UN slashes Rwanda force

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The Independent Online
THE UNITED NATIONS Security Council yesterday interrupted its marathon debate on Bosnia to pass a resolution cutting the UN force in Rwanda to 270, writes Annika Savill.

Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have died there in tribal bloodshed. The original force of 2,500 peace-keepers was reduced by one-third earlier this week.

The decision drew outrage from relief agencies. David Bryer, a director of Oxfam, said: 'It was bitterly ironic that the decision was made on the same day that the Security Council voted to do much more to try to protect the citizens of Gorazde.'

Rwanda's ambassador to the UN, Jean Damascene Bizimana, said the international community had been more concerned with the evacuation of foreigners than the 'anguish of the Rwandan people'. Virtually all foreigners left Rwanda last week.

The resolution leaves the UN force commander, General Romeo Dallaire, to act as intermediary between the warring Hutu and Tutsi and assist relief operations.

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