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As UN Spins Genocide, Operation Amaryllis Replayed in CAR, Araud Echo

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 15 -- At Tuesday's UN press conference ostensibly about the Rwanda genocide of 1994, no questions were taken around what actually happened then. France's Operation Turquoise, which helped the genocidaires escape into Eastern Congo, was not addressed.

  Nor was the shorter but even more telling Operation Amaryllis, conducted by France in Rwanda during the crucial six days between April 8 and April 14, 1994.

  French troops swept in from Gabon and Bangui -- ironic, that -- and evacuated not only French nationals but also the close associates of the genocidaires, such as the wife of genocide leading president Habyarimana.

  The French troops used UN vehicles of the UNAMIR mission, echoed just last Friday to some by the participation of UN vehicles for the MONUSCO mission in demonstrations in Eastern Congo celebrating the false rumor of the death of Rwanda's president.

  French Colonel Jean Balch's assessment -- which in fairness we note the French parliamentary report claimed was strictly personal -- was that "there was nothing to hint at a RPF victory at that moment, the FAR [government, pro-genocide] resisted quite reasonable the thrust of the Inkotanyi [RFP]." Assemble Nationale, Enquete Tome 1, Pg. 263.

  This, some say, found an echo as recently as June 12, 2013, when France's current Permanent Representative to the UN Gerard Araud told the Assemble Nationale, "Cette région est le théâtre de jeux géopolitiques complexes propres à l’Afrique et dont souffrent surtout les populations civiles. Le Rwanda – qui est un peu la Prusse de la région – poursuit son avancée face à une RDC totalement incapable et inepte" -- that is, calling Rwanda "the Prussia of the region." Click here for that.

  Despite talk of "lessons learned," with quotes such as this and the current leadership of UN peacekeeping, it is unclear what the UN has learned, no matter how many events on genocides it holds and tightly controls.

  On January 14, the first question was given automatically to the United Nations Correspondents Association, a group whose leadership reported little for example during the slaughter in Sri Lanka in 2009. Then UNCA screened a Sri Lanka government film denying war crimes, and tried to censor critical Press coverage of it. (Under the questioner, Pam Falk of CBS, UNCA has reformed nothing, not even pledging not to try to get journalists thrown out of the UN and to function, in essence, as the UN's Censorship Alliance.)

  In the mere three UN-wide questions before Dallaire's remarks -- Gulf media, AFP and finally Inner City Press -- the question about France once again taking sides, in December 2013 in Central African Republic was deferred until next Monday.

  It can be rightly be concluded, including in light of Ban Ki-moon's post Sri Lanka failure "Rights Up Front" plan, that little has been learned at or about the UN. The censors' circle of self-congratulations continue. For now. Watch this site.


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