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UN Secretary General

By October 7, President Clinton withdrew the U. S. forces from Somalia and abandoned the pursuit of Aidid. Weeks later, General Garrison accepted responsibility of the bloody operation. The costly U. S. -led UN mission in Somalia, originally a humanitarian mission gone awry for the American troops, became a specter surrounding the Clinton administration.

Human Rights and Labor from 1993- 1998

According to John Shattuck, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 1993- 1998 during the Clinton administration, “what happened in October of 1993 was catastrophic from a political standpoint, in terms of the future of peacekeeping in humanitarian intervention.

” Many believed that it had a strong impact in the United States’ inaction in Rwanda. Peacekeeping in Africa, whenever mentioned, has then been viewed a costly risk On the contrary, failure or inadequate intelligence was not the major factor in the United States’ non-involvement in Rwanda.

The fact was, it was political will that prevented the intervention. Having burned from the Somalia tragedy, the Clinton administration refused a possible repeat in another African country.

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According to Michael Sheehan, White House Liaison on Somalia, “The Clinton administration was brought to its knees by the– by the problem in Somalia. A secretary of defense was fired, a presidency was dramatically weakened. They were enormously criticized for this adventure in Somalia. And now you had another situation unfolding in Rwanda. And certainly, no one was clamoring for a re-intervention into the heart of Africa. ”

No less than President Clinton himself admitted on May 2003, speaking before students in the University of Kansas, how the impact of Somalia influenced the non-intervention policy in Rwanda.

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“I think that the people that were bringing these decisions to me felt that the Congress was still reeling from what had happened in Somalia, and by the time they finally– you know, I sort of started focusing on this and seeing the news reports coming out of it, it was too late to do anything about it. And I feel terrible about it because I think we could have sent 5,000, 10,000 troops there and saved a couple hundred thousand lives.

I think we could have saved about half of them. But I’ll always regret that Rwandan thing. I will always feel terrible about it.” Years later, Anthony Lake, National Security Adviser to the Clinton administration further added that Rwanda was, “an error of omission — of never considering that issue. I would think, especially in the wake of Somalia, that there was no chance that the Congress would ever have authorized funds to send American troops into Rwanda. Indeed, we were struggling to get the funds for our relief operations.”

The killings in Rwanda

The killings in Rwanda were first considered results of tribal feuds, often times a source of loss of lives in the African continent. Something that is considered usual of the milieu. There was plenty of evidence pointing out that the administration knew all along and even earlier about the genocide. Recent U. S. records glaringly showed that information was not scarce on the subject of Rwanda before and while the genocide was going on. The National Security Archive, a nonprofit organization, used the Freedom of Information Act to secure the release these sixteen documents.

One of the documents was an early fax dated January 11, 1994 from Gen. Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian general and leader of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) to the United Nations warning UN peacekeeping officials Maj. Gen. Maurice Baril, the military adviser to then Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and Kofi Annan, who at the time was Under Secretary General for PKO (peacekeeping operations) and is the current UN Secretary General, about “the existence of arms caches, a plot to assassinate Belgian UN peacekeepers and Rwandan members of parliament, and the existence of lists of Tutsis to be killed.”

Dallaire was forbidden by Kofi Annan’s deputy to raid the Hutu arms caches and repeatedly told him that the United States (who reluctantly voted in the U. N. Security Council to authorize Dallaire’s mission in the first place) would oppose aggressive peacekeeping. His request for additional Belgian troops was denied. True enough, ten Belgian peacekeepers were brutally killed when the genocide commenced. By such example, the extremists also wanted discourage international peacekeepers from staying in or arriving to Rwanda. It turned out they were quite successful in their objective.

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UN Secretary General. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/un-secretary-general-471-new-essay

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