SECURITY COUNCIL ENCOURAGES CONTINUED UN OFFICE IN RWANDA, AS MANDATE OF ASSISTANCE MISSION ENDS
SECURITY COUNCIL ENCOURAGES CONTINUED UN OFFICE IN RWANDA, AS MANDATE OF ASSISTANCE MISSION ENDS
SECURITY COUNCIL ENCOURAGES CONTINUED UN OFFICE IN RWANDA, AS MANDATE OF ASSISTANCE MISSION ENDS19960308 Resolution 1050 Adopted Unanimously; Mission to Be Withdrawn over Six-Week Period
The Security Council this afternoon encouraged the Secretary-General to maintain a United Nations office in Rwanda to support its efforts in promoting national reconciliation, strengthening the judicial system, facilitating the return of refugees and rehabilitating the country's infrastructure.
The Council took that action by unanimously adopting resolution 1050 (1996). Under the terms of the text, the office in Rwanda will be headed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. It will include the present United Nations communications system and radio station and will coordinate the Organization's efforts there.
Also by the resolution, the Council took note of the Secretary-General's arrangements for the withdrawal of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), which will begin tomorrow, 9 March.
The arrangements for the Mission's withdrawal were agreed to by the Council in resolution 1029 (1995). That text required that UNAMIR be withdrawn within six weeks of the end of the mandate. According to a liquidation plan drawn up by the Secretary-General pursuant to that resolution, the last military elements are expected to leave by mid-April and staff officers will leave shortly thereafter. An adequate level of security troops will be maintained until mid-April, at which time all installations will be turned over to other United Nations agencies or to the Government of Rwanda.
Under other provisions of the resolution adopted today, the Council underlined the importance it attaches to continued efforts to facilitate the early, safe, voluntary and organized return of Rwandan refugees to their country in accordance with the recommendations of the Regional Conference on Assistance to Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons held in Bujumbura in February 1995.
In addition, the Council authorized UNAMIR units remaining in Rwanda before their final withdrawal to help protect the personnel and premises of
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the International Tribunal for Rwanda. The Secretary-General's intention to submit recommendations to the General Assembly on UNAMIR non-lethal equipment that could be given to Rwanda was welcomed by the Council. The Government of Rwanda was called upon to take all necessary steps to ensure that UNAMIR personnel and equipment be withdrawn without impediment.
States and organizations were called upon to continue assisting the reconstruction of Rwanda and the rehabilitation of its infrastructure, including its justice system, directly or through the United Nations trust funds. States were also called upon to help finance the Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda.
The Secretary-General was requested to report by 5 April on arrangements agreed with the Rwandan Government for protecting the personnel and premises of the International Tribunal for Rwanda after the withdrawal of UNAMIR, and on arrangements to establish the United Nations office in Kigali.
In the text's preambular part, the Council welcomed the acceptance by Rwanda of the proposal to maintain the office of the Special Representative in Kigali for a period of six months. That acceptance is contained in a letter from Rwanda's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation addressed to the Secretary-General, dated 1 March.
The letter, which was welcomed by several speakers this afternoon, states that in the 1994 genocide, more than 1 million people were brutally murdered. Each village in Rwanda was affected, with about 4 million people internally displaced and 2.5 million refugees lured into exile by the perpetrators of genocide. With the end of the peace-keeping mandate of UNAMIR, the letter states, there will be a need to meet specific post-genocide peace-building requirements and to rehabilitate and reconstruct the country. In addition to coordinating all United Nations activities, the Special Representative should monitor political developments and use his good offices to support the promotion of peace and national reconciliation.
The UNAMIR was established by resolution 872 (1993), adopted by the Council on 5 October 1993. The Mission's initial six-month mandate was to assist in implementing the peace agreement signed by the then Government of Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, in August 1993.
Statements were made by Rwanda, Italy (on behalf of the European Union), Chile, Germany, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Republic of Korea, Guinea- Bissau, China, Poland, Indonesia, Honduras, France, United States and Egypt.
The Presdient of the Council, Legwaila J. Legwaila (Botswana), speaking as his country's representative, concluded the meeting by saying of UNAMIR: "It was a mission haunted by an unfortunate past, a past that everyone wishes never happened and would never happen again, yet they made the best they could out of it".
The Security Council meets this afternoon to consider the final report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), (document S/1996/149) in which he states that there appears to be no alternative to the complete withdrawal of all civilian and military components of UNAMIR after the expiry of the Mission's mandate on 8 March.
The Secretary-General reiterates his view that Rwanda could benefit greatly from a further phase of United Nations support and his report describes the various options for such a continued presence in the country that had been discussed with Rwandan authorities. However, he states, those options would require the consent of the Rwandan Government and that consent has not been forthcoming.
By resolution 1029 (1995) the Council required that UNAMIR be withdrawn within six weeks of the end of the mandate. The Secretary-General's report states that a liquidation plan had been drawn up, according to which the last military elements would be expected to leave by mid-April and staff officers would leave shortly thereafter. An adequate level of security troops would be maintained until mid-April, at which time all installations would be turned over to other United Nations agencies or to the Government of Rwanda.
The Secretary-General also states that he will soon submit recommendations to the General Assembly on another provision of that resolution, concerning the feasibility of transferring UNAMIR non-lethal equipment for use in Rwanda.
The report recalls that on 31 January the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Shaharyar Khan, briefed the Council on the three options for a post-UNAMIR presence, which were:
-- The retention of a small political office to support the Rwandan Government's efforts to promote national reconciliation, strengthen the judicial system, facilitate the return of refugees and rehabilitate the country's infrastructure;
-- The retention of a political office along the above lines, plus a military component consisting of military observers to monitor the return of refugees, specialized units to provide logistic support for their return and formed troops to ensure security for the logistic units; or
-- The establishment of a regional office with responsibilities for promoting peace, stability and development in the Great Lakes region as a whole.
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Subsequently, the Special Representative explored those options with the Rwandan authorities, but those authorities had not requested that any of the options should be recommended to the Council and continued to express strong reservations about the retention of United Nations troops in Rwanda after expiry of the mandate.
Notwithstanding UNAMIR's withdrawal, the programmes, funds, offices and agencies of the United Nations system, as well as the human rights officers and the International Tribunal, will remain in Rwanda to carry out their various mandates, with coordination being assured through the standard United Nations arrangements, states the report.
Reviewing Rwanda's recent history, the Secretary-General says that when the country emerged from civil war and genocide with the establishment of the Government of National Unity on 19 July 1994, conditions in the country were nothing short of disastrous. Today, they were returning to normal. Among examples of the progress achieved by Rwanda since the end of the civil war and genocide in July 1994, the report cites statistics on agricultural production -- which has reached 82 per cent of pre-war output -- and on child immunization, sanitation, urban water supply and health care.
However, the report states, despite the significant progress towards normalcy in Rwanda, the relative peace now prevailing in that country will be under constant threat as long as more than 1.5 million refugees were camped along its borders. The presence among those refugees of numerous elements of the former Rwandan army together with organized militias added to that threat. While intimidation by those armed elements played an important role in discouraging repatriation, the reluctance of the refugees to return to their homes was motivated to a high degree by concern about security conditions inside Rwanda.
Thus, states the Secretary-General, the deployment of United Nations military personnel, particularly in those areas to which large numbers of refugees were expected to return, could speed up the process of return, both by building confidence and by providing much-needed logistic support.
In addition, says the report, the prospect of the UNAMIR withdrawal after 8 March has caused representatives of some international organizations in Rwanda to express concern about their safety, in particular after the expulsion of 38 non-governmental organizations and an incident, albeit isolated and immediately acted upon by the Government, in which three members of the International Tribunal were assaulted by a Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) guard unit.
The report also states that during the past two months, there had been a marked increase in insurgent actions carried out by former Rwandese Government
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Forces (RGF) elements, in particular in the north-western prefecture of Gisenyi. According to the Government of Rwanda, a large number of infiltrators had been sent into Rwanda to coordinate those activities, as a result of which patrolling by the RPA had increased in the belt adjacent to the border with Zaire.
Another development during the period under review, says the report, was that the former presidents of Mali, General Amadou Toumani Touré, and of the United Republic of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere, who had been facilitators of the November 1995 Cairo summit of heads of State of the Great Lakes region, visited Rwanda and other countries in the region to monitor steps being taken in pursuance of the recommendations adopted at that meeting. Those visits have contributed to an improvement in Rwanda's relations with Zaire and the United Republic of Tanzania.
On related matters, the report states that on 19 February the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda announced the indictment of two persons, currently in the custody of the Zambian authorities, on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Also, the Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda (HRFOR) had established a presence in all but one of Rwanda's 11 prefectures and developed relationships with the authorities, including the security forces. The Government of Rwanda had made clear its wish to have the presence of the Field Operation maintained after the mandate of UNAMIR expires. "I believe that HRFOR must continue to constitute an important element of the United Nations presence in Rwanda beyond 8 March", the Secretary-General states.
He adds, however, that the High Commissioner for Human Rights had faced great difficulties in securing sufficient voluntary contributions to fund HRFOR. Unless sufficient voluntary funds could be secured in the very near future, the Secretary-General states, he would have to close down the human rights operation.
The Council also has before it a draft resolution (document S/1996/177), which reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its previous resolutions on the situation in Rwanda,
"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) of 29 February 1996 (S/1996/149),
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"Welcoming the letter of 1 March 1996 from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Rwanda to the Secretary-General (S/1996/176, annex),
"Paying tribute to the work of UNAMIR and to the personnel who have served in it,
"Stressing the continued importance of the voluntary and safe repatriation of Rwandan refugees and of genuine national reconciliation,
"Emphasizing the importance it attaches to the role and responsibility of the Government of Rwanda in promoting a climate of confidence, security and trust and the safe return of Rwandan refugees,
"Emphasizing also the importance it attaches to States acting in accordance with the recommendations adopted by the Regional Conference on Assistance to Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons held in Bujumbura in February 1995, the Summit of Heads of States of the Great Lakes region held in Cairo on 28-29 November 1995, and the follow-up conference of 29 February 1996 held in Addis Ababa, and the importance it attaches to the continuation of efforts to convene a regional conference for peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region,
"Encouraging all States to cooperate fully with the International Commission on Inquiry established by resolution 1013 (1995) of 7 September 1995,
"Recognizing the importance of the Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda in contributing to the establishment of confidence in the country, and concerned that it may not be possible to maintain its presence throughout Rwanda unless sufficient funds for that purpose are secured in the very near future,
"Concerned also to ensure the effective operation of the International Tribunal for Rwanda established by resolution 955 (1994) of 8 November 1994,
"Commending the continuing efforts of the Government of Rwanda to maintain peace and security as well as to reconstruct and rehabilitate the country,
"Stressing its concern that the United Nations should continue to play an active role in assisting the Government of Rwanda in promoting the return of refugees, in consolidating a climate of confidence and stability and in promoting the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Rwanda,
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"Reiterating the responsibility of the Government of Rwanda for the safety and security of all United Nations personnel and other international staff serving in the country,
"1. Takes note of the arrangements made by the Secretary-General for the withdrawal, starting on 9 March 1996, of UNAMIR pursuant to its resolution 1029 (1995) of 12 December 1995;
"2. Authorizes elements of UNAMIR remaining in Rwanda prior to their final withdrawal to contribute, with the agreement of the Government of Rwanda, to the protection of the personnel and premises of the International Tribunal for Rwanda;
"3. Welcomes the intention of the Secretary-General to submit recommendations to the General Assembly regarding UNAMIR non-lethal equipment that may be released for use in Rwanda in accordance with paragraph 7 of its resolution 1029 (1995) and calls upon the Government of Rwanda to take all necessary steps to ensure that UNAMIR personnel, and equipment which is not remaining in Rwanda, can be withdrawn without impediment and in an orderly and safe manner;
"4. Encourages the Secretary-General, in agreement with the Government of Rwanda, to maintain in Rwanda a United Nations office, to be headed by his Special Representative and to include the present United Nations communications system and radio station, for the purpose of supporting the efforts of the Government of Rwanda to promote national reconciliation, strengthen the judicial system, facilitate the return of refugees and rehabilitate the country's infrastructure, and of coordinating the United Nations efforts to that end;
"5. Commends the efforts of States, including neighbouring States, the United Nations and its agencies, the European Union and non-governmental organizations which have provided humanitarian assistance to refugees and displaced persons, and underlines the importance it attaches to continued efforts by the Government of Rwanda, neighbouring States, the international community and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to facilitate the early, safe, voluntary and organized return of Rwandan refugees to their own country in accordance with the recommendations of the Bujumbura conference;
"6. Calls upon States and organizations to continue to give assistance for the reconstruction of Rwanda and the rehabilitation of the infrastructure of the country, including the Rwandan justice system, directly or through the United Nations trust funds for Rwanda, and invites the Secretary-General to consider whether there is a need to adjust the scope and purposes of those funds to bring them into line with current requirements;
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"7. Calls also upon States to contribute urgently to the costs of the Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda, and encourages the Secretary-General to consider what steps might be taken to place the Operation on a more secure financial basis;
"8. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council by 5 April 1996 on what arrangements have been agreed with the Government of Rwanda for the protection of the personnel and premises of the International Tribunal for Rwanda after the withdrawal of UNAMIR and on the arrangements he has made pursuant to paragraph 4 above, and to keep the Council closely informed thereafter of developments in the situation;
"9. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
MANZI BAKURAMUTSA (Rwanda) said that at the close of the United Nations mission in his country, UNAMIR was leaving behind a country and citizens determined to rebuild a new Rwanda and assume fully its responsibility for a better future. Despite the catastrophe that had affected the country, which had resulted in the loss of one eighth of its population, the total destruction of the economic infrastructure, the judicial system and Rwandan society, he said with great pride that Rwanda had risen form its ashes with all the indications of becoming an even stronger nation and a credible partner.
The achievements since the genocide had been major ones, he said. The Rwandan people had succeeded in laying the foundation of a new society by setting up a coalition Government and a parliament representative of all political groups. That was a major sign of the beginning of a process of national reconciliation.
He said that for the first time the Government had established a policy of repatriation of refugees. Before 1994, more than 1 million Rwandan refugees lived outside the country. Those refugees were denied their right to return to their homeland by the former regime, who moreover organized, planned and masterminded genocide. The present Government was committed to the unconditional return of all Rwandan nationals to their motherland. The Government had translated its commitment to the return of refugees through the following actions: advocating national reconciliation; restoring security within its borders; discouraging revenge through enforcement of law and order; and promoting a culture of transparency by allowing UNAMIR, non-governmental organizations, human rights monitors and the media freedom of movement throughout the country. It had also enforced laws governing property rights, and resettled and reintegrated those returning into the civil service, the national army and other areas of economic life.
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Those measures had already led to the return of 2.3 million refugees in only one year, including the former refugees who had been outside the country from 1959, he said.
On the issues of justice and human rights, he said the rehabilitation of the judicial system continued to be one of the main priorities of the Government. By the end of 1995, 643 judicial personnel had been trained. For the future, the Government and people of Rwanda looked forward to the effective implementation of the International Tribunal on Rwanda as a major step in healing the wounds of genocide. Only true justice would allow Rwanda to heal and rebuild a new society, he said.
Concerning internal security, he said the Government had already started to reorganize and strengthen the gendarmerie and police and intended to proceed with the demobilization of part of the army. Economically, he said, significant progress had been made in just one year after the January 1995 donors' round table for the reconstruction of Rwanda. The gross domestic product increased by 20 per cent in 1995, after a recession of 40 per cent in 1994, reaching three fourths of the level of gross domestic product before the crisis.
Those achievements had been accomplished with the support of some countries, which had not hesitated to help Rwanda's reconstruction efforts, he continued. Among them, he made a special mention of Ireland, whose President had honoured Rwanda with two official visits, the Netherlands and Germany. The contributions of the United Kingdom and United States had also been greatly appreciated. He also expressed gratitude to Italy, Spain Belgium, Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland for their support. He also thanked countries which contributed troops to UNAMIR and paid homage to the soldiers who lost their lives there.
He said the people of Rwanda thanked all UNAMIR's personnel and the Secretary-General's Special Representative for their accomplishments in Rwanda. He made special mention of the efforts of numerous African governments that were providing a good example for the international community by arresting those accused of genocide in Rwanda. His Government also expressed its gratitude to eminent African personalities and the leadership of African regional and subregional organizations, all of which were playing a major role in resolving the problems faced by Rwanda and the subregion.
He hoped that the Secretariat would engage in a serious analysis of the experience of UNAMIR in Rwanda before and after the genocide. There was a need for truthful and honest analysis and to ensure that the right lessons were learned from the worst experience a nation could face, he said. Those lessons would serve not only Rwanda, but all African countries as well as other developing countries that could face the same situation.
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He said the Rwandan Government had done its duty by UNAMIR. In turn, it expected that the Secretariat would comply with its obligation towards Rwanda. There were still some issues that had been raised by his Government that had never received satisfactory attention. He hoped appropriate solutions would be found to the remaining problems relating to UNAMIR.
The Government of Rwanda had accepted the Secretary-General's proposal to maintain a small political office to support the Government's efforts to strengthen the judicial system, facilitate the return of refugees and rehabilitate the country's infrastructure, he said. It was an ambitious programme, but the Government would give all the necessary support to that office and looked forward to the defining of the mandate of the office. In conclusion, he said the people and Government of Rwanda were determined to work for the reconstruction of the country and for the healing of Rwandan society. Rwanda welcomed all cooperation towards that end.
LORENZO FERRARIN (Italy), speaking on behalf of the European Union, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, said the report of the Secretary-General stated that relative calm and stability prevailed throughout Rwanda but a number of serious outstanding issues remained unresolved. The return of refugees, the rehabilitation of the judicial system and the related issue of overcrowding in the prisons should be addressed as a matter of priority in order to achieve national reconciliation and thus the necessary future stability.
He stressed the importance of the International Tribunal, whose activity was fundamental to restoring a climate of trust and confidence in the country. He also stressed the need to ensure the protection of the Tribunal's personnel and premises.
He agreed with the Secretary-General that Rwanda could have greatly benefited from a further phase of United Nations involvement in helping to consolidate peace and security. The Rwandan authorities had decided that the time had come to address the problems differently. He welcomed Kigali's agreement to maintain a United Nations office to be headed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. "We strongly believe that the international community will continue to contribute to Rwanda's efforts towards full normalization." As in the past, the European Union, which was the largest donor both in humanitarian and development assistance, was ready to offer its concrete contribution to that end.
One of the main priorities of the future United Nations presence in Rwanda would still be to support the efforts of the Kigali Government in promoting national reconciliation, he said. The draft resolution clearly addressed that concern. The office, which would rightly include the present United Nations communications system and radio station, would serve the
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purpose of supporting the efforts of the Government to promote national reconciliation, strengthen the judicial system, facilitate the return of refugees and rehabilitate the country's infrastructure. The office would play a useful role in coordinating all United Nations efforts to that end.
He noted with satisfaction the continuation of the United Nations Human Rights Operation in Rwanda with the full support of the Kigali authorities. The Union attached great importance to that activity and currently contributed most of the funding of the operation. The Union also attached great importance to the continuation of the efforts to convene a regional conference on peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region. He recalled that Aldo Ajello had recently been appointed as Special Envoy of the European Union for the Great Lakes region.
"It is impossible to overstate the travails that Rwanda has suffered in the past two years. But massive challenges still remain, of which the greatest is the safe return of refugees. We believe the United Nations must continue to play its part in addressing these challenges. We therefore welcome this resolution," he concluded.
The PRESIDENT put the draft resolution to the vote.
JUAN SOMAVIA (Chile) said that one of the greatest challenge before the Council was that of timing. Rwanda has been a case in which actio had been taken too late. various socio-economic indications had improved in Rwanda and he commended the people of Rwanda for that.
When a United Nations operation came to an end that indicated that its mission was over and the situation in the country had progressed, he said. he hoped that was the case in Rwanda. he noted that UNAMIR, by its presence, had given a sense of security to those working in Rwanda in humanitarian activities.
Addressing the issue of the 1.7 million refugees, he reviewed provisions of the draft resolution before the Council for action which referred to that problem among several others. Rwanda and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) would not have the support of UNAMIR troops to guarantee the return of refugees. He thus recalled the appeal in the draft resolution on the matter. He supported the resolution.
TONO EITEL (Germany) supported the statement made by Italy on behalf of the European Union. He said that it was a relief to be able to read in the Secretary-General's report that "today, conditions in Rwanda are returning to normal". He agreed that that had been achieved essentially through the efforts of the people of Rwanda.
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"The relationship between the Government of Rwanda and the United Nations and the international community in a broader sense had not always been without frictions", he continued. After intensive discussions with then Security Council member Rwanda, resolution 1029 (1995) decided that UNAMIR should be withdrawn from Rwanda after 8 March. At that time, it seemed that after that date there would not be much scope for United Nations peace- building activities in Rwanda. In the meantime, in his letter of 1 March, addressed to the Secretary-General, the Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation had clearly stated the need for what he rightly called "post- genocide peace-building".
"Germany welcomes his statement", he said. It had enabled the Council to draft the resolution before it today, which was based on Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter. The text was a response to the fact that despite all the progress made, much remained to be done in Rwanda. The assistance of the international community was still needed.
He said the maintenance of a United Nations office, to be headed by the Secretary-General's Special Representative, would allow the United Nations to support in a coordinated manner what the Government of Rwanda was doing to promote national reconciliation, to strengthen the judicial system, to facilitate the return of refugees and to rehabilitate the country's infrastructure.
He stressed the importance of the Human Rights Field Operations in Rwanda, which constituted a true confidence-building measure. Also, he said, the inclusion of the present United Nations radio station in the United Nations office would contribute to the continued dissemination of constructive information. The present United Nations communications system would continue to operate in the framework of the United Nations office and, thus, offer most needed support for those involved in the reconstruction of Rwanda.
He said his Government had in the past contributed $200 million to assisting Rwanda and would contribute in the future, he said. He welcomed the fact that the remaining elements of UNAMIR would, prior to their withdrawal, contribute to the protection of the International Tribunal for Rwanda. After their withdrawal new arrangements needed to be agreed upon, he added.
Noting the Secretary-General's announcement that he would shortly submit recommendations to the Assembly regarding non-lethal equipment that could be released for use in Rwanda, he said his intention was fully in line with the proposal of the resolution. The use of UNAMIR equipment would be a contribution to the rehabilitation efforts in Rwanda. The Assembly would have to decide on the scope of that measure. That decision would be taken on the basis of existing rules and regulations. "It is our hope, however, that the decision will also take into account the tremendous needs of Rwanda in this
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regard", he added. His Government was currently discussing with the Secretariat pragmatic options for the release of German equipment for further use in Rwanda.
STEPHEN GOMERSALL (United Kingdom) attached particular importance to the continued protection that UNAMIR would provide to the personnel and premises of the International Tribunal until the withdrawal was complete, and to the early clarification from the Secretariat as to the precise arrangements for protecting the Tribunal that would be put in place after the withdrawal. Another question addressed in the resolution was that of UNAMIR equipment, some of which might be left in Rwanda. It was very important that the rules be followed in that area, but within the rules, flexibility could be shown and ways found to benefit Rwanda.
The central purpose of the resolution, however, was to place the weight of the Council behind the Secretary-General's proposal, now agreed to by the Government of Rwanda, to the continued maintenance of the office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Rwanda, he said. He welcomed the words of the Permanent Representative of Rwanda concerning the future office of the Secretary-General's Special Representative. There was much that the United Nations could and should continue to do in Rwanda to help that country in facing the challenges of reconstruction, national reconciliation and the return of refugees.
"We foresee the United Nations office playing a central role in this work", he said. "We think it important that it include the present United Nations radio station. We encourage the Government of Rwanda to cooperate closely with the Special Representative and his staff as they pursue the goals set out in the resolution."
While stability in Rwanda was the responsibility of the Government of Rwanda, the neighbouring States also had their responsibilities, he said. All States in the region should cooperate with each other, particularly in the return of refugees, to help bring about a real prospect of lasting peace and stability in the Great Lakes region.
GENNADI M. GATILOV (Russian Federation) said that he was pleased that a certain degree of stabilization had been achieved in Rwanda and paid tribute to the efforts of the Government of that country. There were, however, other problems to tackle. They included the existence of 2 million refugees outside the country. There was a potential threat of destabilization that could arise from such a situation. Those problems could not be solved without the help of the international community. Therefore, he supported a continued United Nation presence after the end of the UNAMIR mandate, such as the establishment of a United Nations office in Rwanda to help with rehabilitation and other activities. The United Nations could help keep track of the situation from
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that office. The withdrawal of the major component of UNAMIR should be carried out on schedule. The staff of the Tribunal, of the special agencies and other organizations should be protected.
The representative said that the draft resolution was adequate for the situation in Rwanda and would mark a new phase in relations between that country's Government and the international community. He would vote for the draft text.
PARK SOO GIL (Republic of Korea) said he was pleased to note the relative calm and stability prevailing in Rwanda and acknowledged that the credit for that progress went to the people of Rwanda. However, UNAMIR's indispensable role in consolidating peace and stability in Rwanda should not be overlooked. The climate of confidence and security created by the presence of UNAMIR had facilitated the rapid economic rehabilitation and return to normalcy reported by the Secretary-General.
The improved situation in Rwanda should not be taken for granted, he said. There was a lot to be done if peace and stability were to take firm root and be made irreversible. Among outstanding issues that need to be addressed, he cited the return and resettlement of 1.7 million refugees sheltered in neighbouring countries. That area required the firm commitment of the Government of Rwanda and continued international support. "Lasting peace and stability will be elusive as long as this issue of refugees remains unresolved", he said.
He underlined the vital role and responsibility of the Government of Rwanda in fostering a climate of confidence, security and trust so as to facilitate the safe and voluntary return of refugees. He attached great importance to the rule of law, justice and security as central issues in rebuilding the social fabric of Rwanda. He welcomed assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the rehabilitation of the justice system and the police training programme.
Peace and stability in Rwanda would remain fragile unless its socio- economic needs were properly addressed, he said. Given that Rwanda could not meet that challenge alone, he attached great importance to the continued international support for Rwanda's efforts for economic rehabilitation and reconstruction. In that regard, donor countries and United Nations agencies were essential.
The United Nations had a vital role to play in Rwanda even after the expiration of UNAMIR's mandate, he said. He welcomed the Rwandan Government's agreement to maintaining a United Nations office for the purpose of supporting its efforts to promote national reconciliation, strengthen the judicial system, facilitate the return of refugees and rehabilitate the country's
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infrastructure. The maintenance of a small United Nations office would have symbolic as well as practical significance, especially in demonstrating the United Nations commitment to a lasting peace, stability and post-conflict reconstruction of the country.
He welcomed the Rwandan Government's wish to maintain the presence of the Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda after the withdrawal of UNAMIR. The continued role of that operation was essential in creating an environment of security conducive to the return of refugees and their resettlement. He reminded the Government of Rwanda of its responsibility for the safety and security of international personnel. The protection of the personnel and premises of the International Tribunal for Rwanda was a matter of particular concern. Therefore, it was important that elements of UNAMIR provided such protection prior to their final withdrawal in cooperation with the Government of Rwanda.
Regarding the disposition of UNAMIR's non-lethal equipment, he requested the Secretary-General to give due consideration to the needs of Rwanda and exert maximum flexibility in the application of relevant rules in submitting his recommendations to the General Assembly. He would vote in favour of the draft resolution.
ADELINO MANO QUETA (Guinea-Bissau) said that the situation in Rwanda had become relatively calm and stable, with improvements in some social sectors. However, there was need for help from the international community regarding the return of refugees, the rehabilitation of the judicial system and in tackling some of the challenges that the country faced. Attention should be paid to the activities of elements of former regimes. They should not be allowed to make the situation in Rwanda worse. He said he would support the resolution, as it would help in the process of restoring the judicial system, the repatriation of refugees and in the return to normalcy to that country.
HE YAFEI (China) said that UNAMIR had helped restore peace and stability in Rwanda. There were now other core issues that needed solutions, including the repatriation of refugees and the reconstruction of the judicial system. He expressed support for the efforts of Rwanda and the countries of the Great Lakes region in that regard.
He said UNAMIR was about to withdraw and the United Nations would set up a political office to promote reconciliation, help strengthen the judicial system and rebuild some of the country's infrastructure. Rwanda was still faced with difficult tasks. It could help in the return of refugees through national reconciliation. The international community, too, should help the peace process in that country. In support of that, China would vote for the resolution.
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ZBIGNIEW M. WLOSOWICZ (Poland) welcomed the increasing signs of normality in the internal situation in Rwanda, as well as the improvement of Rwanda's relations with its neighbours. He expressed appreciation to the positive role of the UNAMIR mission in restoring the climate of relative stability in the country after the terrible experience of the civil war and genocide.
Despite progress in the normalization of the situation in Rwanda, a number of issues still required particular attention and urgent action on the part of the Rwandan Government with the assistance of the international community, he said. The voluntary and safe return of 1.7 million Rwandan refugees constituted the most important element in the progress towards national reconciliation within the country. At the same time, it was essential for improving the general security situation in the Great Lakes region.
He expressed concern at the slow pace of the voluntary repatriation process which still failed to acquire the desired momentum. The underlying causes of the refugees' unwillingness to return home could only be addressed by the Government of Rwanda through restoring peace and stability and through promoting a climate of confidence and trust within the country. That could only be achieved by the improvement in the workings of the judicial system and strengthening of law enforcement forces.
He noted with satisfaction the assurances of the Rwandan Government that it would successfully manage to deal with the task of economic recover and recognized its prominent role in that process. The Government of Rwanda was obliged to assume the principal burden of responsibility for the reconstruction of the country, as well as genuine national reconciliation.
Notwithstanding the forthcoming conclusion of UNAMIR's presence in Rwanda, the United Nations should be present there, he said. He would have even been willing to consider the extension of the UNAMIR mission to continue the peace-keeping type of operation. He supported the idea of maintaining in Rwanda a United Nations office designed to support the efforts of the Rwandan Government to promote national reconciliation, facilitate the return of refugees, improve the judicial system, rehabilitate technical and logistical infrastructure of the country, coordinate the activities of relief organizations in Rwanda, as well as monitor the situation in the country.
The mandate of the office, as stipulated in the draft resolution under consideration, conformed to the urgent needs of the country and responded adequately to the will of the Government of Rwanda expressed in the letter of 1 March by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Rwanda to the United Nations Secretary-General, he said. He stressed that with the UNAMIR mandate finally concluded, ensuring the safety and security of the
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International Commission of Inquiry, the International Tribunal for Rwanda and all United Nations personnel as well as other international staff working in the country was of utmost importance. Poland would vote in favour of the draft resolution, he said.
MAKARIM WIBISONO (Indonesia) said that, as has been the case with many United Nations operations, UNAMIR demonstrated how much could be achieved when cooperation prevailed. It was through the tireless and integrated efforts of the people of Rwanda, UNAMIR, other United Nations and international agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations that prospects for the Rwandan people to experience hope and peace were today brighter and more promising.
In a relatively short period of time, Rwanda had come a long way from its destructive civil war and tragic genocide, as reflected by the general relative calm and stability that characterized the situation, he said. He was pleased to note the progress achieved in restoring basing infrastructures and the rehabilitation of vital sectors of the economy and welcomed the encouraging statistics and positive developments in agriculture, health, industry, transportation and education. The international community should continue to lend the necessary assistance for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the infrastructure of the country.
With dialogue and mutual trust being the fundamental prerequisite for providing an environment conducive to the peaceful resolution of conflict, he encouraged the parties within Rwanda to continue their dialogue as the appropriate means in further promoting national reconciliation. He also attached great importance to the recent visits of officials between Rwanda and other neighbouring countries in the Great Lakes region. Those increased contacts were valuable, as they provided the opportunity to discuss and identify the underlying problems those countries shared and to promote the normalization of relations between them.
Formidable challenges still confronted Rwanda, in particular the repatriation and resettlement of 1.7 million refugees, he said. Many refugees found it difficult to return to their homes due to fear of past atrocities and economic uncertainty. There would be no long-term peace without the resolution of that dire problem, for the refugee problem was indeed extracting a severe toll on the resources of Rwanda's neighbouring States. That in turn, fostered a general climate of instability. The Government of Rwanda should do its utmost to provide a climate of confidence, security and trust to facilitate the safe return of refugees.
Long-term peace would remain elusive until the perpetrators of genocide were brought to justice, he said. The role of the International Tribunal for Rwanda was an indispensable aspect for rendering justice. Therefore, it was important to protect its personnel and premises and hope that necessary
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arrangements would be concluded between the Government of Rwanda and the United Nations for providing sustained protection prior to the complete withdrawal of UNAMIR.
He stressed the need to intensify initiatives in order to rehabilitate the judicial system. A restructured system of justice would be conducive for national reconciliation and the return of refugees. The forthcoming round- table meeting in Geneva, which would focus on justice and security, capacity- building and the transition from humanitarian assistance to development, would be a step in the right direction. The proposed plan by the Rwandan Ministry of Justice to recruit legal advisors, establish "special chambers" to handle genocide cases, and to secure more funding for personnel and equipment was encouraging.
The promotion and protection of human rights would be a critical element for the safe repatriation of refugees, he said. In the absence of basic humanitarian guarantees, voluntary repatriation would prove to be difficult. Given the important role the Human Rights Field Operations in Rwanda along with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) played in redressing violations of human rights and improving conditions of detainee, he expressed concern at the rapidly depleting voluntary funds necessary for their continued work. He called on the international community to lend whatever resources possible to allow the human rights operation to continue its activities.
Indonesia would vote in favour of that draft resolution, he said. He commended the positive response and acceptance by the Government of Rwanda to the proposal contained in the draft resolution, as set forth in the letter from the Rwandan Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation to the Secretary-General. Also, a case could be made to permit Rwanda to retain non- lethal UNAMIR equipment for productive purposes. Such equipment would be useful for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Rwanda. "While we are fully cognizant of the procedures that guide such post-mandate equipment, we none the less appeal the General Assembly to be flexible given the nature of the circumstances in Rwanda", he said.
GERARDO MARTINEZ BLANCO (Honduras) said it was encouraging that Rwanda was returning to normalcy, with advances in production, health, education and other areas. The country still needed help from the international community in the return of refugees, national reconciliation, the improvement of the judicial system and terminating the destabilization efforts being carried out by elements of the former regime. The UNAMIR had helped the people of Rwanda and given non-governmental organizations, and other organizations, the security necessary for them to carry out their duties.
He said that despite the end of UNAMIR's mandate, a United Nations presence was needed to help that country. The political office that would be
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set up there should remain, with the agreement of the Government, to help in national reconciliation, the return of refugees and in the rehabilitation of the country's infrastructure. Voluntary repatriation of refugees and national reconciliation were also very important. The return of refugees was still slow, though, due to several factors, such as intimidation and fears that the judicial system could not ensure fairness. The Government should be helped in its efforts to address those concerns.
The United Nations should continue playing an active role in Rwanda to support the return and settlement of refugees and help ensure human rights, he said. The international community should continue to provide assistance through the United Nations trust fund for Rwanda. Honduras would vote in favour of the resolution.
The draft resolution was adopted unanimously as Council resolution 1050 (1996).
Following adoption of the resolution, ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said that UNAMIR had helped Rwanda considerably. He paid his respects to those who had lost their lives in that country and said that despite the progress that had been achieved, much remained to be done. National reconciliation was of paramount importance. It was indispensable if Rwanda was to have peace. That would come about only if all Rwandans who had been overwhelmed by the events of 1994 were involved in the reconciliation process.
He said it was essential to allay the fears of the refugees, who felt that they might face revenge when they returned home. The Rwandan Government should ensure they would be treated fairly when they returned. The International Tribunal for Rwanda should try those who had authored the genocide and free those who had not been guilty of such crimes.
The United Nations office would help in the return of refugees and in other activities, he said. National reconciliation implied dialogue with those who wanted to return to their homeland, excluding those who had engineered the genocide. He expressed support for the regional efforts being undertaken to tackle the problems facing Rwanda.
KARL F. INDERFURTH (United States) said that tomorrow a new era of mutual respect for human rights and a mutual commitment to peace would begin between the United Nations and the Government of Rwanda.
When UNAMIR was first created, it was to oversee a peace agreement, the Arusha Accords, he went on. But the former Rwandan government had not honoured the Arusha Accords. Instead, Rwanda spiraled downward into the worst genocide in Africa and Rwanda had not fully recovered. That would take years, especially for Rwanda's children. He referred to an article in today's New
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York Times on a survey conducted by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) of 3,000 Rwandan children who had witnessed violence up close. More than a quarter of them had seen parents or other family members killed, many beaten or hacked to death with machetes.
According to that report, he added, "no aspect of the war left children untouched and experts say that to heal the deep psychological wounds, Rwanda's children will need some sense of community and a taste of normal life". He expressed the hope that in the post-UNAMIR period, the international community and the United Nations would be able to help contribute to the sense of community and normalcy that was so desperately needed by Rwanda's children.
Despite formidable obstacles, the Government of Rwanda had made great progress in bringing peace and security to that country, and UNAMIR had made a significant contribution to that progress, he said. The international community must continue to help with the hard tasks ahead. The resolution laid a solid foundation for continuing cooperation between the United Nations and Rwanda in a new form. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General would have the authority to coordinate United Nations agencies that would be involved in reconstruction and development activities, and would play an active role to promote national reconciliation. "We hope the Special Representative will vigorously exercise his authority to head the United Nations programme in Rwanda", he stressed.
There could be no long-lasting peace and stability for Rwanda -- indeed the entire region -- unless the 1.7 million Rwandan refugees returned to Rwanda, he said. The Special Representative should encourage repatriation as one of his highest priorities, as he coordinates the work of all United Nations agencies in Rwanda, including those of the UNHCR and of the UNDP. Further, human rights monitors had played an important role in maintaining international confidence in the protection of human rights in Rwanda. It was a significant sign of the Government of Rwanda's commitment to human rights that it would not only accept human rights monitors in Rwanda but it would welcome them and had asked that they stay. "This decision is concrete evidence supporting the Government's public statement that it wants all Rwandans to return home", he added.
Rwanda's needs were many and one of them was for justice, he said. Sufficient resources must be available to the International Tribunal for Rwanda, so it would accomplish its difficult task with as much speed as justice permitted. The Tribunal would need additional funds to provide United Nations security guards for its personnel. He welcomed the agreement of the Government of Rwanda to allow UNAMIR forces to continue to provide that security during the period of withdrawal. The thousands of prisoners in Rwandan jails must also receive speedy trials, he added.
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Addressing the work of the Commission of Inquiry to investigate reports of the sale or supply of arms to former Rwandan government forces, he said the Commission had been doing excellent work and was also fulfilling an important deterrent function. However, it had not had the benefit of full cooperation from all Rwanda's neighbours. All States must offer the Commission their full support. Differences remained between the Secretariat and the Government of Rwanda concerning the disposition of equipment and financing. Those differences should be resolved as soon as possible on a mutually satisfactory basis, so that they would not interfere with the work of the Secretary- General's Special Representative and his political office.
SOLIMAN AWAAD (Egypt) said Rwanda had witnessed one of the most terrible tragedies in recent African history. The Council had to respond to the request of the Rwandan Government and withdraw from the country. The international community had failed to prevent the tragedy. However, the presence of the United Nations after the events had been very useful.
The Secretary-General's report contained a very objective account of the events in Rwanda, he continued. It was a source of satisfaction that calm now prevailed in most of the country. However, some problems remained, among them the major problem of the refugees. He stressed the importance of the Rwandan Government to take effective measures in the judicial area.
He stressed the responsibility of the Government of Rwanda in the post- UNAMIR period concerning the return of refugees. It was essential that a conducive environment be established for the return of refugees. He supported the establishment of a United Nations office in Kigali and he hoped regular reports would be submitted to the Council on developments there. Despite the decision to withdraw the Mission, the Council would not hesitate to take steps to safeguard the rights of the refugees.
The solution of problems which affected Rwanda, such as the refugee problem, was of a regional dimension and required a regional solution. Any solution disregarding that fact would be but a placebo. He stressed the need to implement the outcome of recent conferences, which had addressed problems in the Great Lakes region.
The lesson to be drawn from the experience of the United Nations in Rwanda was that of the need to implement preventive diplomacy, he said. Egypt had voted in favour of the resolution, despite its concern over the problems of the refugees.
The President of the Council LEGWAILA J.M.J. LEGWAILA (Botswana) speaking in his capacity as his country's representative, said that Botswana had been one of those which had not favoured a precipitate departure of UNAMIR from Rwanda. He was, therefore, delighted that the United Nations would
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continue to play a significant role in assisting the Government of Rwanda to address the crucial issues of national reconciliation, the return and resettlement of the refugees, and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the socio-economic infrastructure of the country.
It was precisely because it realized that Rwanda still needed the assistance of the international community in those areas that Botswana had been reluctant to support an abrupt withdrawal of UNAMIR, he said. It was gratified that the Security Council had maintained its unanimity on the issue, which was of vital importance to peace, security and stability of the Great Lakes region. The Government of Rwanda should continue to cooperate with the United Nations.
The end of UNAMIR's mandate did not imply that the difficulties facing the Government and people of Rwanda were over. The return of the refugees would obviously be one of the most intractable challenges. He strongly believed that there could be no peace and stability in Rwanda as long as one third of its population lived in refugee camps in neighbouring countries. Concerted efforts were required to ensure the early return of the 1.7 million refugees.
We noted the tremendous efforts being made by the Government of Rwanda in promoting national reconciliation and rebuilding a country shattered by one of the worst acts of human behaviour ever witnessed in the latter part of this century. "They deserve our commendation for the successes they have scored so far in very difficult circumstances", he said. "The Rwandese should now engage in earnest in the process of consolidating the relative peace and stability that presently obtains in the country and the building of a new society based on justice and the rule of law."
In that connection, the strengthening of the judicial system would be one of the key elements in the whole process, he said. The continuing support of the international community would be very crucial all the way. "Post- genocide peace-building" in Rwanda remained the primary concern and a major responsibility for both the Government of Rwanda and the international community. Recent experience had shown that while peace could not or should not be built without justice, the presumption for innocence of the accused remained the cornerstone of any fair judicial system.
His Government had on several occasions in the past stated that the problems facing Rwanda had subregional dimensions that must be addressed urgently by the countries of the Great Lakes region. The return of the refugees, for instance, could only proceed smoothly if there was close consultation and cooperation with the States hosting them. It was an established fact that there was rampant intimidation in the refugee camps by elements of the former government against those intending to return to Rwanda.
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The same elements also harboured ill-intentions by undertaking military incursions into Rwanda.
"The international community must make it abundantly clear to these elements that the withdrawal of UNAMIR does not in any way mean the abrogation of the measures it undertook through the relevant Security Council resolutions to bring an end to intimidation in the refugee camps and the military activities against Rwanda", he said. "In fact, the arms embargo imposed under resolution 918 (1994) and extend to Rwandese nationals in neighbouring States by resolution 1011 (1995) remains in force." The Security Council still awaited a report of the International Commission of Inquiry to report on the sale or supply of arms and related materiel to former Rwandan government forces in violation of relevant Council resolutions.
All those measures could only be implemented with the full cooperating of the neighbouring countries, he said. In that context, the recent return by the Government of Zaire of some military equipment to Rwanda was welcomed. He favoured the convening of a regional conference on peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region, under the auspices of the United Nations with the active participation of the Organization of African Unity. There was a great deal of international goodwill aimed at seeking a lasting solution to the problems of the Great Lakes region. The European Union, the Carter Center and former president of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, had undertaken political and diplomatic efforts aimed at finding common ground on convening of the conference. He fully supported those commendable efforts and hoped that the time and energy expended in the endeavour, especially by former President Nyerere, would be crowned with success.
In conclusion, he extended Botswana's congratulations to the men and women of UNAMIR for their contribution to the course of peace in Rwanda. "It was a mission haunted by an unfortunate past, a past that everyone wishes never happened and would never happen again, yet they made the best they could out of it", he concluded.
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