Setting the record straight

The first published account of the shameful behavior of the UK and US in the UN Security Council as the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi took place appeared in The Scotsman newspaper on January 4, 1995.
Thousands of Rwandans converge at Amahoro National Stadium to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Thousands of Rwandans converge at Amahoro National Stadium to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Editor,

I have the following comments in regard to the article entitled: BOOK REVIEW - The Great Deception: UK’s role in 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that was published in The New Times of Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

The first published account of the shameful behavior of the UK and US in the UN Security Council as the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi took place appeared in The Scotsman newspaper on January 4, 1995.

It was headlined ‘Death by Diplomacy, and in great detail the article described a rudderless group of ambassadors, with the UK and the US determined to deny genocide was happening, and ably supported by France who wanted ‘blame spread evenly’.

The story exposed one of the great scandals of the last century – the abandonment by the Council of the people of Rwanda. It was an exclusive account, spread over two pages, and it was accompanied by an editorial comment which said the article showed ‘the fiddling of the Security Council as the country (Rwanda) burned’.

I am the author of The Scotsman article. It revealed how easily dismissed the 1948 Genocide Convention -- and just how little true humanitarianism lies at the heart of states which nonetheless use fine rhetoric to profess the support of human rights.

By January 1995 when The Scotsman piece was published I had spent months researching the circumstances of the genocide of the Tutsi. My information came from interviews I carried out in New York, London and at the UN Secretariat.

In May 1994 I interviewed two Council members, Ambassadors Colin Keating (New Zealand) and Karel Kovanda (Czech Republic) and spent time with senior civilian officials at the UN Secretariat.

In 1996 I was leaked a written account of the secret and informal discussions held by the Council to discuss Rwanda and this confirmed in more detail what I had earlier been told. This further information was the basis of an informed article I published on the subject in the London Review of Books in 1996, entitled The UN and Rwanda.

A further extensive and exclusive account of the Council meetings is to be found in my book A People Betrayed, published in 2000.

My research continues.

Mark Curtis suggests in the article that I simply ‘confirmed’ the role of Britain and the US in the Council during the genocide against the Tutsi. I do not think this word is appropriate. It is not the case I simply confirmed what happened, as I have just outlined.

Linda Melvern

About Melvern: She is a British investigative journalist who has extensively researched and written on the circumstances of the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi. She is the author of two books on Rwanda; A People Betrayed and Conspiracy to Murder.

 

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