LONDON, (The Southern African Times) – The chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat praised the report commissioned by Rwanda on the role of France in connection with the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
The report, commissioned in 2017 and released on Monday, labeled France a “collaborator” of the extremist Hutu regime that orchestrated the killings of about 800,000 people and outright rejected the position that Paris was blind to their genocidal agenda.
“Dignity rests on truth, respect and mutual recognition. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission salutes the political courage of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Emmanuel Macron of France for these moves toward a more shared understanding, which merit the endorsement of Africa as a whole,” the Commission said in a statement.
The years-long investigation by U.S. law firm Levy Firestone Muse said France knew genocide was coming but remained “unwavering in its support” of its Rwandan allies, even when the planned extermination of the Tutsi minority was clear.
However, no evidence was found that French officials or personnel directly participated in the massacre of Tutsis.
France has long been accused of not doing enough to stop the killings, and the Muse reports follow the publication last month of a separate inquiry into the same events commissioned by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The Duclert Commission, named after the historian leading that investigation, concluded that France bore “overwhelming responsibilities” over the genocide and acknowledged a “failure” on its part, but no complicity in the killings.
However, the Muse report asserts greater French culpability, saying the Duclert Commission stopped short of explaining what France was responsible for and erred in concluding that Paris “remained blind” to the looming genocide.
More than a quarter of a century on the issue still sours relations between France and Rwanda under President Paul Kagame, a former Tutsi rebel who has ruled the mountainous nation in Africa’s Great Lakes region since the aftermath of the genocide.