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

    South Sudan Sends First Ever Official Olympic Team to Rio

    VOA caught up with Santino Kenyi, 16, one of three athletes who will compete in this year's summer games in Brazil

    Arrest of Malawi's 'Hyena' Man Highlights Clash of Ritual, Health and Women's Rights

    Ritual practice of deflowering young girls is blamed for spreading deadly AIDS virus

    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    VOA finds things Americans take for granted are special to foreigners

    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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora