A June 19, 1980 photo of Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Wikimedia Commons
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Former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, a blunt-spoken Egyptian who led the world body through global turmoil as it defined its peacekeeping role and lost his job over disputes with Washington, died Tuesday.Boutros-Ghali headed the United Nations from 1992-1996, chaotic years marked by war in the former Yugoslavia and famine and genocide in Africa. As the first post-Cold War secretary-general, Boutros-Ghali could be blunt and almost undiplomatic in dealing with critics and assessing the state of the world.Boutros-Ghali was the United Nations' first secretary-general from Africa.Even so, Washington had wanted him to do more to reform the body and Congress would not pay the more than $1 billion in back dues the country owed while he remained at the helm.Many diplomats suggested he was jettisoned by U.S. President Bill Clinton's Democratic administration during an election year to pre-empt criticism from Republicans deeply hostile to Boutros-Ghali and the United Nations. In the U.N. job, Boutros-Ghali was criticized for its failure to act during the 1994 Rwandan genocide and for not pushing hard enough for U.N. intervention to end Angola's civil war, which at the time was one of the longest-running conflicts in the world.
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