Arusha, April 26, 2010 (FH) - Former Commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) Canadian Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire said he now  feels sense of ‘'personal relief'' after his country's formal acknowledgment of its fair share of responsibility  that could have prevented the magnitude of the horror of 1994 Rwandan genocide.

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‘'It was done, from what I can see, with an enormous amount of humility...,'' Rwandan pro-government New Times newspaper Monday quoted the retired General to have told the Canadian press.

General Dallaire's comments came after an official statement by the visiting Canadian Governor General Michelle Jean to Rwanda last week.

‘'Canada as part of the international community, acknowledges its fair share of responsibility. I think we could have made a difference,'' stated in part the Governor General's statement. She regretted that Canada, and other countries, failed to respond adequately to the atrocities that were taking place in Rwanda, despite warnings from individuals like General Dallaire.

According to the UN estimates, the genocide left about 800,000 people dead, mostly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The April-July killings started immediately after the assassination of Rwanda's then President Juvenal Habyarimana on April 6, 1994. His plane was shot-down by unknown assailants as it was approaching to land in the capital, Kigali.

Also killed in the same plane was Burundi's President Cyprien Ntaryamira. Both were returning from a regional peace meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


© Hirondelle News Agency