While the genocide unfolded, Boutros-Ghali was on an extended tour of Europe. To make sure Dallaire's damning cables remained hidden, he relied on his trusted deputy, Kofi Annan, who was then head of UN peacekeeping operations. If there is room for Boutros-Ghali and his French friends on Bagosora's block, there should also be room for Annan.
No international gathering these days is complete without Bill Clinton, and by some standards he too could qualify for a cell on Bagosora's block. During the 100 days of genocide in Rwanda, Clinton never even convened a meeting to discuss it because he knew that the facts were so awful that if he confronted them, he would be compelled to act. Later he said he had not known what was happening in Rwanda. General Dallaire called him a liar, and Philippe Galliard, who ran Red Cross operations in Rwanda during the genocide, agreed. "Everybody knew, every day, live, what was happening," he said after Clinton's whopper.
Just as Boutros-Ghali had an ambitious underling who was salivating for the big job, and who knew that demanding action to stop genocide in Rwanda would ruin his chances, so did Clinton. His was Madeleine Albright. As America's ambassador to the UN, she worked tirelessly to assure that the peacekeeping force was kept too small and toothless to stop the killing. Later she helped block a plan to send UN police to disarm the hundreds of thousands of Rwandan genocidaires who had fled to camps in eastern Congo – a piece of work that helped create today's Congolese hell.
Justice works slowly, and none more slowly than the international kind. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has spent more than a billion dollars since its creation in 1995, but has completed only 40 cases. All the defendants have been Rwandans, as undoubtedly will be all those convicted in the future. The tribunal's motto is "never again". A better one would from an old Bob Dylan song: The executioner's face is always well hidden.
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