Author-card of document number 13273

Saturday April 16, 1994
U.N. council says Rwanda ceasefire is priority
Identifier (cote)
Public records
Dépêche d'agence
UNITED NATIONS, April 15 (Reuter) - The Security Council said late
Friday the immediate priority in civil war-torn Rwanda was the
establishment of a ceasefire between government forces and the Rwanda
Patriotic Front (RPF).

Council members demand that the parties agree to an immediate
ceasefire and return to the negotiating table,
said a statement read
to reporters by council President Colin Keating of New Zealand.

In the members' view, the immediate priority in Rwanda is the
establishment of a ceasefire between the government forces and the

No immediate decision was announced on the future of the 2,500-man U.N.
Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), set up last year to help
implement an agreement signed in Arusha, Tanzania, aimed at ending a
three-year civil war.

Fighting erupted with new intensity last week after Rwandan President
Juvenal Habyarimana and President Cyprien Ntaryamira of neighbouring
Burundi were killed when their plane was shot down April 6 as it was
landing at Kigali, the capital, after a flight from Tanzania.

The council said it intended to keep under constant review the force
levels and activities of UNAMIR and to take decisions in this regard
at the appropriate time.

This reflected its inability to decide what future role, if any, the
U.N. force might play until the chaotic situation became clearer in
Rwanda, where the RPF and government forces are still battling for

The statement said members fully understood Belgium's decision to
withdraw its 420-man contingent from UNAMIR at the same time that it
repatriated troops sent in last week to provide security for the
evacuation of foreign nationals.

Ten Belgian U.N. peacekeepers were among the thousands of people
butchered in an orgy of bloodletting, mostly between members of the
minority Tutsi tribe and the Hutu, who controlled the Habyarimana

The council statement also noted the willingness of other major troop
contributing countries to maintain their troops with UNAMIR
as long as
there was a useful role for them.

The largest remaining U.N. contingents are from Bangladesh, with about
940 soldiers, and from Ghana, with some 840. About 20 other countries
provide much smaller numbers.

The council urged the U.N. special representative in Rwanda,
Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh of Cameroon, to make every effort to facilitate
a ceasefire and reaffirmed that the Arusha peace agreement remained the
only viable framework for resolving the conflict.

Underlining the gravity of the situation, the council said it was
determined not to allow the security of UNAMIR personnel to be placed
at serious risk.

(c) Reuters Limited 1994

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