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

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs