September 3, 2000 – The Guardian
The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, played a leading role in supplying weapons to the Hutu regime which carried out a campaign of genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs in Egypt, Boutros-Ghali facilitated an arms deal in 1990, which was to result in $26 million (£18m) of mortar bombs, rocket launchers, grenades and ammunition being flown from Cairo to Rwanda. The arms were used by Hutus in attacks which led to up to a million deaths.
The role of Boutros-Ghali, who was in charge at the UN when it turned its back on the killings in 1994, is revealed in a book by Linda Melvern.
In A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda’s Genocide, Boutros-Ghali admits his role in approving an initial $5.8 million arms deal in 1990, which led to Egypt supplying arms to Rwanda until 1992. He says he approved it because it was his job as Foreign Minister to sell weapons for Egypt.
The deal was never disclosed: the weapons were smuggled into Rwanda disguised as relief material. At the time there was an international outcry at human rights abuses by the Hutu government as thousands of Tutsi were massacred.
Asked about the wisdom of an arms deal at such a sensitive time, Boutros-Ghali said he did not think that a ‘few thousand guns would have changed the situation’. His contacts with the Hutu regime have never been investigated.