WASHINGTON – President Bush called the 1994 genocide of a half-million people in Rwanda "one of the most significant tragedies in modern history" and said the United States would give any help the country wanted to track down those responsible who are still at large.
In an Oval Office meeting Wednesday with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Bush also pledged to help repay the country for troops that it has sent to deal with another genocide — a violent conflict raging in Sudan's Darfur region that has left 180,000 people dead and an additional 2 million homeless.
Bush said the money will come from a supplemental spending bill that is being considered by Congress that also includes funding for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and to aid Hurricane Katrina victims.
"I told the president that sometimes the Congress doesn't move as quickly as I'd like on issues, but I'm confident they'll get the supplemental passed when they come back from their Memorial Day break," Bush said.
Bush credited Kagame with trying to bring reconciliation to his country. He said Kagame offered to help with similar efforts in Iraq.
"But the way I look at the situation is that Rwanda can serve as an example for other societies that are troubled," Bush said.
"To the extent that he wants our help in finding certain perpetuators of crime, we'll be glad to do so," Bush said.
Kagame thanked Bush for U.S. support in sending troops to Darfur, combating HIV/AIDS, supporting private investments and building infrastructure.