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
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.

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Comment Sorting
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):

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