Rwanda: Recent UN Documents, 09/12/'95

Rwanda: Recent UN Documents, 09/12/'95

Title: Rwanda: Recent UN Documents Date Distributed (ymd): 950912

S/1995/761 31 August 1995


I have the honour to refer to paragraph 2 of Security Council resolution 1011 (1995) of 16 August 1995. In its resolution, the Council requested me, in accordance with paragraph 45 of my progress report (S/1995/678) dated 8 August 1995, to make recommendations, as soon as possible, on the establishment of a Commission mandated to conduct a full investigation to address allegations of arms flows to former Rwandese government forces in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa.

In that report, I indicated that some Governments had expressed an interest in the establishment, under United Nations auspices, of an international commission to investigate allegations of arms deliveries to members of the former Rwandese government forces. I also expressed the hope that all Governments concerned would support such an initiative and said that I would submit recommendations to the Security Council on this matter. My recommendations are set out below.

The basic terms of reference of the proposed Commission, as defined in paragraph 2 of resolution 1011 (1995), seem to me adequate. The Commission would collect information and investigate reports relating to the sale or supply of arms and related materiel to former Rwandese government forces in violation of the embargo imposed under Security Council resolutions 918 (1994) of 17 May 1994 and 1011 (1995) of 16 August 1995. It would also investigate allegations that such forces were receiving military training in order to destabilize Rwanda. The Commission would attempt to identify parties aiding or abetting the illegal acquisition of arms by former Rwandese government forces, and recommend measures to curb the illegal flow of arms in the subregion.

The Commission would need the freedom to obtain from all relevant sources information it considered necessary to carry out its work, including the review of information from investigations of other persons or bodies. In this connection, the Security Council should, as appropriate, request States, international and other organizations and private individuals to provide whatever relevant information they may have to the Commission as soon as possible and to furnish any other assistance that may be required. In addition, any information collected by the Sanctions Committee established under resolution 918 (1994) should be made available to the Commission.

To carry out its mandate effectively, the Commission would need to have the full cooperation and support of the Governments in whose territories it would conduct investigations. These Governments would be requested to take appropriate measures to guarantee the safety and security of the members of the Commission and to ensure that they have the necessary freedom of movement and contacts in order to conduct their investigations. The Commission would require free access, without prior notification, to all sites it deemed necessary for its work, including border points, air fields, refugee camps and other relevant locations. It would also have to be free to interview any person in private, without prior notification. The Governments concerned would have to respect the integrity and freedom of witnesses, experts and other persons who may be called by the Commission, including guaranteeing their security.

The Commission would be composed of an eminent person, appointed by the Secretary-General, who would serve as its Chairman, assisted by 5 to 10 legal, military and police experts and the appropriate support staff. These experts would be contributed by Member States, at the reqest of the Secretary-General, but would be paid by the United Nations and would serve in their personal capacity.

Commission members should be granted all relevant privileges and immunities provided for by the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations. The members of the Commission would have the status of experts on mission in accordance with article VI of the Convention and any staff of the Secretariat attached to the Commission would have the status of officials in accordance with articles V and VII of the Convention.

The proposal to establish such a Commission was initially made by the Government of Zaire. In its note verbale of 10 August to the President of the Security Council (S/1995/683), the Government of Zaire reiterated its support for this idea and offered to assist an international commission of inquiry established under United Nations auspices. I therefore recommend that the Commission commence its work in Zaire. In the meantime, I would pursue my consultations with the other concerned countries in the region, so that the Commission could, in due course, extend its work to these countries.

The Commission would submit an initial report on its findings to the Security Council, through the Secretary-General, within three months of commencing its work. It would submit a final report, including its recommendations, as soon as possible thereafter.

Should the Security Council decide to establish such a Commission, I recommend that it be financed through the regular budget of the United Nations. However, pending approval of its budget by the relevant bodies, I would call upon Member States to provide voluntary contributions through the Secretary General's Trust Fund for Rwanda so that the Commission could begin its work immediately.

As I noted in my report of 8 August (S/1995/678), during my visit to the subregion last July, it was widely recognized by the Governments concerned that destabilizing influences, including the illegal acquisition of arms, could be prevented through cooperative efforts.

I believe that a Commission of Inquiry on the lines described in this letter would be an important element in preventing renewed conflict in the region, provided that it enjoyed the support and cooperation of all concerned. On this basis, I recommend that the Security Council decide to establish it forthwith.

I should be grateful if you would bring the contents of this letter to the attention of the members of the Security Council.

(Signed) Boutros BOUTROS-GHALI

Note: The Commission recommended by the Secretary-General was approved by the Security Council in Resolution 1013 on 7 September 1995.


S/1995/762 31 August 1995


I should like to share with you my concern over recent developments in the Great Lakes Region. As you are aware, I visited the region last July where I urged the Government of Rwanda to work towards political stability and return to normalcy in the country. I was particularly struck by the deep scars left by the genocide of April 1994 on the Rwandese society which still remain to be healed. I had also an opportunity to witness the inhuman conditions in Rwandese prisons where 51,000 prisoners were being held in facilities meant for 12,500 prisoners and the paralysis in the Rwandese justice system. Last week, the refoulement of refugees from Zaire added to the already precarious security situation in the region and raised the possibility of yet another humanitarian tragedy.

I have already shared with you correspondence exchanged between His Excellency Mr. Kengo wa Dongo, Prime Minister of the Republic of Zaire, and myself following the refoulement of Rwandese and Burundese refugees from Zaire. I have since received assurances from the Government of Zaire that it will not pursue forcible repatriation of refugees. The High Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs. Sadako Ogata, at my request, is currently undertaking consultations with the Government of Zaire and other countries in the region to ensure the safe, voluntary and orderly repatriation of refugees.

In this context, she will seek to ensure that the countries of the region honour their commitments to the Tripartite Agreements, the Nairobi Summit Declaration as well as the Bujumbura Plan of Action. Mrs. Ogata met with the Prime Minister of Zaire in Geneva today. The Prime Minister wishes the repatriation to be completed by 31 December 1995. The Prime Minister made evident the political and social pressures the refugees were imposing on Zaire. While appreciating the special needs of the host countries, Mrs. Ogata has made it clear that a policy of forcible repatriation will not solve the problem. She will continue her consultations in the region and will report to me next week.

I should, however, add that the enormous economic, environmental and political burden which the presence of almost 2 million refugees places on the Governments and peoples of Zaire, Tanzania and other countries in the region needs to be fully recognized.

Following my visit and that of Foreign Minister Kinkel of Germany, I asked Under-Secretary-General Peter Hansen to initiate urgent measures to address the crisis arising as a result of prison conditions in Rwanda and the inability of the justice system to process the cases of those incarcerated. A United Nations mission has just returned from Rwanda and has prepared a two- pronged strategy to address this dual but closely related problem. This strategy would, on the one hand, enable immediate action to improve prison conditions including provision of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the prisoners and also expand the prison capacity by up to 21,000. At the same time, the Government of Rwanda will receive assistance to strengthen its justice system (50 legal experts are being provided to Rwanda urgently), as well as to reinforce its commitment and capacity to implement a proper arrest and detention policy. This includes ensuring the effective functioning of the Commission de Triage intended to screen those arrested through provision of assistance by the Human Rights Field Operations in Rwanda (HRFOR).

In order to implement this strategy in a most expeditious manner, I am entrusting my Special Representative in Rwanda with the overall responsibility for coordination through the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) with special advisory support from the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator. Of course, the successful implementation of this strategy will require the full cooperation and support of the Government of Rwanda as well as the donor community. Extensive consultations are currently being undertaken by Under-Secretary-General Hansen to raise US$ 10 million required. I am encouraged by the initial positive response from several Member States who have offered cash and in- kind contributions. With this support, I am confident that this strategy can be implemented within six to eight weeks.

I have also taken steps to reinforce system-wide coordination structures in Burundi and Rwanda. The Department of Humanitarian Affairs is dispatching two officers to support the Office of my Special Representative in Burundi in the coordination of humanitarian assistance. In Rwanda the Department of Humanitarian Affairs continues to assume responsibility of coordinating humanitarian actions. UNHCR, in collaboration with the Rwandese Ministry of Rehabilitation, takes care of the reception of returning refugees and monitors the situation.

Steps have also been taken to set up a Regional Integrated Information Unit (RIIU) which had been recommended by the Inter- Agency Standing Committee composed of all relevant humanitarian organizations. Based in Nairobi, the RIIU will fill existing gaps in the flow and analysis of information, thereby enhancing the international humanitarian community's capacity to develop and implement integrated approaches to address the problems of the region. With donor support this structure should be established by 1 October 1995.

A lasting solution of the crisis facing the Great Lakes Region lies only in the early restoration of political stability and security in the countries of the region. As you know, I have appointed Ambassador Jesus of Cape Verde as my Special Envoy for the preparation and convening of the Conference on Peace, Security and Development in the Great Lakes Region called for in Security Council resolution 1011 (1995). Ambassador Jesus will be proceeding to the region later this week to consult with all concerned and will report to me on the outcome of his consultations. Ambassador Jesus will also travel to donor countries and hold talks with multilateral institutions to facilitate longerterm activities in host communities and in areas of return.

As communicated earlier to the Security Council, I have proposed the establishment of the Commision of Enquiry on the supply of arms to the region for which the Terms of Reference and operating modalities were spelt out in my communication. Upon the concurrence of the Security Council, I will dispatch a mission to the area and report to the Council within the proposed three- month period.

Notwithstanding the recent changes in Rwandese Government, I am confident that we will continue our work in a constructive and positive spirit to enhance Rwanda's capacity for ensuring the observance of human rights for all its citizens, the safety of the returnees and justice for all. As you know, the HRFOR is concentrating on confidence-building measures aimed at promoting national reconciliation and a programme of technical assistance and advisory services designed principally for the rehabilitation of the Rwanda justice system. At present, a senior-level mission from the High Commissioner for Human Rights is visiting Rwanda to accelerate support for strengthening these efforts.

I have also been concerned over the slow pace of progress in the establishment of the International Tribunal. Notwithstanding the technical, logistical and other problems, I have asked the Chief Prosecutor, Mr. Goldstone, to do his best to accelerate the work on the International Tribunal. He shall be reaching Rwanda on 30 August and will report to me on the outcome of his visit to the region.

I should also like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the efforts of many Member States who have intervened with the Governments of the region to support these efforts and have made financial and other contributions.

I should be grateful if you could bring this letter to the attention of the members of the Council.

(Signed) Boutros BOUTROS-GHALI


Correction: In the announcement sent out by APIC on August 21 of the report "The Reality of Aid 1995," the fax number for the distributor Island Press was given incorrectly. The correct fax number is 707-983-6414.


Message-Id: From: "Africa Policy Information Center" Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 14:40:12 +0000 Subject: Rwanda: Recent UN Documents