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Rwanda

May 15, 1994

In response to "Deadly Reality: Rwanda Is Dying," editorial, on May 4:

I was one of more than 200 Americans evacuated from Rwanda on April 10. Since my return to the United States, I have followed with deep anguish the tragedy that continues to unfold in Rwanda. I was privileged to work with many Rwandans who were faithful and loyal employees of the U.S. Mission in Rwanda for numerous years. Almost without exception among the Rwandans I met, the United States is revered and honored as the last real hope that is able to lead the struggling African countries to democracy and freedom.

As a member of the U.N. Security Council, the United States should take the diplomatic and financial lead to return international peacekeeping troops to Rwanda. The international force should have the legal mandate and the military power to establish safety zones for endangered civilians and to protect humanitarian assistance efforts.

Thousands of innocent civilians are being held captive, many without food and water, under deplorable conditions. Hundreds of thousands have already died; hundreds of thousands more are at risk of dying; every hour that passes brings reports of hundreds of more innocent people dying. Speed is of the essence.

MICHAEL FINLEY

Long Beach

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