World has not learnt any lesson from Rwanda – Linda Melvern

Seasoned British investigative journalist Linda Melvern has for the past 23 years dedicated her life to telling the world of the events of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. She wrote two books on the subject; A People Betrayed and Conspiracy to Murder and currently she is working on a third one on the same subject.

Melvern, is among the nine recipients of the Igihango National Order of Outstanding Friendship from President Paul Kagame, in recognition of exemplary service to the people of Rwanda. She had an exclusive interview last week with The New Times’ Felly Kimenyi, in which she talks about the failure of UN in Rwanda, the legacy of ICTR, countering genocide denial and pursuit of Genocide fugitives among other issues.

Excerpts:

How did your story with Rwanda begin?

In 1994, I was completing a book on the 50 year history of the United Nations and it was a book containing the history of UN peacekeeping and it is that moment when the genocide against the Tutsi started, I realised that this was a milestone in the history of the UN and its gracious failure to humanity.

I was lucky enough to be leaked to, some documents that showed the secrecy with which informal meetings of the [UN] Security Council were being carried out.

The Security Council at that time and still today, I believe, when it takes important decisions after meeting in secret and informal sessions, I think that is not how the UN founders intended.

Deliberations and decisions of the Security Council should be open to public scrutiny but over the years, it became the practice to hold secret and informal meetings.

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