Robinson accused of `distortions'


Kigali - Rwandan authorities yesterday criticised the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs Mary Robinson, accusing her of "blatant distortions" of the situation in the country after a visit. In a statement, Rwandan presidential adviser, Mr Joseph Bideri, said Mrs Robinson's criticisms of the government's record at the weekend were "characterised by deliberate omissions and blatant distortions".

Mrs Robinson left Rwanda on Sunday after a fact-finding visit, which she said left her discouraged over attitudes to human rights and reconciliation in the central African country. She shunned diplomatic niceties to attack the government for failing to show determination to reconcile minority Tutsis, who headed a rebellion that seized power in 1994, with majority Hutus. "Political power and decision-making have become more and more concentrated," she said in a statement issued as she left.

However, Mr Bideri said that the position of the Irish former president "reflects the view of a network of informants who are clearly bent on misleading international opinion with regard to Rwanda".