White House Clears E-Mail Release and Susan Rice Hand-written Notes
Newly Declassified E-Mails Detail U.S. Role at Genocide Turning Point
Political Restrictions on Peacekeeping Missions Were Key to U.S. Thinking in 1994, Not Protection of Civilians or Prevention of Genocide
State Department Attempts to Cover Up Well-Known U.S. "Bombshell" - Excises Key Parts of Cable Already Released in Substance by Other Governments
Documents Show Minimal High-Level U.S. Attention to Rwanda Genocide in April 1994; Ended with Evacuation of U.S. Citizens April 11, Notwithstanding Last-Minute Add-On to Deputies' Meeting of April 29
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 511
April 16, 2014
For more information contact:
Tom Blanton/Emily Willard, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.994.7000
Washington, DC, Posted April 16, 2015 -- Newly declassified Clinton White House e-mails and notes detail a decisive U.S. role in the tragic pullout of United Nations peacekeepers during the first two weeks of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, according to documents and analysis posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University on Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah).
The documents show U.S. skepticism about United Nations peacekeeping operations as early as September 1993, as domestic political criticism of U.S. involvement, the specter of U.S. troops under UN "blue helmet" command, and budgetary constraints, led to a lengthy Clinton administration review and series of highly restrictive conditions for any future UN operation even before the Somalia "Black Hawk Down" disaster on October 3, 1993. On September 29, 1993, for example, senior National Security Council official Richard Clarke "intimated that Rwanda may be the case the NSC is looking for to prove the U.S. can say 'no' to a new peacekeeping operation."
The documents show the U.S. agreed to the Rwanda mission mainly because of a quid pro quo with France that would keep French troops engaged in the Somalia mission in exchange for U.S. support of the Rwandan mission; but even then, Defense Department officials had argued that the peacekeepers in Rwanda should be totally unarmed observers rather than combat-ready troops.
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