A top Canadian peacekeeper might have prevented the 1994 Rwanda genocide by disobeying the United Nations, a French general says.

General Christian Quesnot has accused the international community of cowardice and heaped blame on the Canadian commander of the U.N. peacekeeping forces in Rwanda.

Canadian General Romeo Dallaire should have disobeyed the U.N. order to pull his 2,500 peacekeeping troops out of Rwanda, Quesnot says. Those troops could have prevented the massacre of 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus.

The United Nations ordered Dallaire's forces out of the country when the massacres began and after 10 Belgian paratroopers were captured and hacked to death.