Libmonster ID: U.S.-1507

On October 1, 1990, rebel groups calling themselves the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) moved from the country's southern regions to the northeast, capturing a tourist camp and police headquarters in Kabiro on the way. These units were the armed forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a rebel group formed by Tutsi and Hutu refugees who had been forced to leave their homes. However, soon the Rwandan army, acting on the side of President Juvenal Habiarimana, stopped the RPA's advance. After retreating, the rebel forces concentrated in high-altitude forests near the Virunga volcanoes, which are located along the border with Uganda. There, under the leadership of a Ugandan intelligence officer, Major Paul Kagame (Tutsi, current President of Rwanda (since 2000), b. 1957 - editor's note), who recently returned to the country after studying at one of the US military colleges, they regrouped their forces. A long civil war broke out.

Periodically crossing the border, the rebels raided the surrounding areas of Rwanda, whose population was forced to flee wherever they looked.

Entire refugee and displaced person camps soon sprang up. This is a situation that, in the language of the UN Charter, is designated as a " threat to international peace and security." This definition implies the need for international intervention. Rwanda's neighboring States, as well as donor countries, have begun to take measures aimed at overcoming the current crisis. President Mwini of Tanzania and President Mobutu of Zaire organized a stakeholder summit. France and Belgium have taken diplomatic steps. These countries, as well as Zaire, sent troops to Kigali.

However, these intervening States, which had purely humanitarian goals, were soon faced with a number of intractable problems: how to achieve and then preserve peace; how to get the warring parties to sit down at the negotiating table; and, finally, what international forces should do to ensure the long-term preservation of peace in this country. The leaders of the States concerned decided to work through the African regional and sub-regional organizations: the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (ESSO) and the Organization of African Unity (OAU)* , as well as through the UN.

The parties agreed that international intervention in the conflict is absolutely necessary.

I will try to identify both the areas that emerged during the discussion, on which all its participants came to a common opinion, and those issues on which they had disagreements. I note that in the three years that the international community has worked to bring peace to Rwanda, these differences have not been resolved.


ESSVO members were the first to intervene in the conflict that broke out in Rwanda. In addition to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi, it included Rwanda itself, but Zaire, of course, played a dominant role. The initiative was taken by its president Mobutu, who had previously intervened in the internal conflicts of his ESSVO partners, and quite successfully.

Less than three weeks into the insurgency, he convened a meeting of the organization's heads of State in his hometown of Gbadolite. The Presidents who participated in it decided to create a peacekeeping force. On 28 October 1990, Mobutu organized a second summit meeting with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who by then was also Chairman of the OAU. Using the authority he had received in this capacity, Museveni appointed Mobutu to mediate negotiations between the Government of Rwanda and the RPF. The Heads of State also announced the creation of a military observer group under the auspices of the OAU, which includes officers from the ESSVO, RPF and Ugandan member countries.

Mobutu then sent a peacekeeping force of several hundred men from the special Presidential unit to Kigali. While the French and Belgian peacekeeping forces were concentrated exclusively in the country's capital, where they defended refugee camps, the Zaire armed forces initially went directly to the war zone. However, once stationed there, they immediately began looting and looting the local population. The Rwandan Government was forced to demand their removal. Mobutu's first attempts to act as an intermediary were equally unsuccessful. ESSVO experts meeting in November in the Congolese

D. Rawson's speech at the XII Conference of Africanists, held in Moscow at the Institute of Africa of the Russian Academy of Sciences on May 24 - 26, 2011 (published with some abbreviations).

* Since 2002, the organization has been called the African Union (ed.).

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In the city of Goma, near the border with Rwanda, the terms of a cease-fire agreement and the deployment of a group of military observers there have not been worked out.

In January 1991, the RPF attacked the northern town of Ruhengiri, demonstrating that the insurgency was far from over. President Habyarimana of Rwanda agreed to attend another summit, this time in Zanzibar under the chairmanship of President A. H. Mwini of Tanzania. At a regional conference on refugees held in Dar es Salaam in February, the President of Rwanda agreed to the return of refugees to the country. It also confirmed Mobutu's authority as a mediator in the resolution of the Rwandan conflict.

With this support, Mobutu invited the warring parties to meet again in Kinshasa. On 29 March, the Rwandan Government and the RPF signed a ceasefire agreement. A regulation on military observers was also developed, which provided for the invitation of observers not only from ESSVO member countries, but also from other States, primarily members of the OAU.

Despite all this, armed clashes broke out again and again in the country. With the approval of the OAU, Mobutu again organized a meeting of representatives of interested parties, at which the previous agreement was re-signed, although in a slightly modified form. This time, it was intended that international monitoring would be carried out by officers from Nigeria and Zaire. However, all this remained only on paper. A stalemate has been created. Government forces were on the defensive, and the RPF units, hiding high in the mountains along the border with Uganda, continued to raid the territory of Rwanda.

The ESSW countries have not been able to create the conditions necessary to resolve the conflict in Rwanda. This sub-regional organization was too small and weak. It was also hindered by the fact that one of the countries included in this organization was itself a participant in the conflict. Being completely under the influence of Zaire and its president, the ESSVO was unable to stop the massacre and monitor the ongoing processes.

What was the effect of the summit talks that took place at this early stage? First of all, the RPF has achieved recognition of itself as a full participant in the process. But at the same time, these meetings demonstrated the fragility and fragility of the ceasefire agreements reached at them. It has also become clear that success requires the presence of international mediators. All that remained was to rely on the OAU to coordinate its actions with other interested States in order to eventually overcome the obstacles to peace.


At the Mobutu-initiated talks in Zaire, the OAU was not particularly active. But subsequent meetings organized by Tanzanian President Mwini, which were held under the auspices of this authoritative and influential African organization, allowed the Tanzanian government to act as an impartial mediator in resolving the conflict.

There was one more important circumstance. While France was ready to support Zaire's attempts to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table, Belgium and the United States categorically refused to deal with Mobutu. The way he ruled his own country did not allow him to support his claim to the role of an international statesman. But there were nuances here, too. The United States, which had previously provided financial support to OAU peacekeeping, wanted the organization to continue its work on a larger scale. Belgium, on the other hand, has advocated that Tanzania should be the main mediator in resolving the conflict in Rwanda.

By January 1992, donor countries had come to the conclusion that the peace process initiated by Mobutu had finally reached an impasse. And then France decided to act independently, once again try to put the warring parties at the negotiating table. At the same time, Washington assembled a group of experts on Rwanda, forming a Committee to coordinate policy on Rwanda and Burundi. According to the committee, the main task was to democratize the countries of the region, which, among other things, would also contribute to the establishment of peace. At that time, the United States did not set any other goals for itself. The main role was still assigned to the former metropolitan areas-France and Belgium. This is not to say that Washington was completely passive. Thus, Assistant Secretary Cohen made an inspection tour of the region, during which he met in Kampala with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda and representatives of the RPF. Then in Paris, he expressed his dissatisfaction with Ugandan diplomats that their country supported the RPF.

In May, France managed to organize a meeting of both sides in Paris to discuss the terms of the ceasefire. The final communique emphasized the possibility and necessity of direct negotiations between the parties to the conflict. At the same time, both the Rwandan Government and the RPF requested that the OAU and neighboring countries of Rwanda, as well as France, Belgium and the United States, participate in such negotiations as observers. As for the implementation of the ceasefire decision, both sides confirmed that they have the political will to put an end to the prolonged war.

Thus, having confirmed their agreement with the decisions taken earlier in the framework of the ESSEX, the parties expressed their desire and readiness to continue negotiations-now under the auspices of the OAU, as well as with the help of Tanzania and observers from other interested countries. In fact, this was reflected in the fact that when it was necessary to determine the location of subsequent negotiations, the final word was given to the Secretary-General of the OAU, Salim A. Salim, and the Tanzanian Foreign Minister, A. H. Diria. At their suggestion, the next cease-fire talks were held in early July in Arusha (Tanzania).

Largely due to pressure from the OAU and the insistent" advice " of the observer group, the warring parties managed to work out a mutually acceptable solution on July 13, 1992. It provided, inter alia, that by July 31, the military would be able to-

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the wii must be completely discontinued. By the same date, the deployment of a Group of Military Observers (GVN) was supposed to end. Negotiations on political issues were scheduled to start on August 10 and end no later than October 10 with the signing of a final peace treaty. The parties agreed to implement the measures provided for in this agreement by January 19, 1993.

The agreement provided for the establishment of a Joint Political Military Commission (JMC) under the auspices of the OAU, consisting of five officers from each side and Western observers. It so happened that while the GWN was just beginning to unfold, the negotiations in Arusha had already begun. In these circumstances, the main intermediary of the dialogue between the parties was the SPVK. In addition, discussions on political issues and the deployment of an international peacekeeping force in Rwanda began and remained under the auspices of the OAU until the signing of the final treaty on August 5, 1993.

Consultations between the parties began strictly according to plan, but then they dragged on for a whole year. OAU Secretary General Salim supervised the protracted negotiations. Diria, the Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs, presided over the meetings with the parties.

Encouraged by observers and taking into account their recommendations, the parties quickly agreed on the main issues, signing a protocol called Legislative Norms. It was more difficult to agree on the division of powers between the executive, legislative and legal authorities. Nevertheless, we agreed, among other things, to transfer most of the executive power from the President to the Government. But as soon as they came to the issue of appointing members of the Cabinet of Ministers and forming a transitional parliament - the National Assembly, everything slowed down. Much of what the members of the multi-party delegation sitting in Arusha were willing to concede was completely unacceptable to the politicians of the ruling party in power in Kigali.


Meanwhile, donor countries have stepped up their activities again. Thus, the United States, which had previously expressed its readiness to help the OAU build the infrastructure of the peacekeeping system, now said that it would not object if part of the allocated funds was spent on the activities of the Military Observer Group. France, Belgium and Germany, for their part, expressed their readiness to provide vehicles and communication facilities. The Ambassadors of France, Belgium, Germany and the United States, as well as representatives of Canada and Switzerland, constantly exchanged views in order to speak from common positions.

With each new step towards peace, with each additional infusion from donor countries, their role, as well as that of African mediators, has been strengthened. And yet, none of them were able to predict the tragic events that swept Rwanda in January 1993. They were also unprepared to do anything in connection with the response of the RPF, whose troops launched an offensive along the entire ceasefire line in February.

When the RPF units were already 40 km from Kigali, France urgently strengthened its military contingent. At the same time, through diplomatic channels, Paris persuaded Habiarimana to return to the negotiating table. On March 5, at a summit meeting in Dar es Salaam, the Rwandan President was forced to make concessions. He confirmed his readiness to comply with the terms of previously concluded agreements and pledged to continue the search for peaceful solutions honestly and in good faith. For its part, the RPF agreed to withdraw its troops to the positions they held before the February offensive began. He also agreed that the central regions of the country should be declared a demilitarized zone.

As for Washington, he simply slept through all these dramatic events. At that time, the United States was completely absorbed in its internal political problems. After vaguely protesting the rampant violence in Rwanda, the US representatives initially did not even take part in the Arusha talks and, even worse, lost all contact with the RPF. Moreover, the United States even protested that France and its advisers allegedly violated the rules of the ceasefire established by the OAU, which spoiled our relations with French diplomats. However, Washington later found a way to express its support for France's efforts, convincing the RPF that its actions were only good for Rwanda.

As for Belgium, it recalled its ambassador in January to protest the Habiarimana regime's violation of human rights. In general, Brussels emphasized the need to protect the civilian population, which in fact meant the need to invite the "blue Helmets".

Immediately after the summit, the US Ambassador in Kigali recommended that the UN Blue Helmets be deployed to Rwanda as soon as possible. However, the US State Department limited itself to the proposal to strengthen the OAU contingent by assigning UN experts to it, as well as to expand the mandate of the Main Task Force, entrusting it, among other things, with security functions. At the same time, Washington believed that the experience gained in Rwanda could later be used to train future OAU peacekeepers. This experience was also intended to demonstrate the possibility and feasibility of a purely "African solution to African problems". Ultimately, all of this was intended to reduce the cost of peacekeeping operations. The problem, however, was that neither the OAU nor the UN were interested in joint action.


It is noteworthy that the UN has in fact constantly avoided participating in the negotiations conducted by the warring parties with the participation of international mediators. Its representatives did not participate in the July 1992 cease-fire negotiations, nor in subsequent meetings of the opponents. Two full weeks passed before the OAU Secretary-General informed UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali of the signing of the ceasefire agreement and the subsequent meetings of the Joint Political Military Commission.-

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no commission required. For his part, Boutros-Ghali limited himself to a brief congratulatory message to the parties, which, in particular, stated that " thanks to the constructive approach of the participants in the negotiations at the regional level, important results were achieved."

Nevertheless, the UN has not been able to avoid active participation in the ongoing processes. As soon as negotiations resumed in Arusha, the UN Secretary-General dispatched a goodwill mission to assess the situation. On June 22, overcoming American reluctance to get involved in African events, France secured the adoption by the Security Council of a resolution authorizing the establishment of the United Nations Uganda-Rwanda Observer Mission (UNMOUR).

As a result of the information received from this mission, UN officials began to consider what assistance their organization could provide to the OAU. However, the UN leadership was clearly not interested in such a partnership. On April 30, Boutros-Ghali rejected a proposal by the big three - France, the United States and Belgium - to significantly step up UN cooperation with the OAU. However, he described the African organization as " lacking in experience, corrupt, incompetent and underfunded." He later refused to send military observers to Rwanda, or even a reconnaissance mission, until a peace agreement was signed.

At the same time, OAU Secretary-General Salim immediately after the signing of the Arusha Ceasefire Agreement on August 5 appealed to the UN for financial and technical support that would allow his organization to play a more significant role in Rwanda. At the same time, he spoke out against the OAU operating in Central Africa on the basis of a UN mandate, and also categorically rejected the possibility that the group of neutral military observers of the OAU would be subordinate to the UN.

Yet it was clear to everyone that the OAU was unable to play a more productive role in Rwanda than it currently did. Despite repeated requests and appeals, the OAU observer group did not receive the requested reinforcements until the end of July. By the time it was finally granted, the OAU leaders were no longer thinking of stepping up their activities in Rwanda, but rather of curtailing them.


The negotiations in Arusha, although slow and difficult, were still nearing completion. In this regard, the warring parties appealed to the UN to send "neutral international forces"to Rwanda as soon as the peace agreement is signed. But no agreement was reached between them on the composition of these forces and their tasks. The RPF insisted that these should be small units dedicated to monitoring the peace process, helping Rwandans who had taken up arms to return to civilian life, and finally providing humanitarian assistance. As for the Government of Rwanda, it insisted that a sufficiently strong armed force be sent to the country, capable of performing the same security functions that the French troops had previously performed.

Among the interested parties, France was the most persistent in involving the UN in the peace process. The Belgians, without going into any details, insisted only on one thing: their armed forces should not participate in the security structures sent to Rwanda. Washington, as always, was only interested in making sure that the costs and "blue berets" were as small as possible, and the number of African military units, on the contrary, as large as possible.

China was most concerned with the issue of respecting the State sovereignty of Rwanda and therefore wanted everything to be done in the way and only in the way that Rwandans themselves want it to be done. As for the other permanent members of the Security Council, although Russia had an embassy in Kigali, its representative was in Burundi; there was no British embassy in Rwanda, so the interests of Great Britain were represented by its ambassador in another African country. Russia and Britain were concerned about the cost of another UN peacekeeping operation. Therefore, they preferred the OAU peacekeeping force.

A month after the signing of the peace agreement in Arusha, a plan developed by General Romeo Daler was prepared, which provided for the deployment of 2.5 thousand UN troops in Rwanda. It was meant that they would include a mobile company with 20 armored personnel carriers and 4 helicopters, which was to be located in the capital itself. It was believed that such a unit was able to quickly and effectively respond to any unforeseen circumstances. By continuously patrolling the streets of Kigali, it was supposed to turn the capital into a city without weapons.

Although the United States strongly advocated that the main role in all peacekeeping operations should be played by the OAU, as well as for the early start of General Daler's intelligence mission, they strongly delayed the UN's final decision on the implementation of the operation. Washington could not give up the idea of "crossing the hedgehog and the snake", namely, to send a mixed force consisting of UN and OAU military units to Rwanda.

In desperation, the Rwandan Government and the RPF sent representatives to New York and Washington to persuade the UN and the US Government to send neutral armed forces to their country as soon as possible. Having coordinated their actions, the Belgian Foreign Minister and the French President, in turn, sent letters to US Secretary of State W. Christopher and President B. Clinton, respectively, asking them to support the proposal to deploy Blue Berets in Rwanda. Finally, on 5 October 1993, two months after the signing of the Arusha Peace Agreement, the Security Council adopted resolution 873 establishing the United Nations Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR).

This resolution provided for the interaction of the three components that made up the international force in Rwanda. The United Nations Uganda-Rwanda Observer Mission (UNOMSD), which was established earlier in June 1993 and consists of 81 military observers, as well as internationally and locally recruited personnel.-

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nowe civilian personnel were assigned to monitor the border between Uganda and Rwanda. The OAU observers in the demilitarized zone, as well as the incoming military contingent of this organization, formed a "neutral international force". General Dalaire was appointed Commander of the Joint Armed Forces by the UN Secretary-General, and former Cameroonian Foreign Minister Roger Bou Bou was appointed his Special Representative.

Meanwhile, OAU Secretary-General Salim, to Washington's chagrin, felt that the task of solving the problem of Rwanda was now entirely on the shoulders of the UN and that the OAU could withdraw from participation in the peace process.


Looking back and analyzing the agreement signed on August 5, 1993 in Arusha, as well as UN Security Council resolution 872 on the creation of a" neutral international force", you understand that all these decisions doomed the peace process to failure.

First, there was too little time to deploy neutral international forces and form a provisional Government. Secondly, Boutros-Ghali was in no hurry to join the peace process, and the implementation of the relevant UN resolution began only after the Arusha Agreement was signed. When this happened, at least initially, the confusion and instability only increased. As for the Arusha Agreement, which provided for the division of power, very soon the struggle for this power caused a split in the ranks of both sides.

The transfer of control of the peace process to the UN has highlighted the existence of many serious disagreements in the ranks of the international community. The United States, which could not give up its idea of putting all cases in the hands of the OAU, almost disrupted the implementation of the French proposal to create a UN border monitoring group. It took intervention at the highest level for the State Department bureaucracy, albeit with a long delay, to instruct its UN representative to vote in favor of resolution 873.

As soon as the UNOMUR forces were deployed, General Dalar immediately began to conduct active negotiations with the military leaders of the parties. At the same time, since the UN Secretariat relied solely on diplomatic methods of work, the general was not able to achieve significant success in creating a weapons-free zone. Moreover, despite the insistence of the Belgian Foreign Minister, who knew from personal experience the true state of affairs in Rwanda, UNOMUR was never provided with a sufficient number of reliable and determined forces. And then the most incredible thing happened: it was decided to tighten the requirements for the behavior of international forces, and they came up with the idea that they were deprived of the right even to self-defense.

As for the political side of the matter, the UN has completely failed in its plan to create at least temporary new political institutions instead of completely collapsed old ones. The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative, Roger Boo Boo, was soon forced to turn to the previously appointed Tanzanian mediator and his own ambassador to Rwanda in order to somehow bring the warring parties together.

Four months after the deployment of the first UN troops in the country, the plane with President Habyarimana on board was shot down, after which the Blue Helmets completely lost the ability to take any constructive actions. With the failure of what was known as the "classic peacekeeping operation" in Rwanda, a true genocide began. Instead of giving the UNOMUR forces a mandate that would allow them to rein in the brutalized mob, the Security Council voted to "minimize interference in the ongoing events". Only the determination of General Daler and the steadfastness of the Canadian and Ghanaian armed forces, which were allowed to remain in Rwanda, allowed the UN to play any, albeit very small, positive role in the nightmarish events that have engulfed the country.

Meanwhile, the international community has finally lost its consensus on what the peace process should be. Diplomatic missions in Kigali were surrounded by opponents fighting with each other. Each mission, at its own risk, began to evacuate the citizens of its country. Belgium has demanded that the Security Council adopt a resolution that would allow it to withdraw its troops. France and African countries wanted to maintain a UN presence. The United States, on the contrary, seeing the skeptical mood of the majority of Security Council members, changed its position and now called for reducing the role of the UN to a minimum.

Neither the Security Council, nor the UN Secretariat, nor the internal forces of Rwanda itself were ready to act decisively to stop the genocide. Such actions were taken only after the RPF won a final victory, and it became clear that purely humanitarian actions of the international community are not able to overcome the crisis.

* * *

What will the reader learn from this short article? At the very least, it will become more skeptical of the international community's ability to influence the elites of individual states locked in a deadly power struggle. They will understand how difficult the transition period is, even with an international peacekeeping force. Finally, the reader may have doubts about the validity of standard approaches to various specific situations.

Any policy, including one aimed at maintaining peace, must first take into account local conditions and take into account existing differences and contradictions. Those who participate in a "humanitarian" intervention should be aware that its main goal is to preserve life and ensure the well - being of people.

Translated from English by A.V. DENISOV, PhD in Philosophy


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