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Rwanda 'black box' turns up in UN drawer
Posted: Saturday, March 13, 2004

By David Usborne in New York
13 March 2004, Independent UK

An embarrassed United Nations was struggling to defend itself yesterday following the discovery that a data recorder, that may have come from an aircraft shot down in 1994 while carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, had been hidden in a locked drawer in New York for 10 years.

Called a "first class foul-up" by UN secretary general Kofi Annan, the affair surfaced after questions were put to UN officials earlier last week by reporters from Le Monde newspaper of France. The world body initially responded by ridiculing the suggestion it had the recorder. But, by Thursday, it found itself performing a humiliating about-face.

The chief UN spokesman, Fred Eckhard, confirmed a recorder that could have come from the aircraft had been found in a drawer in the Air Safety Unit of the UN, in a building across the road from its New York headquarters. He further admitted it had apparently never been opened, nor its tapes analysed. Full Article

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