News / Africa

Rwanda Stands by Remarks on France in Genocide

Rwandan people sit inside the Kigali Genocide Memorial Museum as the country prepares to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide in the capital Kigali, April 5, 2014.
Rwandan people sit inside the Kigali Genocide Memorial Museum as the country prepares to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide in the capital Kigali, April 5, 2014.
Gabe Joselow
Rwanda's foreign minister has reasserted claims France had a role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, after French diplomats pulled out of genocide memorial events in response to the accusations. The dispute comes as Rwanda prepares to host world leaders for commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the atrocity.

At an international forum on genocide being held Sunday in Kigali, Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo stood by Rwandan President Paul Kagame's remarks implying the French government played a direct role in the preparation and execution of the genocide.

“That official France in the early '90's all the way to the time of the genocide wronged this country is a fact,” she said.

Kagame's remarks to the African news weekly Jeune Afrique prompted France to withdraw a delegation due to attend genocide memorial events this week in Kigali.
Ethnic groups of RwandaEthnic groups of Rwanda
x
Ethnic groups of Rwanda
Ethnic groups of Rwanda


French foreign affairs spokesman Romain Nadal said his government was surprised by Kagame's declarations, saying they go “against the ongoing process of reconciliation between our two countries.”

Relations between France and Rwanda deteriorated after the genocide due to accusations that France had supported ethnic Hutu militias responsible for killing nearly 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in a span of 100 days.

While France has denied any role in the slaughter, Mushikiwabo said relations cannot be repaired if Rwanda has to accept the French version of events.

“It would become impossible for our two countries to move forward if the condition is that Rwanda has to forgo its history in order to get along with France,” she said.

Kigali will host officials from around the world this week for ceremonies commemorating the 20th anniversary of the genocide.

An opinion article timed for the anniversary, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the international community to learn from its failure to stop the genocide in Rwanda, and to take stronger action to confront modern-day crises, like the conflict in the Central African Republic.

“The international community,” he said, “cannot claim to care about atrocity crimes and then shrink from the commitment of resources and will required to actually prevent them.”  
At a ceremony in Kigali Monday, Rwanda's President Kagame will light a National Flame of Mourning that will burn for 100 days.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Tshimanga from: DR Congo
April 07, 2014 7:35 AM
I would expect France to admit it's "active participation" right after Kagame admits his active participation in the deaths of 5 million Congolese and his recently becoming a dictator by eliminating all opposition voices. And Mr. Kagame, who shot down the plane transporting the former president of Rwanda that sparked the killing? Seems your group was the only one that had as yet to agree to the terms of the peace agreement and had any motivation to kill him. Is it true that you said Tutsis living in Rwanda at the time were "expendable" because they were willing to live under a majority Hutu regime?

This appears to me to be simply another case of Kagame trying to deflect the media from all the accusations being leveled against him.
Yes, France and the UN mission were not pro-active in stopping the killing. The U.S. sat on the sidelines too. But the context of the time should be remembered. They were still licking their wounds from Mogadishu and were not inclined to get involved in a civil war in Africa again. But to accuse France of active participation because they tried to train the army which normally is a stabilizing activity is ludicrous. Might as well accuse the US of the killing in the DRC because they trained and armed Kagame's army.


by: Olivier from: Rwanda
April 07, 2014 1:55 AM
Shame on France. They want Rwanda forget how they armed, trained those who were going to commit the genocide. No it's impossible. The right way is to recognise their wrong part they played so that it never happen again.


by: franc m from: uganda
April 06, 2014 11:27 PM
R I P, our brothers in Rwanda, may God strengthen you .


by: Chauffeur from: Portland
April 06, 2014 1:12 PM
The Rwandan genocide was prophecised in advance. Few believed the children who spoke about the rivers of blood, although medical tests indicated they weren't telling lies. You can read about it here (and other websites) (Google Kebeho Rwanda):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Kibeho

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid