News / Africa

France to Skip Rwanda Genocide Ceremony

FILE - Rwandan president Paul Kagame during a conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
FILE - Rwandan president Paul Kagame during a conference in Nairobi, Kenya.
VOA News
France has cancelled plans to attend a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide following allegations by Rwanda's president that France participated in the mass killings.

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal told VOA that France was surprised by the declarations. He said the accusations go against the ongoing process of reconciliation between the two countries.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame told the weekly Jeune Afrique that France and Belgium played what he called a "direct role" in the political preparation for the genocide. In the interview, to be published Sunday, he also accused France of participating in the genocide in "its very execution."

The French Foreign Ministry said Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, who had been due to travel to Rwanda on Monday, would no longer attend the commemoration.

Relations between France and Rwanda have long been strained. Ties were completely frozen between 2006 and 2009 but had been gradually improving in the last few years.

Rwanda has often accused France of aiding the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide — an accusation France has denied.

In 2006, a French judge accused President Kagame of ordering the assassination of then-Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana, whose death in a plane crash set off the massacres.

During Rwanda's genocide, Hutu extremists killed an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus during a span of 100 days.

Some information for this report comes from AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Benjamin BYIRINGIRO from: KIGALI
April 06, 2014 6:23 PM
Should the truth be kept untold for the sake of diplomatic relationship between Rwanda and France??!!

The pulling out of France to attend 20th commemoration of Rwandan Genocide against the tutsi, is not a wise decision, rather a shame of holding an eternal blooded hand in that killing that cost lives to more 1,000,000 of Tutsi. The calling of François Hollande to “ defendre l’avocat du diable” will not change the devil France to an angel one!!!
“Even if France would conquer the world as the great Alexander, it will never cleanse the French government from the blood covering their hands and hearts for complicity in the killing of Tutsi in 1994 Genocide, that is it”



Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs