Ex-U.N. Commander in Rwanda Sends Warning Gen. Romeo Dallaire, who commanded U.N. forces in Rwanda during that nation's genocide sent a letter this week to the joint United Nations-African Union forces whose task is to stabilize Darfur.
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Ex-U.N. Commander in Rwanda Sends Warning

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Ex-U.N. Commander in Rwanda Sends Warning

Ex-U.N. Commander in Rwanda Sends Warning

Ex-U.N. Commander in Rwanda Sends Warning

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Gen. Romeo Dallaire, who commanded U.N. forces in Rwanda during that nation's genocide sent a letter this week to the joint United Nations-African Union forces whose task is to stabilize Darfur.

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

General Dallaire, thanks very much for being with us.

L: All right.

SIMON: What are some of the obstacles that General Agwai faces in commanding this force in Darfur?

L: None of those capabilities are there. On top of that, we've created a hybrid entity of the African Union and the U.N. that requires some pretty sophisticated staff work and staff officers. Again, those are not necessarily available.

SIMON: How does this work? Or how do you foresee that, alas, it may not work if the general in command on the ground has to go through both the United Nations in New York and the African Union in Addis Ababa?

L: You got it. I mean, where will his authority come from? And who will be the ultimate political leadership when you will have to conduct delicate and difficult operations. As an example, take on the Janjaweed. As an example, take on some of the rebel forces.

SIMON: What could make this force work, General Dallaire?

L: The fiddling behind the scenes of some not wanting to play, like the Arab League and the Muslim community, of the developing world, picking and choosing where it wants to go and is ready to throw some cash at the problem and hopefully it disappear. Like Darfur, as we've seen in the last four years, even though the Americans have called it a genocide and not responded to it. And the ultimate inability of the political will in the world to recognize that they all signed up in September 2005 to a new concept that holds them accountable. And that concept was the concept of the responsibility to protect that says that if a country massively abuses the human rights of its people or can't stop it, we have a responsibility to go in and help sort it out. And so they backed off from that. And that to me is just as bad as Rwanda was.

SIMON: Thanks very much for being with us, General.

L: Yes. But remain optimistic. We will, one day - it might take a couple of centuries - but we will bring a solution about.

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