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Rep. Cynthia McKinney Calls for Hearing on 1994 Rwandan Genocide and Security in Great Lakes Region

April 10, 1998

"The carnage (nearly a million killed) that resulted from the US foreign policy in Rwanda, or the lack thereof, cannot be ignored."

(Washington)- Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), of the International Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, has called for a hearing on the twin subjects of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and the present security situation in that Great Lakes region. Set for May 5, 1998 the hearing will be the first of its kind, giving voice to an African Head of State and a number of high level international witnesses before the U. S. Congress, America, and the world.

The Rwandan genocide of 1994 is one of the most tragic episode in U. S. foreign policy in recent history, "compared only to the assassination of Patrice Lamumba," said McKinney. While the world stood by and watched, nearly one million people were killed in under 100 days. "It was the worst massacre of its kind since the World War II holocaust," McKinney continued.

"This hearing is not nearly enough, but Belgium and France have set an example for what the U. S. needs to do. The Watergate questions of who knew what and when deserve to be answered," said McKinney. The United States, Belgium, and France were privy to advance knowledge of this massacre, yet all failed to act responsibly.

It is now known that the U. S. [White House and State Department] failed to act when called upon by the U N Security Council and that high ranking officials were urged to refrain from using the word genocide in the face of what was known to have been a planned massacre.

"This hearing will begin to uncover the causes of the genocide and provide some reasons for the international community's inaction while nearly one million people were slaughtered," McKinney stated.

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