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U.N. Chief Urges Watch Against Genocide

The world must stay alert for warning signs of future genocides to prevent a repeat of massacres like that in Rwanda, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Wednesday. “The genocide in Rwanda should never have happened. But it did,” Annan told the U.N. Human Rights Commission. The United Nations, governments and the media paid too little attention to “gathering signs of disaster” in 1994 in the central African nation, he said. Annan spoke shortly after the 53-nation commission — the top U.N. rights watchdog — marked the 10th anniversary of the slaughter, orchestrated by the Hutu-extremist government then in power. At least 500,000 people were known to have been killed in the 100-day massacre, though some estimates range as high as 800,000. “We must all acknowledge our responsibility for not having done more to prevent or stop the genocide. But are we confident that, confronted by a new Rwanda today, we can respond effectively, in good time?” he asked. Full Story

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