1. Archive


As president, Bill Clinton once said on a visit to this city that the United States and the rest of the world "could have and should have" done more to stop the genocide in Rwanda a decade ago. After President Bush took office, he wrote "not on my watch" on a report on the genocide.

When Bush visited here Tuesday, in the midst of new killings in Africa, he criticized other countries and the United Nations, not his own government, for allowing the horrors that have unfolded in Sudan's western Darfur region for the past five years.

The United States has imposed sanctions, applied diplomatic pressure and trained and transported other nations' soldiers for peacekeeping. But Bush decided not to send troops into Sudan on the advice of some humanitarian groups, and it took three years before he announced sanctions. This prompted criticism that his actions don't match his rhetoric.

Bush has called the situation in Darfur genocide. He spoke Tuesday in the capital of Rwanda, a country where more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in just 100 days by Hutu militias in 1994. He hoped that his campaign for increased involvement by others in Darfur would gain weight from ground still haunted by one of the worst atrocities of modern times.

The president used strong language to criticize an international effort he has often called sluggish and disappointing.

"If you're a problem solver, you put yourself at the mercy of the decisions of others, in this case, the United Nations. It is - seems very bureaucratic to me, particularly with people suffering."

At least 200,000 have been killed in the campaign by militias supported by Sudan's Arab-dominated government against black African communities in Darfur for suspected rebel support.

Bush pointed to thepositive example by Rwanda, the first nation to commit peacekeepers to Darfur. "My message to other nations is: 'Join with the president and help us get this problem solved once and for all,'" Bush said after meetings with Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Bush said the United States would spend $100-million to train more African peacekeepers for Darfur, including $12-million for 2,400 more Rwandan troops.