Progress Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Assistance Mission For Rwanda
|Publisher||UN Security Council|
|Publication Date||8 August 1995|
|Citation / Document Symbol||S/1995/678|
|Reference||1995 Security Council Reports|
|Cite as||UN Security Council, Progress Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Assistance Mission For Rwanda, 8 August 1995, S/1995/678, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aed114.html [accessed 23 May 2013]|
1. The present report is submitted pursuant to resolution 997 (1995) of 9 June 1995, in which the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) until 8 December 1995. In that resolution, the Council also decided to adjust the mandate of UNAMIR to emphasize peace-building activities and authorized the gradual reduction of its troop level.
2. In resolution 997 (1995), the Security Council also asked me to report on the Mission's discharge of its mandate, the humanitarian situation and the progress made towards the repatriation of refugees. In my report of 9 July (S/1995/552), I informed the Council of the outcome of my consultations with the Governments of the countries neighbouring Rwanda on the possibility of deploying United Nations military observers, in accordance with paragraph 6 of resolution 997 (1995). During the reporting period, the Council was provided with regular oral briefings on developments related to Rwanda. The present report provides an update on the situation as at 3 August.
3. For the past year or more Rwanda has tried to grapple with the aftermath of genocide. A quarter of its population is still in refugee camps near its borders, a lingering legacy of the tragic events of 1994. However, the security situation in the country has improved markedly since my report to the Council of 4 June (S/1995/457). Working relations between the Government of National Unity and UNAMIR have also improved and a spirit of cooperation with United Nations programmes and agencies, international non-governmental organizations and bilateral donors has emerged. My visit to Rwanda on 13 and 14 July was intended to help strengthen those positive trends. It also offered a useful opportunity for an exchange of views with the country's leadership on the problems that remain to be solved.
II. POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS
4. During the period under review, the Government has taken certain steps to improve relations with neighbouring countries, especially Burundi, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zaire. The Ministers of Defence of Burundi, Rwanda and Zaire met at Bujumbura on 9 June and agreed to organize joint border patrols and to put into effect other measures that would improve security along their borders. The Foreign and Defence Ministers of Burundi and the Defence Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania visited Rwanda in July to discuss cooperation and other issues of mutual interest. This increase in bilateral contacts in the region is an encouraging sign.
5. Efforts to enhance the administration of justice, establish law and order and promote national reconciliation have continued. On 17 July, the Minister of Justice inaugurated a four-month training course for future magistrates. However, although senior government officials, including the Vice-President and Minister of Defence, Major-General Paul Kagame, have publicly called on the army and security forces to respect the rights of citizens, acts of violence continue to be reported.
6. The Government has continued to take measures aimed at building confidence and encouraging the voluntary return of refugees. On 20 June, it issued a statement that opened the possibility for contacts with refugee representatives who have not been implicated in acts of genocide. At the same time, it has encouraged refugees to visit Rwanda to assess conditions there personally and thus expedite the pace of repatriation. Conferences and seminars on national reconciliation, organized with the assistance of the United Nations Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda (see para. 16 below), have been convened. In addition, Radio UNAMIR, which can now be received in over 70 per cent of the territory of Rwanda, has continued its confidence-building broadcasts and provides the population with factual and objective information on the situation in the country. Once UNAMIR receives the Government's authorization to install the remainder of Radio UNAMIR's equipment, the broadcasts should also reach Rwandan refugee camps in Zaire.
7. In my last report on Rwanda (S/1995/552), I noted that the Government, in accordance with the provisions of the Arusha Peace Agreement (A/48/824-S/26915, annex I), had submitted to the National Assembly a list of suggested nominees for the posts of President and five Deputy Presidents of the Supreme Court. Several candidates on the list were not acceptable to the National Assembly and efforts are under way to identify mutually acceptable nominees. In addition, on 19 July, after reports that a government official had asserted that political activities by non-governmental parties were prohibited, President Pasteur Bizimungu stated that, while multi-party political activities, as such, had not been banned, "political competition and mutual accusations among political parties that cause instability and divisions" would not be allowed. Although restrictions aimed at preventing political extremism can be imposed in a pluralistic environment, the above reports are cause for concern since such restrictions in Rwanda will do nothing to foster national reconciliation.
My visit to Rwanda
8. Against the background of these trends, I visited Rwanda on 13 and 14 July to observe at first hand the progress made and the challenges that remain. During this visit, on which I briefed the Security Council on 25 July, I held detailed discussions with senior government officials, including President Bizimungu, Vice-President Kagame and Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu. I addressed a special session of the National Assembly, which was followed by an exchange of views with parliamentarians. I also met with representatives of Rwandan non-governmental organizations that are actively involved in the field of human rights and represent survivors of the genocide. During a visit to Nyarubuye in south-eastern Rwanda, I placed a wreath at an official site dedicated to the memory of victims of genocide. An aerial inspection of prisons in Kigali and Nsinda helped to focus public attention on the urgent need to alleviate the inhuman conditions in Rwandan jails.
9. A convergence of views emerged from my discussions with government officials on the priority tasks facing Rwanda. These included national reconciliation, the maintenance of security within the country and along its borders and reconstruction. I discussed with government officials reports of the growing threat of destabilization beyond Rwanda's borders.
10. With regard to national reconciliation, my discussions focused on efforts to expedite the repatriation of refugees. Special emphasis was placed on the need to create conditions on the ground that would instil the confidence and trust necessary to encourage refugees to return voluntarily in conditions of security and dignity. In this connection, I raised the need to strengthen the national judiciary. I emphasized that the Rwandan people as a whole, as envisaged under the Arusha agreements (A/48/824-S/26915, annexes), must participate fully in their country's governance; only on such a basis could national healing and sustainable economic progress be achieved. As an additional confidence-building measure, I discussed with government officials the possibility of organizing non-official round-table meetings and inviting participants from all sectors of Rwandan society, including the refugee community. At the same time, it is clear that respect for human rights is an essential factor in achieving national reconciliation. While those responsible for acts of genocide should be brought to justice, acts of vengeance or retaliation must not be tolerated. Another issue raised during my stay in Rwanda was the increased threat of destabilization. I emphasized to government officials my strong concern that the people of Rwanda, who had already suffered so much, should not be subjected to another cycle of violence. In my view, the earliest safe return of refugees would diminish the threat of infiltration, sabotage and destabilization from outside the country. As long as large concentrations of refugees remained in neighbouring countries, those dangers would be likely to continue.
11. As noted above, the security situation in Rwanda has improved. Restrictions on UNAMIR's freedom of movement have generally ceased, permitting a more effective execution of the Mission's mandate. In addition, incidents of banditry and theft have decreased significantly in recent months.
12. In some areas, however, acute housing shortages and disputes over property continue to result in acts of violence. In this connection, the closure of camps for internally displaced persons in the south-west and the consequent return of a large number of people to their previous neighbourhoods, as well as the continued repatriation of refugees, have increased the pressure for housing and land. Although their number had decreased, cases of arbitrary arrest and detention continue to cause concern, as do the continuing reports of attacks, disappearances and killings, mostly of new returnees.
13. On 27 July and 1 August, the sub-prefects of Ruhango in Gitarama prefecture and Gikongoro in Gikongoro prefecture were killed by unidentified gunmen, as was a senior Roman Catholic cleric of the parish of Kamonyi in Gitarama prefecture. Investigations have not yet revealed the motive for the crime. Incidents such as these undermine the much-needed atmosphere of security.
14. Tension and lack of security also continue to be reported from areas of Zaire adjacent to Rwanda. Reports of infiltration and sabotage by armed elements, as well as allegations that members of the former government forces and militias are conducting military training and receiving deliveries of arms, have greatly heightened tensions in the border areas. The Governments of both Zaire and Rwanda recently admitted that the situation in the border zone had deteriorated and each has accused the other of involvement. The Government of Rwanda has enhanced security measures, especially in border areas, in order to reduce the threat of destabilization by armed elements, and has requested that restrictions on its acquisition of arms be lifted.
15. On 9 July, I reported to the Security Council (see S/1995/552) pursuant to its request in resolution 997 (1995) that I consult the Governments of the countries neighbouring Rwanda on the possibility of deploying United Nations military observers to monitor the sale or supply of arms and matériel. My Special Envoy, Mr. Aldo Ajello, had visited the region and had found some countries to be reluctant to have such military observers stationed in their territory. I informed the Council on 25 July of my own discussions in the region on this issue. A consensus had emerged concerning the urgent need to prevent acts of violence that might pose a threat to peace and stability in the region. In that connection, some Governments had indicated interest in the establishment, under United Nations auspices, of an international commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of arms deliveries to members of the former Rwandese government forces. All Member States concerned would have to support such a proposal if it were to be effective. I intend to pursue consultations in this regard and, in due course, to present recommendations to the Council on the possible establishment of an international commission.
IV. HUMAN RIGHTS
16. The United Nations Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda continued its efforts to sensitize the Rwandan population to the importance of respecting the human rights of all citizens. As at 1 August 1995, it had deployed 118 members and established 11 field offices throughout the country, which serve as base stations for mobile teams of human rights officers. Plans are under way to establish sub-offices in a number of additional communes in order to maintain a more integrated presence throughout the country. In the meantime, field officers continue to visit communes and meet with civil, judicial and military authorities and the local population. Their work has focused on security, access to property, the functioning of the local judicial system, conditions in detention centres and alleged human rights violations. The Field Operation is also in the process of establishing human rights committees at the provincial or prefectural level, with local participation, which will meet regularly with representatives of various government authorities. During the period under review, the Operation organized educational seminars for civil, military and judicial representatives.
V. INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL FOR RWANDA
17. The six judges of the two trial chambers of the Tribunal elected by the General Assembly in May 1995 have been sworn in and their first plenary session was held from 26 to 30 June at The Hague. During that session, the judges elected Judge Laïty Kama (Senegal) President and Judge Yakov A. Ostrovsky (Russian Federation) Vice-President, and adopted the rules of procedure of the Tribunal. It is imperative that the Tribunal begin its substantive work in the near future.
18. Premises for the Prosecutor's Office at Kigali have been identified and it is expected that it will soon be fully staffed. None the less, more effort is needed to enable the Tribunal to start functioning at Arusha and to maintain a fully operational office at Kigali. On 20 July, in its resolution 49/251, the General Assembly approved some $13.5 million for the financing of the Tribunal's work. However, in view of the enormous material, personnel and logistical requirements necessary to ensure its proper functioning, I reiterate my appeal to Member States to make additional voluntary contributions to the United Nations Voluntary Fund established for the Tribunal. To date, $6.3 million has been contributed to the Fund. I express my appreciation to the Member States concerned.
VI. MILITARY ASPECTS
19. In accordance with the adjusted mandate authorized by the Security Council in its resolution 997 (1995), the activities of the military component of UNAMIR have shifted from providing security to assisting in the normalization of the country. The military component of the Mission also assists in the delivery of humanitarian aid and the provision of engineering and logistical support. Its ability to provide such assistance will, however, be increasingly limited by the gradual reduction of its manpower and other resources.
20. With the authorized reduction in the number of UNAMIR troops to 1,800 by October 1995, the Mission's military component is being drawn down. Units of United Nations troops stationed in various areas throughout the country have been consolidated into company-size formations. Based on operational requirements, the following units will remain in the 21. In accordance with resolution 997 (1995), the repatriation of UNAMIR's troops has begun. To date, the Ethiopian, Tunisian and Zambian infantry battalions have been repatriated, as have some personnel from the Nigerian company. As at 3 August 1995, the strength of UNAMIR's troops had been reduced to 3,571 all ranks. The Australian and Senegalese contingents are expected to be repatriated by late August, while personnel from the Ghanaian and Malian companies are scheduled to go in early September. The Indian infantry battalion is expected to reach its reduced level by early October. The number of military police and Force Headquarters staff will also decrease throughout the period.
22. The same resolution authorized the current strength of UNAMIR's military observers to be maintained at 320. During the reporting period, military observers continued to maintain liaison with government representatives, human rights observers and United Nations agencies and to monitor the security of resettled refugees, internally displaced persons and others.
VII. CIVILIAN POLICE
23. In its resolution 997 (1995), the Security Council decided to maintain the authorized strength of UNAMIR's civilian police component at 120 police observers. As at 3 August, the total strength of the component was 56 observers from nine countries; 21 additional observers are expected to be deployed by mid-August.
24. My report of 4 June (S/1995/457) indicated that the Government of Rwanda had taken the position that the training programme being conducted by the UNAMIR civilian police component should be replaced by bilateral arrangements and that the United Nations police component should be withdrawn once those arrangements were in place. Since that time, the Government has agreed that UNAMIR should continue its training programme throughout the present mandate period. Accordingly, the civilian police component has continued to concentrate on monitoring and training. On 15 June 1995, a second group of 301 gendarmes completed an intensive 16-week training programme conducted by the United Nations. Training of an additional 513 gendarmes started in July and will be followed by that of 100 instructors.
25. With assistance from the international community, the Government of Rwanda has taken steps to strengthen the Communal Police Training Centre. In early July, two projects were approved whereby the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will provide assistance for the training of the national gendarmerie and 1,500 communal police officers. The first group of 750 officers is expected to begin training in early September.
VIII. HUMANITARIAN ASPECTS
26. Despite the efforts of the Rwandan authorities and the international community, in particular UNAMIR, the United Nations Rwanda Emergency Office, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNDP, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the conditions in the prisons now constitute a major humanitarian crisis. Over 50,000 people are now incarcerated in 12 prisons and various places of detention, although the prison capacity is only 12,250. Death rates have been estimated at more than 200 per month. There is therefore a pressing need for more vigorous efforts by the Rwandan authorities and the international community in order to alleviate the prison situation.
27. A number of political and religious leaders have recently visited Rwanda. These include the Minister for Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Mr. Jan Pronk, Archbishop Desmond Tutu from South Africa and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Dr. Klaus Kinkel. Many of these leaders have witnessed the appalling prison conditions. Since his visit, Dr. Kinkel has sent me a communication urging me to do everything possible to put an end to this catastrophic situation.
28. I have requested the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs to initiate, in coordination with the Government of Rwanda and the international community, effective and urgent measures to reverse the situation. The Department of Humanitarian Affairs has already held consultations in New York with United Nations agencies and donor representatives with a view to drawing up a plan of action to secure resources and reaching agreement on a coordination mechanism. Further consultations are envisaged in Geneva prior to a mission led by the Department of Humanitarian Affairs to Kigali next week to finalize the action plan in conjunction with the Government of Rwanda and my Special Representative.
29. Since my report of 4 June (S/1995/457), the rate of repatriation of Rwandan refugees from neighbouring countries has increased slightly. In June, 2,727 refugees returned to Rwanda from Zaire. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that, in addition to the 6,250 refugees repatriated from Burundi under its auspices in June and July, up to 10,000 persons may have returned to Rwanda on their own during the same period.
30. Prospects for the repatriation of refugees from the United Republic of Tanzania to Rwanda improved after officials from both countries met with UNHCR representatives at Kigali from 17 to 19 July to examine modalities for the return of an estimated 700,000 persons. The meeting concluded with an agreement to establish a joint commission on security and the resettlement of refugees. It is also hoped that confidence-building measures sponsored by the Government, the United Nations and non-governmental organizations, such as organized visits by refugees to Rwanda, will encourage repatriation.
31. Since the closure of the camps for internally displaced persons in the south-west of Rwanda, international humanitarian organizations have increased their activities at the commune level. The Government has also started the first phase of its Rehabilitation Programme, targeting 59 communes in priority areas. Food aid deliveries throughout the country have increased and there are sufficient stocks of food in the country and in the region to cover planned distribution programmes. Supplies for emergency distribution, should the need arise, are at present available in adequate quantities.
32. Following a bilateral agreement between the Governments of the United States of America and Rwanda, a national de-mining programme was established in July. Under the terms of the agreement, a national de-mining office will be established and a mine database created. The office will also serve as the focal point for a mine awareness programme, as well as for a programme that will provide de-mining training to 80 government soldiers. These activities will contribute significantly to the reconstruction effort.
33. As at 12 July, the United Nations Trust Fund for Rwanda had received contributions amounting to $6.54 million, including a recent contribution from New Zealand of $200,000. The Fund has financed projects aimed at meeting emergency and rehabilitation needs, as well as the urgent requirements of essential government ministries. As at 1 August, a total of $116 million had been pledged against the sum of $219 million outlined in the 1995 Consolidated Inter-Agency Emergency Appeal for Rwanda; this represents a $36 million increase in pledges since my last report to the Council. For the needs of the subregion, pledges amounted to $346 million, against a total requirement of $587 million, representing an increase of $1 million.
34. Although a large-scale humanitarian effort is still required to meet the massive emergency needs of Rwandan refugees in neighbouring countries, the present emphasis in Rwanda itself is gradually shifting towards rehabilitation and reconstruction. This shift from emergency assistance has required an adjustment in the various United Nations humanitarian programmes and field structures operating in the country. As a result, the United Nations Rwanda Emergency Office, which was established in 1994 under the direction of the Humanitarian Coordinator in Kigali, has begun to prepare for its eventual closure. Transitional arrangements are being made to ensure that the coordination of humanitarian assistance will continue. Among these arrangements is the establishment of a small United Nations Disaster Management Team, headed by the Resident Coordinator, which will ensure that appropriate emergency response measures are prepared and undertaken in a timely and effective manner.
IX. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL ASPECTS
35. Donor countries and United Nations agencies met at Kigali on 6 and 7 July for a mid-term review of the Round-Table Conference held at Geneva in January 1995. The donor community recognized the need to expedite the disbursement of already committed funds and pledged an additional $200 million, bringing to over $800 million the amount pledged since the Conference. At the meeting, progress in rebuilding the country's infrastructure was reported, as was an increase in agricultural production. Formidable challenges remain, however, in the areas of resettlement, budgetary support, national capacity-building and industrial production.
36. Total contributions administered by UNDP through its trust fund arrangement stood at $22 million as at 25 July 1995, at which time $13 million had been received and some $7.5 million disbursed for rehabilitation and development projects, including strengthening the capacity of the justice system; rehabilitation of key administrative buildings; provision of equipment vital to the functioning of Rwandan public administration; expansion of the existing prison capacity; and provision of support to training programmes for the communal police and national gendarmerie.
37. Several programmes aimed at facilitating the return to Rwanda of former members of the country's public service sector have been initiated. UNICEF and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have continued to help provide basic education to Rwandans, both within the country and in refugee camps. In addition, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and UNDP are involved in a project designed to strengthen the Government's capacity to manage its economic, financial and human resources.
38. There have been a number of improvements in alleviating the plight of Rwandan children, many of whom have yet to overcome the trauma inflicted by the horrors of the events of 1994. Of the approximately 45,000 children who lost or were separated from their parents, over 28,000 are now in foster-care facilities and intensive efforts are under way to provide for the rest. In mid-June, 155 prisoners between the ages of 7 and 14 were transferred to a new facility specially designed for children. The demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration of child soldiers is continuing.
X. FINANCIAL ASPECTS
39. In its resolution 49/20 B of 12 July 1995, the General Assembly decided, as an interim measure pending the submission at its fiftieth session of revised cost estimates and the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, to appropriate $109,951,900 gross ($107,584,300 net) for the operation of UNAMIR for the period from 10 June to 31 December 1995. The Assembly also decided that $99,628,200 gross ($97,508,000 net) should be assessed among Member States for the maintenance of UNAMIR for the period from 10 June to 8 December 1995. The revised cost estimates will include two additional posts for the positions of Civilian Police Commissioner and Director of the UNAMIR Liaison Office at Kinshasa.
40. As at 26 July 1995, the total outstanding assessed contributions to the UNAMIR Special Account since the inception of the Mission amounted to $64.7 million. The total outstanding assessed contributions for all peace-keeping operations amounted to $1,779.3 million.
XI. OBSERVATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
41. In the 12 months that have passed since one of the most tragic chapters in Africa's history, the Government of Rwanda has made efforts to stabilize conditions within the country, although the weakness of the economy and the lack of public revenue to run an effective administration continue to frustrate those efforts. This is one reason why many of the causes of the conflict and ensuing genocide remain to be addressed in a determined and comprehensive manner. In addition to the steps taken so far by the Government and the international community, more time and greater efforts are needed before the country can recover from the traumatic events of 1994. Since the tensions on the country's borders could erupt in uncontrollable violence at any moment, it is with a sense of urgency that the Government of Rwanda, the countries in the subregion and other members of the international community must address the vital issues confronting the country.
42. It is imperative that representatives of all sectors of Rwandan society begin talks in order to reach an agreement on a constitutional and political structure to achieve lasting stability. Such talks must, of course, exclude those political leaders suspected of planning and directing the genocide last year, who must be judged by the International Tribunal. The Government of Rwanda should promote such talks so that the thousands of others who live under suspicion can gain confidence and join in the efforts to reconstruct their country.
43. The international community has an important role to play in Rwanda's reconstruction and in encouraging repatriation and reconciliation. I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to States, donor agencies and non-governmental organizations for the vital contributions they have made to promoting peace and rehabilitation in Rwanda. At the same time, I call upon them to intensify their efforts during this critical period in order to help avert a resumption of violence.
44. In accordance with resolution 997 (1995), UNAMIR is taking the necessary steps to draw down its military presence in Rwanda and to implement its new mandate. The Government has encouraged this approach, which reflects the gradually improving conditions in the country. In this connection, I urge it to ensure that visible measures are put in place to ensure respect for human rights and security for all Rwandan people. It is particularly important to continue to encourage the voluntary return of refugees. This would send a clear message to the international community that its assistance for reconstruction should be accelerated.
45. During my visit to the subregion, there was clear consensus among government leaders that instability in any State in the area could have a dramatic effect on all its neighbours. It was widely recognized that destabilizing influences, such as armed infiltrations, acts of sabotage and illegal arms acquisitions, should be prevented through cooperative efforts. Strong interest was expressed in the establishment of an international commission under the auspices of the United Nations to address allegations of arms flows to former government forces. I hope that all Governments concerned will support such an initiative. It is my intention to provide my recommendations in this regard to the Security Council shortly.
46. I discussed with heads of State and Government in the region the idea of convening a regional conference that would consider the interrelated problems of peace, security and development, having in mind the adoption of a specific programme of action. In the meantime, in order to address the urgent problems facing the repatriation of refugees, it may be useful to convene, at the earliest possible date, a regional meeting aimed at developing concrete measures to implement the commitments embodied in the Nairobi Summit declaration of January 1995, the Bujumbura Action Plan of February 1995 and the tripartite agreements signed by UNHCR, Rwanda and neighbouring countries hosting Rwandan refugees. This would be in addition to the possible holding of round-table meetings, in which all sectors of Rwandan society would participate, referred to earlier in the present report. I intend to continue intensive consultations on all of these proposals.
47. In conclusion, I wish to express my appreciation to my Special Representative, Mr. Shaharyar Khan, to the Force Commander, Major-General Guy Tousignant, and to all military, police and civilian personnel of UNAMIR for their continuing efforts and remarkable dedication to the cause of peace and security in Rwanda.