ENTEBBE DISAPPEARED BEHIND US. The bright, lush grassland gave way to the swirling gray currents of Lake Victoria. The enormous Ilyushin screeched up into the towering white clouds that billowed over the vastness of Central Africa, while the Russian crew slugged vodka from a seemingly endless supply of bottles buried somewhere in the cavernous belly of the transport plane. The roads to Kigali were blocked, and the aircraft was being used by the United Nations to transport food to the city. The crew agreed to take us, a small group of journalists, after we had left the RPF base at Mulindi and traveled back into Uganda, in search of another way of reaching the Rwandan capital. It was 10 April, four days after the death of President Habyarimana. Reports from Kigali told of a sudden eruption of violence within an hour of the presidential aircraft crashing. The UN office in the city, headquarters of the Unamir military, political, and humanitarian units charged with overseeing the implementation of the Arusha accord, became the major source of information, 1 as its officials rapidly became spectators and commentators on events in which the UN military element was neither equipped nor mandated to intervene.
What was to become, within three months, the most intense period of slaughter at any time in the twentieth century anywhere in the world, with more people killed per day than even during the Nazi Holocaust, spawned a succession of further grotesque injustices, as the truth of what was taking place was twisted by politicians and media who either failed to grasp the enormity of the crime, or who indeed wished to manipulate it for personal or