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Rwanda Team Head Recalls Holocaust

December 15, 1999

UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ The head of an independent team that investigated the U.N. response to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda recalled another genocide _ the Holocaust _ in delivering the team’s report Wednesday to the United Nations.

``In May 1944, I was a young boy _ 10 years old _ when I saw the white buses with the Red Cross coming from Germany with some of the few surviving Jews,″ team leader Ingvar Carlsson, the former Swedish prime minister, told Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

``I will never forget their bodies, their faces, their eyes,″ he said. ``I couldn’t imagine that I would meet that kind of situation again. But I did: the sites of genocide in Rwanda, talking to the survivors, to the families.″

Carlsson said he hoped the report would sound alarms so as to avoid another genocide.

The United Nations and several key governments have been criticized for failing to follow through on warnings about the potential for genocide, and for not doing enough once the slaughter began.

Annan, who headed U.N. peacekeeping operations at the time of the massacre, launched the outside inquiry in March to try to determine the facts about the U.N. response and draw conclusions for the future.

In receiving the report, which was to be made public Thursday, Annan said he wanted the document ``not just for us to know the truth, but also to draw the lessons and prepare for the future and take steps to make sure this is not repeated.″

Carlsson was joined by the two other team leaders, former South Korean Foreign Minister Han Sung-Joo and Maj. Gen. Rufus Modupe Kupolati of Nigeria.

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