The calm would be short because the UN did not approve. Kofi Annan, then Under-Secretary-General, had just been promoted from Peacekeeping Operations Director. While in that position he presided over the murder, often by machete, of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis in Rwanda. Canadian General Roméo Dallaire, then heading the UN force in Rwanda, writes in his book Shake Hands With the Devil of his anger and utter despair when Annan intervened to halt the reinforcements and logistical support Dallaire desperately needed to stop the genocide.
Annan and his UN colleagues were faced with an embarrassing PR dilemma. After all, these South African mercenaries were muscular super-racists fresh from Fortress Apartheid. They were supposed to be flogging black people, not freeing them from an entirely black-orchestrated terror. This exercise constituted an intolerably dangerous debunking of the officially sanctioned dogma. Annan had built his career on the idea he was a beacon of light emerging from colonialism’s black hole. UN reaction was swift; ditch the nasty Boers and replace them with a limp-wristed UN force that quickly lost control. Annan became Secretary General beginning in 1997 and on his watch the RUF and Taylor were soon back in the mix. The bloodletting continued until the belated intervention of the great colonials themselves, the beastly British.
Kofi Annan went on to become co-recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize before supervising the scandalous Iraqi “Oil for Food” program in which his son Kojo was a beneficiary. Now he is the point man in the combustible mix that is Syria. If his track record is anything to go by, expect more posturing and mayhem.
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