nsarchive.wordpress.com: US Plan to Pull Peacekeepers Out Before Rwanda Genocide | UNREDACTED

nsarchive.wordpress.com_2016-04-26_16-15-44The tinderbox of Rwanda’s ethnic tensions ignited in April 1994 and mass violence engulfed the country in one of the swiftest campaigns of genocide in history. The National Security Archive’s Genocide Documentation Project’s collection of declassified documents on Rwanda numbers in the thousands, and includes an April 15, 1994, State Department cable on the U.S.’s decision to pull United Nations forces out of Rwanda; a fact still withheld by State Department redactors even though the information has been released by the Czech Republic, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United Nations and published on the Archive’s website.

On April 20, 1994, the Advisor on African Affairs to French President Mitterrand, Bruno Delaye, stated, “There is nothing to say.” According to UNHCR, 100,000 Rwandans would be dead by the end of April and 800,000 would be displaced. The following day, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reported that the fighting that started in central Rwanda at the beginning of the month had spread to the rest of the country. Tens of thousands were dead and hundreds of thousands had fled their homes.

However, a plan by the U.S. and the UN to reduce and eventually withdraw the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) was already well underway. On April 15, 1994, the U.S. Mission to the UN dropped a “bombshell” on the Security Council, arguing for the complete termination of UNAMIR and the pullout of all peacekeepers in Rwanda. 

Reviewers redacted the historic “bombshell” from a State Department cable, however, even though the fact that the U.S. called for the withdrawal of UNAMIR troops, was previously released to the National Security Archive by the governments of the Czech Republic, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, and the UN’s Kofi Annan in response to FOIA requests. The information had even been published on the Archive’s website and in the critical oral history conference briefing book, “International Decision-Making in the Age of Genocide: Rwanda 1990-1994,” in June 2014.

Source: nsarchive.wordpress.com: 22 Years Later, US Still Classifying “Bombshell” Plan to Pull Peacekeepers Out Before Rwanda Genocide | UNREDACTED

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