U.N. chief Kofi Annan faced a hostile session Friday with Rwanda's leaders, outraged at the United Nations' refusal to take responsibility for abandoning their nation to genocide in 1994 - despite warnings the slaughter was coming.
Speaking before the Rwandan parliament on Thursday, Annan acknowledged the world should have done more but said that ultimately, it was up to Rwandans to restore peace."You, and only you, can show the world that there is life even after genocide, love even after hate, humanity even after evil," Annan said.
The secretary-general came here to mend relations between the United Nations and the Central African country, still recovering from a three-month killing campaign by the former, Hutu-led government that butchered at least a half-million minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
The United Nations had expected a tough time from the Tutsi-led administration that now governs Rwanda. But the depth of the anger was surprising.
With Annan looking on, the foreign minister blasted the U.N. chief before a chamber full of applauding lawmakers. Later, President Pasteur Bizimungu and other top leaders boycotted a reception for Annan after his own speech to parliament.
Presidential spokesman Joseph Bideri said Annan's speech "was arrogant, insensitive and insulting to the Rwandese people."