Rwanda Massacre : Why did UN and retreat and further discuss - Page 10

June 15th, 2005  
There is a reason why the Australian army is rather disillusioned about UN ops. Because our digs from 2 RAR and the medics had to stand by and watch the massacre with NO UN help, authority or intervention. Due to UN restrictions they were not able to help stop the bloodshed, only patch it up afterwards.

That is why we went into East Timor off our own backs, then the UN came in after us, and why we went ahead with the war in Iraq without UN backing.
June 16th, 2005  
The UN does not have an Army and it was never intended to have an army. It was the perversion of the UN that led to the "UN" forces in Korea in the 50's. The US has always tried to use the UN as an international body to sanction its own interests. Until the UN has its own standing army it will wield no power. In Rwanda nothing happened because it is too easy to tank any good intentions with one vote in the security council and poof nothing is done. It is assinine to blame the UN for this. The UN is a collective and blaming the UN is an attempt to try and divert blame from one's own country and alleviate the collective guilt for letting crap like the massacres in the third world that developed nations turn a blind eye towards. IMHO.
June 16th, 2005  
Dear Member,

The Rwanda Genocide which in two months out did Hitlers killing machine rate (ie over 400,000 a month for two months) was allowed to take place for the following reasons:

1> The Somalia October 1993 Ranger/Aideed Battle and the withdrawal of US and UN forces. That sent a very clear message to the thugs. You kill a few UN or UN authorized forces and they will leave.

2> The UN had decided to be the honest broker between the murder (the radical Hutus) and the victim (the Tutsis) and thought persuation would stop the genocide.

3> The killing of the 11 Belgium Paras in the begining. They were killed going to the rescue of the PM of Rwanda a lady Tutsi (ie the President was a Hutu). The press had made a huge error in reporting that they had been killed after they had surrendered the lady to the Hutu presidential guard. When I was a Sysop on Compuserves Military Forum I posted a pretty rough message about those soldiers having no honor. Before I knew it a Belgium para officer was on line asking me why they had no honor. He explain what really happened and I was forced to eat crow in public with no mustard or ketchup. The 11 Belgium UN paras were on the way to rescue the lady who was hiding in a Hutu friends house. She was taken and killed before they arrived. But on route to the location they were deliberately ambushed by the Rwanda presidential guards and a few of them wounded (ie one killed if I remember correctly). They took up a defensive position along the road. got on their radios back to their base for help. Hours later they were told by radio that the UN civilian offical in charge had been in contact with the Rwanda Army and that they were to surrender and hand over their weapons and they would be escorted back to the UN base at the airport. He stated it was Kofi Aman who issued the order. This has been disputed by Aman. When they surrendered they were instead taken to a cave and tortured and then all butchered. And then to add insult to injury the UN had to negotiate to get their bodies back. It pretty well upset the people of Belgium and resulted in that Genocide Law that a lot of non government agencies tried to use against US civilian government officials and US military commanders over Yugoslavia and elsewhere till the Belgium goverment changed that law to apply only to Belgium citizens and where Belgium citizens are involved -- ie so they could bring to trial some Hutus who had Belgium connenction and fled to Belgium. BUT all together this sent a message to UN military in Rwanda: We hope you are not hurt or killed, but we will do nothing if you are.

4> The lack of any major nation (ie even Canada who was in Rwanda and was the major commander) would take over as the lead nation command. Even Israel which stated that "Never Again" who could have easily stopped the Rwanda Massacre refused to send combat troops. The US of course refused for political reasons connected to the 1993 Somalia.

5> And last. To have stopped the massacre would a have required the mass killing of a lot of the Hutu mobs. And the news video would have show mainly white European/American/etc troops killing a lot of Blacks. It was the political correctiness factor. And it would have required battle harden professional troops (ie not civilians in uniform as many nations send to the UN to feel good) to do the deed. And in doing the deed those troops would have come very close to breaching international laws on warfare. In fact when I was Sysop on Compuserves Military Forum and it had a large number of ranking military officers I asked a question in a message: If you were put in charge of a military force to stop the genocide in Rwanda, could you do it within the 1949 Geneva Convention? All said they could not.,

Finally, this discussion brings up an important question: When soldiers are in combat with their national command authority they obey their officers. Including orders to lay down their arms and surrender. Even if they disagree with that order. But if a nations soldiers are serving with the UN should they be required to surrender if they believe it is counter to what they expect will happen? Remember a lot of UN soldiers are serving in areas where they do not respect international law on prisoners in anyway and with civilian overall commanders who have no knowledge of military operations and worst think talking and open discussion can settle any issue.

Jack E. Hammond
June 17th, 2005  
When you are in hostile action and you lay down your weapons you are completely at the mercy of the opposing force. They have been trying to kill you and now you will trust them? This requires a leap in logic that I would be unwilling to make. The Geneva convention is a gentlemens agreement and if your foe is not a gentleman you are a fool for surrendering. Youre taking your life and putting it on the roulette wheel and lettin it ride. Right or wrong if I am in a unit that still has the means to resist I will resist, if that requires relieving the commander of his command so be it. Maybe this is part of the reason I am no longer in uniform now.
June 17th, 2005  
Need to be a signed peace agreement for UN to go in, if there was one, well then UN is in truble, if it was not, then its the rules that are in truble.