that there has been some attempt on the RPA, the RPF, whichever you want to call it, I call it the RPF, to attempt to integrate its Parliament. There are out of 22 sort of cabinet people, 16 or 15 are Hutus.
The President who represented Rwanda when I was with President Clinton, it was the Hutu President who represented Rwanda at the hearing of the regional meeting of the heads of state because he was the head of state.
And so when you mentioned that people are being kept outand I can imagine that trying to bring a government back in, it probably is difficult to have people supported by a typical kind of political organization, but I do think that the Western countries have not cooperated enough. We still have, I think, a person in Texas who is a genocidaire who we still cannot get him extradited. So the United States is a part of this whole problem right here, but it is even more so in Europe and in some of the African countries. And so I think that there is certainly enough blame to go around, and a solution is really what we are attempting to see.
I hear very little about the cross-border killings that go on every day. There was on April 30 a family of seven hacked to death from the genocide continuing. Every day this is happening. But once again, we are talking about why are we trying to support or to build a defense training for the Rwandan military to try to prevent this from happening, and I do have a question.
I know that you have done an excellent job, Ms. Austin, but you mentioned that you got former Rwandan Army people, ex-FAR and Interahamwe, and you have UNITA helping all along in the whole situation, and you say there are discussions with the countries in the region to eventually have to deal with this. And we don't want to see conflict again. You said war is again in the wind, but evidently this whole question of a final solution of genocide is still alive and well and is still going on. It is cross-border. It is people who are in the Congo and the eastern region. There are people who are planning it, as we have heard, people in Kenya. I would support training the Rwandan military to prevent this genocide from continuing.
Page 120 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC How do you stop it? Evidently it is not going to happen by people talking about it. How do you stop a wife and six children and a counselor in a town killed on Tuesday in Mushbarti? Every day this is happening. How do we stop it if you don't have some elementhave the United Nations do it? They wouldn't go in before, and they don't have the will to do it now.
I don't want to see another conflict, but this is going to continue because it is a policy, and how do you stop a policy of some people who go across a border and they go back into the other part of Zaire?
Ms. BURKHALTER. May I just say you have also repeated what you have said at previous hearings, which is to accuse the human rights community, that means my organization, Physicians for Human Rights, and presumably Amnesty International. Repeatedly you have accused us of appearing to have more sympathy for victims of violence today than we did in 1994. To accuse human rights people of caring more about one type of victim than another is the same as saying that we are not human rights activists at all. I take that accusation from someone I admire in the U.S. Congress, who I consider to be a human rights leader, extremely seriously.
It would take me a very long time to articulate everything I was doing in 1994, but I can tell you that between Alison Des Forges and myself and Ken Roth, we published no less that 12 op-ed pieces in three newspapers, The Washington Post, The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, each article begging for intervention. Alison Des Forges lost hundreds of friends. She was on the radio and television every day during the genocide.
My organization, Human Rights Watch, was the one investigating the camps. We had meetings with Albright. I took a Rwandan victim to see Tony Lake myself. Alison briefed every U.N. Ambassador. My organization had never before or since engaged in so much activity on behalf of one country and one human rights situation, and we failed. We are very sorry we failed to get intervention, and we are trying to this day to draw the lessons from that, and that is why we are here.
Page 121 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But human rights groups don't stop being human rights groups after a genocide. We continue doing what we have always done, and it used to be considered rather honorable. We monitor human rights abuses, and we care quite a bit about victims today, whoever they may be, and we are not going to stop monitoring or reporting even though the worst has happened to a country that could ever happen.
We happen to think that respect for human rights by all is the only way to prevent future genocides, and I truly wish we had your support in doing that work.
Mr. PAYNE. Let me make one thing clear. First of all, I never accused anyone. I said that I wished that the human rights organizations could have galvanized the same kind of support that you have galvanized here. You came before the Committee and the hearings, and I know what you were doing, and I know what your other colleagues were doing, but there was just something missing. It wasn't you; it wasn't Alison, who knows more about this situation than anyone else; it wasn't those two or three organizations.
You came before this Committee. I heard your testimony. We knew that you were doing that, and we were hoping somehow that this whole thing could catch on, and it is not your fault, and I am not accusing you or anyone. But I don't understand how this could have gone on during my Administration, my President that I have written letters to. I am just as critical about his inaction, and I do give him credit for Rwanda where I sat in that room with the survivors of the genocide, where we sat where a lady said her six children and husband were killed in front of her.
Another lady said, the lady next door came in and pointed out my parents as I was hiding to the genocidaires, and she said all I want them to do is tell me where they killed my mother and father so I can put some flowers on the grave.
Another man with one arm said he almost drowned in the blood because he was face down in a pool of blood, and the only reason that he didn't die was because they thought he was dead.
Page 122 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We sat in a small room in a hotel with President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton and a group of us sitting around and listening to the inaction of the church, another one that just failed miserably, almost contributed.
And so it is not a criticism of you, and if you take it personally, you should know me better than that. I am not criticizing you, and you should almost be ashamed of yourself. That is right, because you know that I would not criticize you.
I am talking about the fact that the whole world sat by and took the RPF, and thank God that they did have stouthearted men who came down and saved the rest of the people who would have been massacred while the world sat around. It is almost like Nero fiddling while Rome burned. And I called the State Department, and I called everyone, and no one even cared.
Ms. BURKHALTER. I remember. I did a huge study of U.S. policy, and I published it, but the most important conversation I had was with a very senior person in the Administration, who I will not name, but if anyone had the ability to change policy, this person did. And he also was a friendly person and open to the human rights community, and I met with him weekly throughout the genocide.
And I asked him after it was all over why didn't the President change his policy. What was missing? He said, we didn't hear from you. And I hit the ceiling and I said, you heard from us every week, we could not have done more.
He said, no, no, no, that is not what I am talking about. We didn't get any letters from the American people. We didn't get delegations of Congress people on our doorstep. We did not hear the kind of popular support for intervention that would require this President to move. We just didn't have it, and he was right.
I certainly think that where the human rights community failed is that we were not able to bring our message popularlyif we could have generated one letter for every victim, then we would have had a popular movement, and that is something that we need to work on in our own community. We certainly don't have it now, I would add.
Page 123 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Thank you for yielding.
I just want to make the point that the human rights community are the most underheralded heroes in this fight. I mentioned to Ms. Austin earlier about the risks. I go on human rights trips. I am there for 4 days, and I am gone.
Your personnel are there deployed, gathering information, putting yourself at great risk. And I know for a fact, I mean, Holly has been at this forever. When she brought information that may have been unflattering to some of the regimes or even elected officials in Central America, her credibility grew in my eyes because even if we liked the government, we still had an overwhelming responsibility to make sure that our ''friends'' were behaving in a manner consistent with human rights protection. So your credibility is very, very high.
The human rights groups spoke out. The refugee groups spoke out. They came and briefed Joseph Rees and me, I say to my friend from New Jersey, when we were getting very, very bad reports about people being killed in the refugee camps in northern Zaire. We brought Assistant Secretary Oakley to a hearing, who sat right there, December 4 I believe was the date, and said that we are going to have access in just a few days. Our friends, the Rwandan Government, were engaging in atrocities that were not unlike, except in the total aggregate, what we were seeing going on in 1994.
As I have said over and over again, human rights abuses are human rights abuses. We have to be consistent in speaking out. The human rights community, and my hat has always been off to them, they don't care if it is right wing, left wing. They sing out. Shame on us for not listening.
Our Committee tries to get the Administration to act, but with this Administrationand Amnesty International put it so wellhuman rights is an island. We are now looking to rescue Soeharto in Indonesia. We have a hearing in this room on Thursday on the ongoing abuses committed by that government.
Page 124 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We know that the Chinese Government is committing wholesale atrocities against its own people. Human rights simply don't matter, they are subordinate to being friends. It is subordinate especially to the issue of trade, and it is about time that we elevated human rights.
You are the Valley Forge folks of this fight who have stood up tenaciously, and I do thank my friend for yielding.
Mr. PAYNE. We are on the same page, and I certainly feel the same way, and I think perhaps we have learnedas Holly mentioned, we have had Alison at my Congressional Black Caucus hearing where she testified.
I am the last to criticize the people here, and that is why I took offense to the word ''accuse,'' and I think that we just have to do more, and wrong is wrong. If someone is doing things wrong, it should be brought out, and I stand on that. We have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies, we just have permanent objectives.
I do want to conclude, I guess, because there are a lot of things that build up. Funding for the United Nations from 1980 to 1988, it became a big political thing to say let's not fund the United Nations; let's look at that. Who did we support when we had the President of the United States saying let's not support the U.N; let's hold back our money?
So now what happens, we get into a situation in Rwanda where they are saying, we don't have money, because at that time we are only $300,000 behind, and we are now $1.2 billion, and we say it is $950,000. With all due respect, we got locked into paying the back dues for the United Nations on an issue that should have nothing to do with back dues being paid, because another Rwanda could start.
So as we look at this whole situation, we need to take a very serious look at how we are dealing with the lives of people, usually Third World people, people who have very little voice. These are people that I visit often, and it is a lot that goes into the final act. A lot goes into the final decision, and a lot goes into the final position that is done or not done by virtue of the buildup over a period of years, and so I would just like you to answer that question if you would.
Page 125 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. AUSTIN. I have a lot of sympathy toward military assistance to Rwanda to tackle the problem of the genocidaires. That is why I spent a lot of my time on the ground documenting both the rearming and the regrouping of the perpetrators of the genocide, and I shared this information with U.S. Government officials and authorities and acted very forcefully to try to get them to do something. And my testimony today is replete with statements where I think we need to think more seriously about effective, robust military strategies for interventions in these kinds of situations.
Where I think our policy is failing right now, and I made that as one of my recommendations, is that we need to have a coherent security policy and state up front what our objectives are in this respect and what our intentions are, and if it is really in the interest of the U.S. Government. And if the United States makes the decision that we should address this issue of the perpetrators of the genocide at large, then we should direct our military assistance or direct our particular intervention strategies to address this.
What I want to say, however, is that by failing to do that, by failing to say up front what our objectives may be in this regard, we have backed the Rwandan Government, which has used military assistance not only in this regard, but has also used it to invade a neighboring country in which many thousands of innocent civilians were killed. I think if we have a coherent policy as to what our objectives are, we may mitigate against this kind of activity happening again. And war is brewing on the borders.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. I might just ask you a question, sir. You were mentioning that there are moderate Hutus who are not being listened to. Do you feel that there are people in Rwanda, moderate Hutus, who are being left out, and do you feel that they could be helpful in generating the real dialog that is necessary to build this community kind of support that you said is lacking with the political leadership at the present time?
Mr. NSANZUWERA. Yes, there are many moderate Hutus in the country. Even in the Army there are moderate Hutus and other moderates. But my personal opinion is that the real power is in the hands of the military.
Page 126 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. PAYNE. Yes, well, I think all of us share that opinion. There is no question about that, and I think unfortunately it is a reality that is necessary until we can bring in these groups to talk in terms of how do we start to integrate and get back to the Arusha plan that was supposed to be happening.
I suppose that the RPF feel that the only way to prevent the genocide from continuing is to retain military control, but I think that everyone knows that that is not a policy that can last for decades and decades. And that is, I hope, a temporary position, and I think a necessary temporary position to have a military authority until the world can come together and see how this central African region of Rwanda and Burundi can come up with a solution, because at the present time there is currently not a clear-cut solution, and I think that it is going to take all of the expertise of human rights people and governments and psychologists and everyone to pitch in to see what is a solution.
It cannot be a military to keep the problems from happening, but at the present time, like I said, I don't see any other alternative as long as it is being done transparent and in a manner that comports with human rights of all people.
I know the Chairman will have the last word, so I yield back.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you.
I want to thank our very distinguished witnesses for their outstanding testimony. You have given us much to go on to engage the Administration, and we have been talking as this hearing has proceeded for almost 6 hours now about why it is very important to follow up and to take seriously the very wise outline of policy that you have laid out for us. And I hope the Administration, too, will digest your thoughtful analysis of the situation on how to prevent this from happening again so indeed we emerge from this better for it.
I thank you for your excellent testimony and for the work that you do on behalf of suffering people.
Page 127 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:37 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
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