KOFI ANNAN AND UNITED NATIONS ARE STAINED
WITH BLOOD --
HON. CYNTHIA A.
(Extensions of Remarks - November 16, 2001)
HON. CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Friday, November 16, 2001
Mr. Speaker, now I think I've just about seen and heard everything: Kofi
Annan and the United Nations being announced as joint recipients of this
year's Nobel Peace Prize. I'm not saying there wasn't a time in the UN's
history when it wasn't deserved. What I'm saying is I don't believe it's
deserved right now. Instead, I believe that to award the UN and Kofi Annan
now amounts to an insult to the millions that have died at the hands of the
United Nations in recent years.
Mr. Speaker, Kofi Annan and the United Nations are stained with the blood
of millions of dead people.
Let me tell you about some of their recent failures.
Let me start with their greatest failure--Rwanda. The 1994 Rwandan
genocide must amount to one of the greatest humanitarian failures of any
generation. Kofi Annan was the Director of UN Peacekeeping based in New York
and was personally responsible for the UN Peace Keeping force in Rwanda. The
now famous informant Jean Pierre had warned Dallaire and the UN leadership of
the coming mass slaughter but his information was cavalierly dismissed.
Tragically, as had been predicted, Rwanda exploded into an orgy of violence
the likes of which the last century had never seen. At the end of 100 days an
estimated 1,000,000 Rwandan men, women, and children had been bludgeoned,
macheted, and axed to death. The daily death rate was five times that of the
Nazi industrial death camps. Instead of reinforcing the UN contingent in
Kigali, the UN actually ordered the withdrawal of their troops. It was then
that the killing in Kigali exploded. Of course, the US bears much of the
blame for the UN's inaction.
And now the much-celebrated International Tribunal for Rwanda has become
yet another UN bureaucratic disaster. Repeated UN investigations have found
widespread mismanagement, wastage, incompetence, and corruption. The Tribunal
has prosecuted a fraction of the Rwandan genocide suspects it holds in
custody. It has even been criticized by its own Appeal Court of prosecutorial
incompetence and failing to observe elementary due process considerations.
Sadly, the Tribunal, which should have brought justice to the region, has
instead become another multi-million dollar UN boondoggle. Srebrenica, a name
now associated with one of the worst crimes in Europe since WWII or as Judge
Riad of the ICTY described it, ``. . . a place where thousands of men were
executed, hundreds buried alive, men and women mutilated and slaughtered,
children killed before their mother's eyes, and a grandfather was forced to
eat the liver of his own grandson.'' These are truly scenes from hell written
on the darkest pages of human history. The UN created a safe haven in
Srebrenica and encouraged civilians to enter en masse so as to be under UN
military protection. Only one condition applied--entry into the UN safe haven
required uslim fighters to surrender their weapons. This they did, hoping
that if ever the need arose they would get them back. They were to be sorely
disappointed on that score.
When it became apparent that General ladic was separating the men from
the women and then killing them in the nearby fields, the Dutch UN troops
began pleading for UN military support. But, just like Rwanda, the UN
leadership once again became paralyzed and failed. They dithered over air
strikes, they refused to send in troops to help the beleaguered Dutch and in
the end, just as with Rwanda, the UN withdrew their troops. This permitted
General ladic to remove an estimated 5,000-8,000 Muslims from in and around
the UN compound in Potocari and slaughter them.
To this day the United Nations and no UN official has ever been held
criminally or civilly liable, let alone even publicly admonished, for their
massive failures in Srebrenica. All the families of the thousands of victims
can do now is pick up the pieces of their broken families and attempt to
restart their lives.
Mr. Speaker, sadly there is more.
East Timor. In late August 1999, the UN and now Secretary General Annan,
called for elections on the small island country of East Timor despite
disturbing evidence that hard line elements in the Indonesian military were
preparing to cause wide spread public disorder so as to disrupt the
elections. The UN failed to provide adequate protection for the civilian
population. Dili was burnt to the ground and East Timor was engulfed in
violence. After weeks of killing and millions of dollars of damage, the
Australian government sent in ground troops to restore order to East Timor;
but by then, it was too late to save East Timor from UN bungling.
Sierra Leone. So bad was the UN's conduct in Sierra Leone in June 2000
that their long time supporter and friend, edicins Sans Frontieres, felt
compelled to speak out and complain. SF complained bitterly that the UN
troops fled a RUF attack on the Sierra Leonean town of Kabala.
In so doing SF said that the UN had failed its mandate to protect
civilian populations, many of whom were sick women and malnourished children
in the SF hospital.
Cambodia. There is now mounting evidence that UN Peacekeeping troops
actually caused an explosion of AIDS in Cambodia in 1992. In January of this
year Richard Holbrooke, the then US Ambassador to the UN, launched an
unprecedented attack upon the UN during his last UTN address saying ``. . .
it would be the cruelest of ironies if people who had come to end war . . .
were spreading the most deadly of diseases . . . it will kill more people and
undermine more societies than even the most critical conflicts we discuss
here.'' And despite Ambassador Holbrooke's warnings there are concerns that
right now in East Timor UN staff could be causing yet another AIDS epidemic.
Some things just never seem to change.
Mr. Speaker, let me put it squarely on the record. I believe in the UN. I
believe that our country should support the UN. But I do not think that we
should blindly lend our support in the face of massive negligence.
I think answers to these questions beg to be asked:
After such repeated UN failures to act upon knowledge of impending
humanitarian disasters, what forgiveness?
After such repeated UN failures to discharge their sacred duties, what
After such ongoing complicity by the UN in repeated slaughters, what