The Rwandan government late last week severed all ties with France after a French judge issued an international arrest warrant for some officers in the Rwandan army. The warrant accused the officers of complicity in the assassination of former president Juvenal Habyarimana. The government’s decision to sever ties with France was made at a cabinet meeting chaired by president Paul Kagame. Rwanda also accused France of trying to overthrow its government and re-instate what it calls allies and perpetrators of genocide.
Charles Murigande is Rwanda’s minister of foreign affairs. He talked about the fractured relations between France and Rwanda.
“We have painfully reached the conclusion that it served no useful purpose to maintain diplomatic relations with the government of France, considering that it continues to relentlessly pursue the objective of destroying our government and Rwanda as a whole. This is really a conclusion of a thorough analysis of the relationship between Rwanda and France during the last twelve years,” Murigande noted.
He accused France of complicity in training perpetrators and masterminds of the country’s genocide.
“You may recall that France was involved in the genocide, trained the former forces of the government of Rwanda and their militias, which committed genocide...France would not only vote against it but mobilize other country’s to vote against it,” he said.
Murigande said there is enough evidence to prove that France had a hand in the country’s genocide.
“The evidence is really abundant. Apart from the activities of French intelligence focus and military focus in the training and in the arming of these genocidal forces that are based in the DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo]…France has never prosecuted any of them, but rather had given them a platform for their political activities,” he said.
Murigande said Rwanda has closed down the embassy of France and all French-aided projects in the country.
“We have completely broken off [the] relationship, we have ordered the closing of French embassy and French interests in Rwanda. As a matter of fact, the French ambassador left because we had given him 24 hours. The remaining embassy staff are leaving tomorrow [Monday],” he said.
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