UN delays report linking Rwanda with `genocide`

Last Updated: Thursday, September 2, 2010 - 22:52

United Nations: The UN has delayed the
release of a crucial report that could link Rwanda with
genocide in Congo, amid threats from Kigali that it would
withdraw from peacekeeping operations in Sudan if the
controversial document was published.

The landmark UN report, which was expected to be
released this week, will now be released on October 1.
"Following requests, we have decided to give concerned
states a further month to comment on the draft," said Navi
Pillay, the top human rights official at the U.N.

"And I have offered to publish any such comments
alongside the report itself on October 1, if they so wish,"
she said.

Last week, a draft report leaked to the media found
that the Rwandan troops committed widespread atrocities in the
Democratic Republic of Congo in the mid-nineties, which could
be viewed as genocide.

The report finds that the Tutsi ethnic group-led
troops from Rwanda and their rebel allies engaged in
widespread killing of the Hutus ethnic group in DRC.

During the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Hutus were
responsible for the death of an estimated 800,000 Tutsis.

"The systematic and widespread attacks described in
this report, which targeted very large numbers of Rwandan Hutu
refugees and members of the Hutu civilian population,
resulting in their death, reveal a number of damning elements
that, if they were proven before a competent court, could be
classified as crimes of genocide," the draft report said.

It said several of the massacres listed were committed
regardless of the age or gender of the victims.

The investigation also catalogues human rights abuses
between 1993 and 2003 when DRC became the battleground for two
regional wars involving multiple armies. It documents 600
incidents from all over the country in which tens of thousands
of people were killed.

Reacting strongly against the implications of genocide
in the report, the government of Rwanda has condemned it as a
’dangerous and irresponsible’ document, which would
destabilise the region, and described the DRC Mapping Exercise
as "malicious, offensive and ridiculous."

"It is immoral and unacceptable that the United
Nations, an organisation that failed outright to prevent
genocide in Rwanda and the subsequent refugees crisis is the
direct cause for so much suffering in Congo and Rwanda, now
accuses the army that stopped the genocide of committing
atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo," said Ben
Rutsinga, a government spokesperson.

Describing the report as "unprecedented," Pillay said
that purpose of the `DRC Mapping Exercise` is to "to formulate
a series of options aimed at assisting the Government of the
DRC in identifying appropriate transitional justice mechanisms
to deal with the legacy of these violations, in terms of
truth, justice, reparation and reform."

PTI



First Published: Thursday, September 2, 2010 - 22:52

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