Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rwanda: Army ready to pull out of Darfur mission over “Genocide report”

 By RNA Reporter
August 31, 2010

The RDF troops board an American transport plane headed to the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur. The army now says its ready to return should government give the final order.

Kigali: The Army has put all its peacekeeping troops in Sudan on alert ready to withdraw “in case the UN publishes its outrageous and damaging report,” the Ministry of Defense said Tuesday.

The Rwanda Defence Force [RDF] has finalised a contingency withdraw plan for its peacekeepers deployed in Sudan in response to a government directive, according to Army spokesman Lt. Col Jill Rutaremara.

He told RNA that “all logistical and personnel resources are in place”, adding that “we are doing what we have been asked to do on our side”.

Government reacted with furry last week to a leaked UN report alleging that RPA forces stopped the massacre of Tutsis back home and then went on to slaughter Hutus who had fled Rwanda. The UN report claims Rwandan soldiers massacred Hutus over a period of 10 years.

However, as the report was being prepared, Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo warned Rwanda would reconsider its role in the UN peace keeping missions.

Addressed to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the letter from Mushikiwabo describes the report from the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights as "fatally flawed" and "incredibly irresponsible." The letter is dated Aug. 3 and was obtained by The Associated Press on Saturday.

"The report's allegations — of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity — are extremely serious. However, the methodology, sourcing and standard of proof used to arrive at them most certainly are not," Mushikiwabo's letter says.

The letter asks why the investigators spent six weeks in Congo but never came to Rwanda or asked for meetings with Rwandan officials, who were given the 545-page draft two months ago.

As the country waits for what might be a firry response from President Kagame anytime soon, including a possible order for the 4000 troops to pull out of Darfur, and Sudan altogether, the Defense Ministry is already on alert.

“The pull out will take the shortest time possible,” said Army Spokesman Rutaremara.

The UN report is expected to be published anytime soon.

Related Materials:
Koffi Annan under fire from Kigali over UN “Genocide report”

Rwanda: Why optimism is declining even more

U.N. Congo Report Offers New View on Genocide

Rwanda: UN Report on Genocide Against Hutu Gives Hope for Genuine Reconciliation

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