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Governmental Support of Genocidal Regimes

Joseph Mutaboba, Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations

The answer is yes, it's possible they have done that. But the question is have they done it willingly or knowingly? I doubt. I doubt that a responsible government would do that knowingly. So, they may have been misled.

For example, in the case of Rwanda, whatever they took as a position at that particular time, whatever misleading position or conception of what happened at that particular time came as a result of being misinformed about what was going on then. Then you couple it with the situation the troops had gone through in Somalia -- I'm not trying to exempt the American government for what they failed to do that time. There's a lot, which could have been done, in terms of what was really the issue: to know what it was and what the best way they could have addressed it. But, I do not see the American administration coming up with a position of not condemning or not fighting genocide when they are fully assessed -- I mean, addressed. I don't think they knew. I don't think so.

And if, and only if, any country in the world could do that knowingly, then that's something we have to condemn; and I know there are countries which have been very well informed of this, but who could not do anything. Those can be said to be partisan. But if you don't know, then you don't know. I cannot see anybody just looking at me and imagining what I think if he or she does not ask me the question. So, I have to know, you have to know, and until we do know, then we cannot condemn anybody. But if you do know, then you have to take your responsibilities.

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