expressing shock after France reportedly rejected a report, which suggests
Paris' complicity in the 1994 genocide. Rwanda's government says it stands by
the report, which it claims is the truth, denying that it is re-writing
history. President Paul Kagame's government formally accused 33 French
officials Tuesday of involvement in the genocide and called for them to face
trial. Kigali has previously accused Paris of covering up its role in training
troops and militia who carried out massacres that killed some 800,000 people,
and of propping up the ethnic Hutu leaders who orchestrated the slaughter.
France denies that and says
its forces helped protect people during a U.N.-sanctioned mission in Rwanda at
the time. Paris says the independent Rwandan commission set up to investigate
the 1994 genocide was biased. Rosemary Museminari is Rwanda's foreign minister.
From the capital, Kigali she tells reporter Peter Clottey Paris should
cooperate with Kigali in prosecuting those implicated in genocide.
"We would be very surprised
by that rejection because the report puts out the truth and truth that has a
lot of evidence to back it. So, if you read through the 500-page report, you
would not only be able to see the role the different bodies played; whether it
was the political levels, whether it was diplomatic levels, whether it was the
military, so the report really gathered that information, and over time put out
what has been said in different bits, by different writers, by different
articles brought out in the open. So what the commission did was to get out
there, pick all those reports, go down on the field and pick evidence from
different people, and put it all together," Museminari pointed out.
She said it was unfortunate
Paris rejects the report put together by the commission that investigated the
"So it is a surprise if
France is denying it and we would be very interested to know what they are
basing on denying the factual information that is out there in the report," she
Museminari denied Kigali was
re-writing history with the recent report on the 1994 genocide.
"Rwanda is not trying to re-write
history. What the report out there did was to put the truth out there, so I
don't know if that is what re-writing history is," Museminari noted.
She said although the
relationship between Kigali and Paris has not been the best, efforts are being
made to normalize it.
"For us, we would be very
much surprised by that because as you mentioned, relations between Kigali and
Paris have not been the best. But we have been in a process of trying to
normalize relations. President Kagame met President Sarkozy in Lisbon. After
that, we had a visit from the minister of foreign affairs Kouchner. We have
been having teams coming from Kigali, going to Paris to have discussions and
vice versa. So, for us, we think those efforts should go on, and this should
actually come and strengthen our process of moving forward based on the truth
and based on the interest of our people," she said.
Museminari said there was
need to normalize relations with Paris based on the plain truth.
"I think it would be wrong
to build a relationship just whereby we sweep the truth underground. We think
that the truth should actually be the foundation and basis over new revitalized
relationship," Museminari pointed out.
She said Kigali hopes those
complicit in the genocide would soon be prosecuted.
"We hope that they will be
by different bodies, not necessarily only the International Criminal Court. But
even by the domestic courts in different countries. Many countries are able to
try people who are their nationals and who committed crimes. So, we should
expect to see trials of these people implicated in the report," she said.
Meanwhile, Ibuka, an umbrella organization of Rwanda Genocide
survivors has welcomedthe government's release of a report on the alleged
role played by France in the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. IBUKA president Theodore
Simburudari reportedly said, "although what was released in the report was
already known through writings, compiling the report is a sign of taking a step
beyond political considerations".