Kofi Annan writes about why intervention by the United Nations has variously failed and succeeded
In January 1994, General Roméo Dallaire, commanding United Nations forces in Rwanda, sent the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), of which Kofi Annan was then deputy head, a reliable informant’s warning of imminent genocide; Dallaire concluded, “Peux ce que veux. Allons-y.” — “We can do whatever we want. Let’s go”, meaning all options were open to the U.N. Yet in the next 100 days, 800,000 people were slaughtered, in probably the single greatest act of genocide since the Second World War.
Annan, whose 40 years as a U.N. official ended with two terms as Secretary General, is almost painfully honest about why intervention has variously failed and succeeded in what has become one of the Security Council’s main tasks since the U.N. was founded in 1945 — not as a world government but as a forum where superpowers would stalemate one another rather than obliterate all humanity with a paranoid push on a button.
Intervention had to change (…)
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