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UN Adviser On Genocide Prevention Visits Rwanda

UN Special Adviser On Genocide Prevention Visits Rwanda

New York, Oct 4 2006 4:00PM

Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame today to learn how the small central African country is moving beyond the 1994 massacres that claimed of up 800,000 lives.

Juan E. Mendez was appointed two years ago to provide early-warnings to the Secretary-General and the Security Council about potential situations that could develop into genocide, and to make recommendations to the Council about how the UN can prevent these events.

His appointment made good on Mr. Annan’s pledge to designate an official to help prevent genocide from ever happening again, made around the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan massacres, which targeted ethnic Tutus and Hutu moderates.

Meanwhile, a new investment guide for Rwanda, introduced Wednesday in Geneva by UNCTAD, said there are plenty of business opportunities in the country for foreign investors that are obscured by lingering associations of the violence a dozen years ago.

The guide, produced in conjunction with the International Chamber of Commerce, said the country suffered from a “misleading image as unsafe place,” when in fact crimes rates – and corruption – are low.

The UNCTAD investment guide said Rwanda presented untapped opportunities in agricultural production, importation and that there is a “large upside” to the beginnings of a revived tourism industry, with the country’s “unique mountain gorillas” as a potential attraction.

The government, which has adopted business-friendly policies, is focused on attracting investors in information and communication technologies, which could locate in a TechnoPark, being set up near the capital, Kigali. The report acknowledged though that the supply and dependability of electricity remains a problem.

Ends

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