Magazine article UN Chronicle

Deteriorating Security Situation Continues: UNAMIR Mandate Extended

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Deteriorating Security Situation Continues: UNAMIR Mandate Extended

Article excerpt

Expressing concern over the deterioration of security in Rwanda, particularly in the capital city of Kigali, the Security Council on 5 April extended the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) until 29 July.

The Council specified that it did so on the understanding that, within the following six weeks, it would review the situation, including the role played by the UN in Rwanda, if informed by the UN Secretary-General that the transitional institutions provided for under the Arusha Peace Agreement, signed on 4 August 1993, had not been established, and that "insufficient progress has been made" to increase the Mission to its full strength of about 2,600, in order to monitor disengagement, demobilization and integration of the Government and the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) forces. UNAMIR now numbers 2,539.

In unanimously adopting resolution 909 (1994), the 15-member body regretted the delay in implementing the Arusha Agreement and urged the parties to resolve their latest differences without delay, with a view to the immediate establishment of those transitional institutions.

While welcoming the fact that, up to that point, the cease-fire had been respected and commending the essential contribution made by UNAMIR, the Council recalled nevertheless that continued support for the Mission would depend on the full and prompt implementation by the parties to the Arusha Agreement.

Secretary-General's report

On 30 March, the Secretary-General reported (S/1994/360) that, despite agreement in December 1993 by the Rwandese Government and the RPF to set up a broad-based transitional Government and the Transitional National Assembly before the end of 1993, that had not taken place because of the parties' inability to agree on relevant modalities, including the lists of members of those institutions.

In accordance with the Arusha Agreement, which provided that the incumbent head of State would remain in office until the outcome of elections to be held at the end of the transitional period, Major-General Juvenal Habyarimana had been sworn in as President on 5 January.

Broad consensus among political leaders to install a transitional Government--reached in mid-February after a series of consultations organized by the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Rwanda, Jacques-Roger Booh Booh--was derailed following an outbreak of violence on 21 February, during the course of which two important leader's were murdered. Efforts to break the stalemate, with the participation of Mr. Booh Booh and the Presidents of Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania, continued during march.

Ceremonies were organized in February and March to install the transitional institutions, but did not take place because of political boycotts and other obstacles.

A rapid deterioration

Owing in part to the continuing political stalemate, the Secretary-General said there had been a rapid and dramatic deterioration in the security

situation in Kigali, including assassinations, violent demonstrations and roadblocks.

"While most incidents can be attributed to armed banditry, which has been growing as a result of the ready availability of weapons, ethnic and politically-motivated crimes, including assassinations and murders, also have increased", the Secretary-General stated. Those incidents, unless contained or stopped, could lead to an environment of heightened insecurity that could hinder the implementation of the Arusha Agreement, he concluded.

UNAMIR had stressed to all parties that no ammunition should be brought into Rwanda before the transitional Government was installed. There were increasing reports, however, of distribution of weapons to civilians. The Government forces, he said, continued to mine major roads.

Humanitarian concerns

The humanitarian situation in Rwanda had become "even more worrying as new challenges have compounded existing difficulties and deepened the crisis", the Secretary-General reported. …

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