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UN Cuts Off Rwanda Genocide Survivor So Ban Can Leave For Another Event

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 15 -- At the UN's annual commemoration of the Rwanda genocide on Monday night at the UN, survivor Virginie Ingabire was telling the story of how most of her relatives were killed with machetes one night in Kitarama. She was left walking to Goma with the one month old baby her killed mother left behind.

  But right then, in the middle of her story, a UN functionary whispered to the master of ceremonies Stephane Dujarric, who went and whispered on the podium with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Then the functionary crossed to where Ms. Ingabire was speaking and whispered in her ear.

  Video here, at Minute 55:50.

  I've been told I have only one minute left, Ms. Ingabire stopped and said. I can't tell you, then, how I got to Goma, or what happened there. She rushed to a close.

  The moment she finished, Dujarric announced that Ban Ki-moon and President of the General Assembly Vuk Jeremic had another event to go to, to remain seated while they left.

  One wondered: couldn't Ban (and Jeremic, though he was not whispered to) have gotten up and left while Ms. Ingabire continued her stories? Was it somehow classier to have the genocide survivor's story cut short?

  Rwandan foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo in her speech said that the then-Hutu government of Rwanda mis-used its seat on the Security Council in 1994 “with allies.”

  That would be France -- click here to see a 1994 memo by then French Deputy Permanent Representative Representative to the UN Herve Ladsous, who shockingly (or tellingly) is now Ban's chief of UN Peacekeeping.

  Ladsous was not seen at Monday night's commemoration, but French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud was there, in the front row. Earlier in the day, he circulated a draft resolution authorizing France to use “all necessary means” in Mali. Watch this site.

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