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|Formation||5 October 1993|
Head of Mission
| Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh (October 1993 – July 1994)|
Shahryar Khan (July 1994 – March 1996)
| Roméo Dallaire (October 1993 – September 1994)|
Guy Tousignant (September 1994 – December 1994)
Shiva Kumar (December 1994 – March 1996)
|United Nations Security Council|
|Part of a series on the|
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) was established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 872 on 5 October 1993.It was intended to assist in the implementation of the Arusha Accords, signed on 4 August 1993, which was meant to end the Rwandan Civil War. The mission lasted from October 1993 to March 1996. Its activities were meant to aid the peace process between the Hutu-dominated Rwandese government and the Tutsi-dominated rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). The UNAMIR has received much attention for its role in failing, due to the limitations of its rules of engagement, to prevent the Rwandan genocide and outbreak of fighting. Its mandate extended past the RPF overthrow of the government and into the Great Lakes refugee crisis. The mission is thus regarded as a major failure.
In October 1990 the Rwandan Civil War began when the Rwandan Patriotic Front rebel group invaded across Uganda's southern border into northern Rwanda. The RPF was composed of over 4,000 soldiers, mostly the children of Tutsi refugees who had fled anti-Tutsi purges in Rwanda between 1959 and 1963. It portrayed itself as a democratic, multi-ethnic movement and demanded an end to ethnic discrimination, to economic looting of the country by government elites and a stop to the security situation that continued to generate refugees. It was supported by the Ugandan government of Yoweri Museveni, who had come to power in the Ugandan Bush War with significant support from the Rwandan refugees in the country. However, the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) was saved by reinforcements from France and Zaire, who backed the government of Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana, who had been in power since 1973.
The French intervention of two parachute companies, explained as an attempt to protect its own nationals, actually blocked the RPF advance on the capital Kigali. In contrast, the government of Belgium, the former colonial power, cut all support to the Habyarimana regime, which viewed the action as abandonment. Thwarted by the French, the RPF suffered a humiliating retreat back into the Virunga Mountains along the border. After the demoralising death of Major-General Fred Rwigyema, the collapse of the RPF was prevented through the leadership of Paul Kagame.
The RPF thus managed to retain control of a sliver of land in the north, from which it continued to launch raids.Comparing the RPF and FAR as he saw them in 1993, Canadian Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire noted that the rebels "had won all recent contests because of their superior leadership, training, experience, frugality, mobility, discipline and morale."
However, the RPF invasion, which displaced approximately 600,000 people into crowded internally displaced person camps, also radicalised the Hutu populace. The Tutsi civilians in Rwanda, roughly 14% of the population, were labelled ibyitso ("accomplices") or inyenzni ("cockroaches"), who were accused of secretly aiding the RPF invaders.Anti-Tutsi propaganda was spread through the publication Kangura , a forerunner to the Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, which was created immediately after the invasion. The first plans for mass murder of Tutsi were also developed toward the end of 1990, mostly in a series of secret meetings in Gisenyi prefecture of the Akazu , a network of associates based around Agathe Habyarimana, the First Lady.
A number of ceasefire agreements were signed by the RPF and government, including one signed on 22 July 1992 in Arusha, Tanzania that resulted in the Organization of African Unity (OAU) establishing a 50-member Neutral Military Observer Group (NMOG I) led by Nigerian General Ekundayo Opaleye.The negotiations for a peace settlement continued in Arusha, interrupted by a massive RPF offensive in early February 1993. Rwanda continued to allege Ugandan support for the RPF, which both the RPF and Uganda duly denied, but resulting in both countries sending letters to President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) requesting that military observers be deployed along the border to verify that military supplies were not crossing.
This resulted in the United Nations Observer Mission Uganda–Rwanda (UNOMUR) being approved by the UNSC on 22 June 1993 to deploy along the Ugandan side of the border.Seven days later, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali announced that Brigadier-General Dallaire was to be appointed the Chief Military Observer for UNOMUR, which reached its authorised strength of 81 observers by September. NMOG I was deployed inside Rwanda.
In the meantime, talks in Arusha had reconvened on 16 March 1993, resulting in the signing of the Arusha Accords, a comprehensive agreement to create a power-sharing government, on the fourth of August. Both the RPF and Rwandan government requested UN assistance in implementing the agreement. In early August, NMOG I was replaced by NMOG II, consisting of about 130 members, in preparation for a UN-led peacekeeping force.
UNAMIR mandate was: paragraph3:
Its authorised strength was 2,500 personnel, but it took some five months of piecemeal commitments for the mission to reach this level.
On 5 April 1994, the UN voted to extend the mandate of UNAMIR to 29 July 1994, after expressing "deep concern at the delay in the establishment of the broad-based transitional Government and the Transitional National Assembly" and "concern at the deterioration in security in the country, particularly in Kigali."
On 21 April 1994, the Security Council voted to reduce the number of troops from 2,500 to 270 personnel in Resolution 912.
On 17 May 1994, the Security Council passed Resolution 918, which expanded UNAMIR’s mandate to include the following additional responsibilities: "(a) To contribute to the security and protection of displaced persons, refugees and civilians at risk in Rwanda, including through the establishment and maintenance, where feasible, of secure humanitarian areas; (b) To provide security and support for the distribution of relief supplies and humanitarian relief operations". paragraph3:
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) or head of the mission, was Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh of Cameroon. At the beginning of July 1994, Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh was replaced by Shahryar Khan of Pakistan. The military head and Force Commander was Canadian Brigadier-General (promoted Major-General during the mission) Roméo Dallaire. In August 1994, Dallaire, suffering from severe stress, was replaced as Force Commander by Major-General Guy Tousignant, also from Canada. In December 1995, Tousignant was replaced by Brigadier General Shiva Kumar from India. The Deputy Force Commander was Brigadier-General (promoted Major-General after the mission) Henry Kwami Anyidohofrom Ghana.
Troop contributing countries were Belgium, Bangladesh, Ghana, and Tunisia. Around 400 of the troops in this early part of the mission were Belgian soldiers, despite the fact that Rwanda had been a Belgian colony, and normally the UN bans the former colonial power from serving in such peace-keeping roles.
Squabbling between interested parties delayed the UNAMIR goal of assisting the formation of the transitional government following the inauguration of President Habyarimana on 5 January 1994. The violent clashes that followed, including the assassinations of two major political leaders and the ambush of a UNAMIR-led convoy of RPF forces led the UNAMIR forces to move to a more defensive footing. UNAMIR thus contributed support to the military and civilian authorities in Rwanda, while the UN continued to place pressure on Habyarimana and the RPF to return to the ideas set forth in the Accords.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) had been in Rwanda since October 1993,with a mandate to oversee the implementation of the Arusha Accords. UNAMIR commander Dallaire learned of the Hutu Power movement during the early phase of deployment; in January 1994, a government informant alerted Dallaire to a group who were rapidly arming militias and planning mass extermination of Tutsi, and led UNAMIR to a secret arms cache. Dallaire sent a cable to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in New York, requesting permission to raid the weapons caches; the UN refused Dallaire's request to raid the arms, and rebuked him for exceeding his mandate. Dallaire's cable also informed the DPKO of the information concerning the genocide; it said: "Since UNAMIR mandate [the informant] has been ordered to register all Tutsi in Kigali. He suspects it is for their extermination. Example he gave was that in 20 minutes his personnel could kill up to 1000 Tutsis." Dallaire received little support from the administrative head of UNAMIR, Cameroonian Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh; the RPF accused Booh-Booh of partiality towards President Habyarimana and the Hutu elite. UNAMIR operated with very limited resources, and its efforts to install the transitional government were obstructed by President Habyarimana and the hardliners throughout early 1994. By April, the Security Council threatened to terminate UNAMIR's mandate if it did not make progress.
On 6 April 1994, a plane carrying President Habyarimana and President Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi was shot down near Kigali. What followed was the collapse of the unstable peace in Rwanda and the Rwandan genocide, estimated to have claimed between 800,000 and 1,017,100 Tutsi and Hutu victims over 100 days.
Among the first targets of the genocide were Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and ten Belgian members of 2nd Commando Battalion, the Paracommando Regiment operating as part of UNAMIR. These troops were murdered after handing over their weapons to Rwandan government troops. They were advised to do so by their battalion commander who was unclear on the legal issues with authorising them to defend themselves, even though they had already been under fire for approximately two hours.
Following the death of Habyarimana, Dallaire liaised repeatedly with both the Crisis Committee and the RPF, in an attempt to re-establish peace.He addressed the government forces during the night of 6 April, expressing regret at Habyarimana's death but urging them to restrain the killings that had commenced; he also urged Kagame not to resume the civil war, to avoid esacalating the violence and to give UNAMIR a chance to rein in the killings. Neither side was interested in a ceasefire, the government because it was controlled by the génocidaires, and the RPF because it considered it necessary to fight to stop the killings. UNAMIR's Chapter VI mandate rendered it powerless to intervene militarily, and most of its Rwandan staff were killed in the early days of the genocide, severely limiting its ability to operate. UNAMIR was therefore largely reduced to a bystander role, and Dallaire later labelled it a "failure". Its most significant contribution was to provide refuge for thousands of Tutsi and moderate Hutu at its headquarters in Amahoro Stadium, as well as other secure UN sites. UNAMIR also assisted with the evacuation of foreign nationals; a group of Belgian soldiers, who had been sheltering 2,000 Rwandans at the École Technique Officielle, were ordered to abandon their station to assist in the evacuation. After the Belgians left, Hutu militants entered and massacred everyone inside.
On 12 April, the Belgian government, which was one of the largest troop contributors to UNAMIR,and had lost ten soldiers protecting Prime Minister Uwilingiliyimana, announced that it was withdrawing. Belgium also favoured a complete withdrawal of UNAMIR, and lobbied for this in the UN. Dallaire protested, arguing that the force should be strengthened and given a new mandate to protect the thousands of refugees it was protecting, but the UN Security Council refused, telling Dallaire that UNAMIR would be effectively withdrawn unless the belligerents agreed to a ceasefire by early May. According to Philip Gourevitch, the United States, having recently suffered losses in the UN mission in Somalia, was particularly keen to "get out of Rwanda" and "leave it to its fate". New Zealand, which held the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, was the lone voice supporting reinforcement, and in late April, persuaded the council to postpone UNAMIR's withdrawal, despite continuing reluctance from the United States and United Kingdom.
Though understaffed and abandoned, members of the UNAMIR forces did manage to save the lives of thousands of Tutsis in and around Kigali and the few areas of UN control. Dallaire requested the immediate insertion of approximately 5,000 troops, but his request was denied.
For the next six weeks, approximately, UNAMIR coordinated peace talks between the Hutu government and the RPF to little avail. Eventually, on 17 May 1994, the UN agreed to reinforcement, that would deliver nearly 5,500 troops and much needed personnel carriers and other equipment to UNAMIR, which would be henceforth known as UNAMIR II.The new soldiers did not start arriving until June, and following the end of the genocide in July, the role of UNAMIR II was largely confined to maintaining security and stability. UNAMIR withdrew from Rwanda in 1996, following the withdrawal of support by the RPF-led government.
UNAMIR II and subsequent resolutions were still unclear on the right to use force in stopping the genocide. In one of Dallaire's parting cables, he said that "the [UN] force has been prevented from having a modicum of self-respect and effectiveness on the ground".Unfortunately, in the face of the mayhem in Rwanda and this diplomatic watering down of UNAMIR's mandate, many UN member states delayed contributing personnel for some time, until the main wave of killings ceased.
|United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda Medal|
|Awarded for||90 days' service to the Mission|
|Eligibility||United Nations forces.|
|Campaign(s)||Rwandan Civil War, Rwandan genocide, Great Lakes refugee crisis|
In July 1994, the RPF swept into Kigali and ended the genocide that had lasted 100 days, and RPF leader Paul Kagame (who became president several years later—and still is today—but effectively controlled the country from July 1994 through the present) reaffirmed his commitment to the Arusha Accords.
Following the end of the main killings the challenges for UNAMIR (and the many NGOs who arrived in the country) were to maintain the fragile peace, stabilise the government and, most importantly, care for the nearly 4 million displaced persons in camps within Rwanda, Zaire, Tanzania, Burundi, and Uganda. The massive camps around Lake Kivu in the northwest of Rwanda were holding about 1.2 million people and this was creating enormous security, health, and ecological problems.
After the late arrival of the much-needed troop support, UNAMIR continued to carry out its mandate to the best of its abilities. In 1996, however, with assertion from the new Rwandese government that UNAMIR had failed in its priority mission, the UN withdrew the UNAMIR mandate on 8 March 1996. Despite the failure of UNAMIR in its main mission, its humanitarian services during the 1994 genocide are recognised to this day as having saved the lives of thousands or tens of thousands of Rwandan Tutsi and Hutu moderates who would have otherwise been killed. However, the actions of the UN in Rwanda (and particularly the Head of Peacekeeping Operations at the time, Kofi Annan) have been used by some as examples of the over-bureaucratic and dithering approach of the UN. (General Dallaire was particularly critical of Annan's performance.)
Countries that contributed troops to UNAMIR throughout its existence were: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, India, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Twenty-seven members of UNAMIR – 22 soldiers, three military observers, one civilian police and one local staff – lost their lives during the mission. The genocide and the spectre of mission failure had a profound effect on Dallaire. On his return to Canada he was diagnosed with acute posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); he even attempted suicide. He was eventually released from the Canadian army service on medical grounds. Dallaire received the Aegis Trust Award (the first) for his acts of bravery. In 2004–2005, he was awarded a fellowship at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard University, where he was studying and writing about different forms of conflict resolution. On 25 March 2005, he was appointed a Canadian senator, representing Québec as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada; he serves on the committee for Human Rights. He also speaks publicly about his experiences relating to genocide, PTSD and suicide. While Dallaire's issues have been the focus of much attention, particularly in Canada, very little attention has been paid to the plight of the front line soldiers of the Canadian Contingent to UNAMIR who suffered from a rash of suicides, marital breakdowns and career ending diagnoses of PTSD following their return from Rwanda.
Roméo Antonius Dallaire is a Canadian humanitarian, author, retired senator and Canadian Forces lieutenant-general. Dallaire served as force commander of UNAMIR, the ill-fated United Nations peacekeeping force for Rwanda between 1993 and 1994, and attempted to stop the genocide that was being waged by Hutu extremists against the Tutsi people and Hutu moderates.
The Rwandan genocide occurred between 7 April and 15 July 1994 during the Rwandan Civil War. During this period of around 100 days, members of the Tutsi minority ethnic group, as well as some moderate Hutu and Twa, were slaughtered by armed militias. The most widely accepted scholarly estimates are around 500,000 to 800,000 Tutsi deaths. Estimates for the total death toll are as high as 1,100,000.
The Arusha Accords, officially the Peace Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Rwandaand the Rwandan Patriotic Front, also known as the Arusha Peace Agreement or Arusha negotiations, were a set of five accords signed in Arusha, Tanzania on 4 August 1993, by the government of Rwanda and the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), under mediation, to end a three-year Rwandan Civil War. Primarily organized by the Organisation of African Unity and the heads of state in the African Great Lakes region, the talks began on 12 July 1992, and ended on 4 August 1993, when the accords were finally signed.
Théoneste Bagosora is a former Rwandan military officer. He is chiefly known for his key role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide for which he has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). In 2011, the sentence was reduced to 35 years' imprisonment on appeal. He will be imprisoned until he is 89. According to René Lemarchand, Bagosora was "the chief organizer of the killings".
Opération Turquoise was a French-led military operation in Rwanda in 1994 under the mandate of the United Nations.The "multilateral" force consisted of 2,500 troops, 32 from Senegal and the rest French. The equipment included 100 APCs, 10 helicopters, a battery of 120 mm mortars, 4 Jaguar fighter bombers, 8 Mirage fighters, and reconnaissance aircraft. The helicopters laid a trail of food, water and medicine enabling refugees to escape into eastern Zaire. Opération Turquoise is controversial for two reasons: accusations that it was an attempt to prop up the genocidal Hutu regime, and that its mandate undermined the UNAMIR.
Joseph Kavaruganda was a Rwandan jurist who served as president of Rwanda's Constitutional Court. He was killed at the beginning of the Rwandan genocide.
The assassination of presidents Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira in the evening of April 6, 1994 was the proximate trigger for the Rwandan genocide, which resulted in the murder of approximately 800,000 Tutsi and a smaller number of moderate Hutu. The first few days following the assassinations included a number of key events that shaped the subsequent course of the genocide. These included: the seizing of power by an interim government directed by the hard-line Akazu clique; the liquidation of opposition Hutu politicians; the implementation of plans to carry out a genocide throughout the country; and the murder of United Nations peacekeepers, contributing to the impulse of the international community to refrain from intervention.
The failure of the international community to effectively respond to the Rwandan genocide of 1994 has been the subject of significant criticism. During a period of around 100 days, between 7 April and 15 July, an estimated 500,000-1,100,000 Rwandans, mostly Tutsi and moderate Hutu, were murdered by Interahamwe militias.
The Rwandan Civil War was a large-scale civil war in Rwanda which was fought between the Rwandan Armed Forces, representing the country's government, and the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) from 1 October 1990 to 18 July 1994. The war arose from the long-running dispute between the Hutu and Tutsi groups within the Rwandan population. A 1959–1962 revolution had replaced the Tutsi monarchy with a Hutu-led republic, forcing more than 336,000 Tutsi to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. A group of these refugees in Uganda founded the RPF which, under the leadership of Fred Rwigyema and Paul Kagame, became a battle-ready army by the late 1980s.
Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh was the Minister of External Relations of Cameroon from 1988 to 1992 and the head of United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR).
Mbaye Diagne was a Senegalese military officer who served in Rwanda as a United Nations military observer from 1993 to 1994. During the Rwandan genocide he undertook many missions on his own initiative to save the lives of civilians.
Sometimes in April is a 2005 American made-for-television historical drama film about the Rwandan genocide, written and directed by the Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck. The ensemble cast includes Idris Elba, Oris Erhuero, Carole Karemera, and Debra Winger.
The Amahoro Stadium, officially known as Amahoro National Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in the Gasabo district of Kigali, Rwanda. With a capacity of 25,000, it is the largest stadium in Rwanda and hosts football matches, concerts, and public events. The football clubs Armée Patriotique Rwandaise F.C. and Rayon Sports F.C. are the tenants. The venue is also sometimes used for rugby union.
Kangura was a Kinyarwanda and French-language magazine in Rwanda that served to stoke ethnic hatred in the run-up to the Rwandan genocide. The magazine was established in 1990, following the invasion of the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and continued publishing up to the genocide. Sponsored by the dominant MRND party and edited by founder Hassan Ngeze, the magazine was a response to the RPF-sponsored Kanguka, adopting a similar informal style. "Kangura" was a Rwandan word meaning "wake others up", as opposed to "Kanguka", which meant "wake up". The journal was based in Gisenyi.
On the evening of 6 April 1994, the aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira, both Hutu, was shot down with surface-to-air missiles as it prepared to land in Kigali, Rwanda. The assassination set in motion the Rwandan genocide, one of the bloodiest events of the late 20th century.
Stefan Steć was a major of the Polish Armed Forces. In 1994 he served as a peacekeeper in the UNAMIR forces in Rwanda under general Roméo Dallaire. For his dedication in saving lives during Rwandan genocide at the risk to his own he was awarded the Cross of Merit for Bravery by Polish President Lech Wałęsa. He died at the age of 41 due to complications from posttraumatic stress disorder.
The Gikondo massacre was the mass murder of about 110 people of Tutsi identity, including children, who sheltered in a Polish Pallottine mission church in Gikondo, Kigali. The massacre took place on April 9, 1994 and was executed by Interahamwe militia under supervision of the Hutu presidential guard. The massacre was the first absolute proof of a genocide discovered by UNAMIR during the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
Colonel Luc Marchal is a retired officer of the armed forces of Belgium. He is known for being the senior officer in the Belgian peacekeeping contingent during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, as well as the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) sector commander for the capital Kigali.
United Nations Security Council resolution 912, adopted unanimously on 21 April 1994, after reaffirming all resolutions on the situation in Rwanda, particularly resolutions 872 (1993) and 909 (1994), the council expressed its alarm and condemnation of the large-scale violence in the country which resulted in the death of thousands of innocent civilians, and proposed a revised mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR).
The role of France in the Rwandan genocide of 1994 has been a source of controversy and debate both within and beyond France and Rwanda. France actively supported the Hutu-led government of Juvénal Habyarimana against the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front, which since 1990 had been engaged in a conflict intended to restore the rights of Rwandan Tutsis both within Rwanda and exiled in neighboring countries following over four decades of anti-Tutsi violence. France provided arms and military training to Habyarimana's youth militias, the Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi, which were among the government's primary means of operationalizing the genocide following the assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira on April 6, 1994.