ARUSHA, Tanzania, Feb 25 (LSN) – Canadian Major General Romeo Dallaire, the leader of the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda, took the stand today in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Dallaire was summoned as an expert witness by lawyers representing Jean-Paul Akayesu, a former small-town mayor accused of genocide and crimes against humanity in the deaths more than 2,000 Tutsis. The UN-run International Criminal Tribunal was sure to censor testimony by Dallaire that would incriminate the UN itself in the Rwandan genocide. The Associated Press reported that presiding Judge Laity Kama of Senegal “repeatedly reminded defence attorney Nicholas Tiangaye of the Central African Republic to respect UN restrictions preventing Dallaire from discussing confidential documents, including whether he had warned superiors of the Hutu plot to exterminate Tutsis.” Last September a Belgian commission, looking into the Rwandan genocide, gathered strong evidence that top-ranking UN officials halted efforts to stop the killing of half a million Rwandans. While commanding the UN forces in Rwanda Dallaire sent an urgent fax to his UN supervisors indicating that it was possible to bring a swift end to the conflict without undue difficulty. His plan was to confiscate weapons and thwart exterminations plans revealed to the general by a highly-placed informant. However, unnamed officials at the UN peacekeeping directorate refused to authorize the operation, and the ensuing preventable massacre left General Dallaire frustrated and bewildered. General Dallaire has speculated publicly that the UN’s apparent indifference was motivated by racism—that the UN is concerned only with the massacre of people in wealthy Western countries. Others wonder whether some were not content to sit by and see the African nation “de-populated,” as part of the UN’s overall population-control efforts.