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UN Genocide Presser Ignores Rwanda, 1st Q to Defender of Sri Lanka

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 14 -- When a genocide press conference was held Tuesday at the United Nations, ostensibly about Rwanda, it was classic UN. Most of the questions had nothing to do with Rwanda, which is as ignored as it was in 1994.

  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 no reforms have been made.)

  Even before the press conference started, when Inner City Press published a photo of Romeo Dallaire entering the UN compound, some asked why the UN was treating its former critic with such pomp and circumstance and body guards. Well, Dallaire on Tuesday was not critical of the UN Secretariat, instead casting all the blame on member states.

What about, for example, France? In Operation Turquoise, France helped the Rwandan genocidaires escape into Eastern Congo. 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.

Rwandan ambassador Gasana was on the panel, but as the questions focused on Syria and Libya said he would focus on Rwanda. It was like the French-controlled "Security Council" trip to the Great Lakes region. 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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