U.N. officers hoping to head off Rwanda's 1994 genocide wrote U.N. headquarters about leaked plans to exterminate the country's minority Tutsis, but received no orders to take action, a French newspaper reported Sunday.
The report that a top Rwandan official disclosed a plan for genocide - and that U.N. officials failed to act on it - came amid a widening French parliamentary investigation into who was to blame for the slaughter that left at least 500,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus dead.The article by the Journal de Dimanche included a copy of the fax dated Jan. 11, 1994, which said an unnamed U.N. commander was "put in contact with a very important government politician. Informant is a top-level trainer" in the main Hutu militia.
The extremist militia spearheaded the genocide campaign that began on April 6, 1994, and ended three months later when Tutsi rebels toppled the Hutu government.
The informant, identified only as "Jean-Pierre," spoke to Belgian Col. Luc Marchal and provided pictures of stockpiled arms, hit lists and militia training videos, the newspaper said.
The informant said one plan called for the militia to target opposition lawmakers and Belgian soldiers in January, according to the faxed message.
"Deputies were to be assassinated upon entry or exit from parliament," the U.N. fax said. "Belgian troops were to be provoked, and if Belgian soldiers resorted to force, a number of them were to be killed and thus guarantee Belgian withdrawal from Rwanda."
While that mission wasn't carried out, tensions exploded two months later when President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane was shot down, killing both him and the president of Burundi.