News / Europe

France Calls Claims it Was Complicit in Rwanda Genocide ‘Disgraceful’

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls delivers a general policy speech at the National Assembly in Paris, April 8, 2014. New Prime Minister Manuel Valls will test France's political commitment to reform on Tuesday in a confidence vote that should allow the SFrench Prime Minister Manuel Valls delivers a general policy speech at the National Assembly in Paris, April 8, 2014. New Prime Minister Manuel Valls will test France's political commitment to reform on Tuesday in a confidence vote that should allow the S
x
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls delivers a general policy speech at the National Assembly in Paris, April 8, 2014. New Prime Minister Manuel Valls will test France's political commitment to reform on Tuesday in a confidence vote that should allow the S
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls delivers a general policy speech at the National Assembly in Paris, April 8, 2014. New Prime Minister Manuel Valls will test France's political commitment to reform on Tuesday in a confidence vote that should allow the S
Reuters
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday accusations by Rwandan officials that France was complicit in the genocide that killed 800,000 people were “disgraceful,” the firmest rebuttal since a row broke out between the countries.
 
France - an ally of the Rwandan government that ruled before the genocide - did not take part in Monday's 20-year commemoration after rebel-turned-president, Paul Kagame, renewed charges of Paris' “direct role” in the killings at the weekend.
 
“I cannot accept these disgraceful accusations that suggest France could have been complicit in a genocide in Rwanda when its honor is to always separate fighting factions,” Valls said in a speech to parliament presenting his new government's policies.
 
While Paris has acknowledged mistakes in its dealings with Rwanda, it has repeatedly dismissed accusations it trained militias to take part in the 1994 massacres.
 
French President Francois Hollande, who had met Kagame in Brussels last week, avoided reference to the row on Monday saying in a statement that Paris stood by Rwandans to honor the memory of the victims.
 
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said: “There was a warm meeting between president [Hollande] and Kagame in Brussels which is why we were extremely surprised by these statements.
 
“France did what was possible to save populations and avoid this genocide. Sadly there was a collective failure of the international community, but at the heart of this, France was exemplary.”
 
Nadal said France hoped to continue its existing cooperation and dialog with Rwanda, but there had to be “mutual respect," which was not the case with Kagame's comments.
 
Kagame, a Tutsi who led an army into Kigali in 1994 to halt the genocide, has in the past accused France of training and arming Hutu extremists.
 
Latterly he had appeared to drop the issue, however, as France acknowledged mistakes and created a genocide investigation unit as the two countries began to rebuild their relationship.
 
Last month, a Paris court sentenced a former Rwandan soldier to 25 years in jail for his role in the genocide in the first such trial to be held in France.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid