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Rwanda President Seeks Investigation of French involvement in Genocide

Rwanda President Paul Kagame is calling for fresh investigations into France’s alleged involvement in the country’s 1994 genocide that saw scores of Hutus and moderate Tutsis killed in a 100-day massacre. This comes after a French newspaper published a declassified secret document, which alleges that former French President Francois Mitterrand was aware of plans for Rwanda's genocide. A previous French inquiry cleared France of any complicity in Rwanda’s genocide.

From the Rwandan capital Kigali, Minister for Justice Tharcisse Karugarama tells VOA English to Africa service reporter Peter Clottey it is imperative that fresh investigations are opened in view of recent information.

“I think the president said what the truth only is that there is need to go backwards into 1994, actually, starting right from 1990 to check and establish once and for all the role of France in the genocide. So many independent observers have said that France had a role in the genocide, that the leadership had a role in what was going on in Rwanda,” he said.

Karugarama said President Kagame is right to call for an independent investigation on France’s alleged complicity in the genocide.

“The president is saying there is need to examine France’s continuous denial. That time was up for an independent assessment investigation of what France did in Rwanda. Here today, Rwanda has set up a commission to investigate what happened, but there are other people who can investigate if they so wish. I’m very sure the president is right in calling for a fresh look, a fresh analysis, and a fresh investigation of what role France played in the mayhem, in the killing that took place in this country,” he noted.

Karugarama said he is a sure fresh investigation into France’s alleged complicity would find the truth about the allegations.

“Definitely, because the French parliamentary commissioner of inquiry, the fact finding mission that was conducted by French parliamentarians, action does not tally with the conclusion, because the investigators did establish a fact about France’s involvement, but the conclusion was different from the facts that they presented. And so the body of the report is not consistent with the actual conclusion of the findings,” Karugarama pointed out.

He said the break in diplomatic relations between Rwanda and France has nothing to do with establishing the truth of France’s alleged complicity in the genocide.

“Diplomatic relationship between nations, they do not in any way stop or prohibit the establishment of facts. As has been previously stated, you can hide the truth for sometime, you can never hide the truth forever. I think time is of essence, and sooner than later, the facts on the ground will definitely show proof that France’s leadership at the time had a role, or knew very well what was going on here, and ignored the signs that genocide was being prepared here. And they went ahead to support a government that was clearly supporting, and planning genocide,” he said.

Karugarama said the world would soon see what part France played in the genocide.

“Sooner rather than later, it would be very obvious for France, for the French and for the rest of the world to judge France as having had a hand in what happened in this country,” Karugarama noted.