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U.S. Department of State
96/01/26 USUN Press Release #009-(96)
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
USUN PRESS RELEASE #009-(96)
JANUARY 26, 1996
Statement by U.S. Ambassador Madeleine K. Albright
Sunday, January 21, 1996
I have just concluded a very fruitful discussion with the President and
the Vice President. Rwanda is confronted with many challenges this
year, and I believe our talks will help us to address those challenges.
This morning I flew by helicopter to Kibuye and visited the first mass
grave site being exhumed by the International Tribunal. The remains in
that site will be used as evidence in connection with the first eight
indictments issued last month by the Tribunal. My visit to the Kibuye
site was a sobering experience that confronted me with the grim reality
of Rwanda's genocide. You suffered the worst fate that can fall on any
country, the murder of its own people by its own people. The United
States was at the forefront in creating the International Tribunal and
remains at the forefront in supporting its critical work.
I came to Rwanda at the request of President Clinton to assess the
situation here and report back to him as well as to the United Nations
Security Council. Let me commend the government of Rwanda for some
important achievements since taking office, including restoring
stability and rebuilding the infrastructure here. The United States
strongly supports the government of Rwanda. We are determined to be
your friend and ally in the pursue of peace, justice and economic
development. In that spirit I want to announce that we have been
working hard in Washington to find some additional funding up to $1
million dollars within our own budget for the UN human rights field
operation whose monitors are critical to building a better society here.
We intend to secure those funds for a voluntary contribution to the
United Nations programs later this year. We also are finalizing
arrangements to provide two experienced prosecutors to work with the
International Tribunal. The United States has paid its assessments for
the Tribunal and continues to provide a large amount of personnel and
logistical support. We call upon other governments to provide more
financial and logistical support to the Tribunal.
However, in addition to these positive comments I also convey to the
President and Vice President some concerns we have about pressing issues
confronting this country. As a friend of Rwanda, I express my concern
on the following issues. The overcrowding of the prisons must end.
Alternative forms of justice to handle the thousands of men and women in
prison for genocide must be addressed as quickly as possible by the
government. The United States stands prepared to assist in whatever we
can do to establish such mechanisms.
The government needs to work closely with the UNHCR to manage the
repatriation of refugees. Security for the international tribunal and
for humanitarian workers must be established before UNAMIR departs in
march. Humanitarian aid agencies operating in this country deserve the
government's full support. Let me close by saying that these are all
solvable problems. The future of Rwanda can be a bright one and the
United States will continue to help you, Mr. President, and Mr. Vice
President to emerge from genocide and build a prosperous society.
President Clinton sent a letter to the President in which he made clear
that we were concerned and we were committed to Rwanda. Thank you very
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