THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release July 15, 1994
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
In an effort to bring an end to the fighting and growing humanitarian disaster in Rwanda, the Clinton Administration has closed the Embassy of Rwanda and ordered all personnel to leave the country. Representatives of the so-called interim government of Rwanda must depart within five working days.
The White House also announced that it will begin consultations with other United Nations Security Council members to remove representatives of the interim government from Rwanda's seat on the council. The State Department declared that representatives of the Interim Government will be denied access to any Rwandan government financial holdings in the United States.
"The United States cannot allow representatives of a regime that supports genocidal massacre to remain on our soil," President Clinton said.
Noting that the ongoing fighting is creating an even more perilous humanitarian disaster in Rwanda and along its borders, the White House appealed to all forces to agree to an immediate cease-fire. It called on all responsible parties to begin serious talks on forming a transitional government that will lead to genuine power sharing.
The White House applauded the French effort to protect Rwandans at risk, and said the United States would continue to press for rapid deployment of the UN peacekeeping force (UNAMIR) to replace the French. It appealed to the international community to redouble its efforts to deploy those U.N. forces.
The White House again insisted that those Rwandans responsible for genocidal killings and other crimes against humanity be brought to justice. It said it hoped that the United Nations would act swiftly -- under the Security Council Resolution that established a U.N. Commission of Experts -- to create a War Crimes Tribunal.
As the crisis in Rwanda has unfolded, the United States has taken a leading role in efforts to protect the Rwandan people and ensure humanitarian assistance. It has:
Provided more than $95 million in relief, including food, medicine and supplies for international organizations and private relief agencies. Flown about 100 Defense Department missions into the region to airlift relief supplies. Strongly supported an expanded UNAMIR; airlifted 50 armored personnel carriers to Kampala to support the UN peacekeepers; and committed to equipping the U.N.'s Ghanaian peacekeeping battalion. # # #