France ‘blind’ to Rwanda genocide, new report says
A new report published by French historians says France was “blind” to the 1994 Rwandan genocide but finds no evidence of complicity.
The report says France bears “heavy and overwhelming responsibilities” and admits the country failed to identify genocide preparations taking place in Rwanda ahead of the 1994 atrocity that killed a least 800,000 people in the space of 100 days. Rwanda has long accused France of complicity in the genocide but the government has welcomed the report as an “important step toward a common understanding of France’s role in the genocide.”
Commission reports France failings over Rwanda genocide
The report, which was presented to France President Emmanuel Macron, admits that France did not do enough to halt the killing of minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus at the hands of Hutu extremists, blaming then French president François Mitterrand for a failure of policy towards Rwanda in 1994.
The report was presented by a 15-member commission appointed by President Macron two years ago. The commission, which includes experts on the Holocaust, on the massacres of Armenians in World War I and on international criminal law, was given access to presidential, diplomatic, military and intelligence archives. However, no experts on the Rwandan genocide were appointed to the commission.
The Rwanda genocide was sparked by the downing of a plane carrying then Rwanda President Juvénal Habyarimana and the Burundian president at the time, Cyprien Ntaryamira – both of whom were ethnic Hutus.
Following the incident, extremist Hutus began a 100-day campaign of massacring minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus, killing at least 800,000 people.
Featured image: By Dave Proffer – Ntarama Church Genocide Memorial, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18113182