Document - Amnesty International News Service 132/94
NEWS SERVICE 132/94
TO: PRESS OFFICERSAI INDEX: NWS 11/132/94
FROM: IS PRESS OFFICEDISTR: SC/PO
DATE: 22 JUNE 1994 NO OF WORDS: 603
NEWS SERVICE ITEMS: EXTERNAL - RWANDA
**PLEASE NOTE: The UN Security Council has just voted in favour of the French Government's proposal to send military to Rwanda - obviously the item enclosed was not intended to influence that vote. The item refers to a Rwandese national who alleges the French government trained a militia he was previously involved with. If you are asked about it, he is Janvier Africa and we produced a document on him in March 1993, AI Index: AFR 47/04/94. Paula
**MORE INFO: In the vote at the UN Security Council, 10 governments voted in favour, (it required nine to pass the resolution), there were five abstentions and none against. In favour: Rwanda, Djibouti, France, USA, Spain, UK, Czech Republic, Argentina, Russian Federation and Oman. Abstentions: New Zealand, Brazil, China, Nigeria and Pakistan. This is external info. Paula
NEWS INITIATIVES - INTERNAL
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELEASES
United Kingdom - 14 July - SEE NEWS SERVICE 129/94
Pakistan - 27 July - PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE. SEE NEWS SERVICE 81/94
Myanmar - 20 July - PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELEASE SEE NEWS SERVICE 99/94
India - 16 August - SEE NEWS SERVICE 129/94
TARGETED AND LIMITED NEWS RELEASES
Mozambique - 23 June - SEE NEWS SERVICE 115/94
Lusophone Summit - 27 June - SEE NEWS SERVICE 124/94 for item
North and South Korea - 29 June - More information to follow
FORTHCOMING NEWS INITIATIVES
Annual Report - 0600 hrs GMT 7 July 1994 - SEE NEWS SERVICE 51/94
AI INDEX: AFR 47/WU 09/94
0001 HRS GMT, THURSDAY 23 JUNE 1994
RWANDA: FRENCH GOVERNMENT CALLED TO ACCOUNT FOR LINKS BETWEEN FRENCH ARMY AND RWANDESE DEATH SQUADS
Amnesty International is calling on the French Government to investigate and make public any information about the existence and activities of a French military unit that trained some of those responsible for recent mass killing in Rwanda.
The human rights organization's appeal comes in the light of recent allegations by a Rwandese national that French military units were involved in the training of a militia which was the pre-cursor to the infamous Interahamwe death squads. He and others had spoken out long before the current mass killing in Rwanda about the existence of government-organized death squads, but only this week claimed a French army unit trained them.
The French military unit in question is known as the Détachement d'Assistance Militaire d'Instruction (DAMI), Military Instruction and Assistance Unit, which was allegedly in operation in Rwanda until December 1993. Details of the French military assistance agreement signed with Rwanda in 1975, including information about DAMI's practices and operations, have been kept secret.
It has however been public knowledge since 1991 that French soldiers were training members of the Rwandese forces, though it is only now that they have been incriminated in training members of death squads. French officials have in the past denied to Amnesty International any knowledge of death squads organized by the Rwandese President who was killed last April.
The human rights organization is concerned that the Rwandese security forces trained by DAMI, and any militia also trained by DAMI, have been responsible for extrajudicial executions, "disappearances" and torture since October 1990. Furthermore these units have been largely responsible for carrying out mass murder of government opponents and members of the Tutsi ethnic group over the past two and a half months.
Amnesty International documented over 2,300 cases of extrajudicial execution by members of the security forces and militia in Rwanda, as well as cases of torture, between October 1990 and the onset of killings on an even more massive scale on 6 April 1994.