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Rwanda's Ambassador To US Says The Rebuilding Of His Country May Hold Lessons For Iraq - 2003-03-19

The Rwandan ambassador to the United States is looking at the situation in Iraq in terms of his own country’s history. Specifically, he’s comparing the UN Security Council’s alleged inaction on Iraq to the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

Ambassador Richard Sezibera wrote an article on the subject that was published today in the Washington Post newspaper. He talked about it with English to Africa reporter Richard Kotey in Washington. He said there was some minor editing, but generally the published version of his article reflects his thoughts on the Iraqi situation.

Mr. Sezibera said he believes the international community has an obligation to act whenever people are threatened with extermination. He said as was the case with Rwanda in 1994, the international community did not act with speed; hence the genocide. Mr. Sezibera said the Security Council is obliged to act if it decides that a country has amassed weapons of mass destruction and is a threat to international peace and security. He said it is not enough to talk: the Council’s duty is to act. He said that he cannot speak for the United States, but he thinks that where the US feels threatened, it has the right to act.

Click above links to download or listen to interview with Rwandan ambassador.