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Rwanda report blames France for its role in 1994 genocide

KIGALI, (The Southern African Times) – France “bears significant responsibility” for enabling “foreseeable” genocide against ethnic Tutsis in Rwanda that happened in 1994, a report commissioned by the Rwandan government concluded Monday.

The 628-page report commissioned in 2017 was authored by the U.S. law firm Levy Firestone Muse LLP with the involvement of three Rwandan local law firms in its preparation. It was released during its formal presentation to the Rwandan cabinet.

French officials “armed, advised, trained, equipped and protected” the then Rwandan government and was heedless of its commitment to dehumanization and, ultimately, the destruction and death of Tutsi in Rwanda, said the report.

However, the report found no evidence that French officials or personnel directly participated in the killing of Tutsis.

France’s role during the April-July 1994 genocide has for years been the subject of intense scrutiny and much controversy.

Rwanda has been accusing France of backing the genocidal regime government and covering genocide suspects through “Operation Turquoise,” but the claim was denied by France.

The central African country severed diplomatic relations with France in 2006 after a French judge issued nine arrest warrants against Rwandan officials in the case of an attack on an aircraft of Habyarimana in April 1994, which triggered the genocide.

Although the two countries restored their diplomatic relations in 2009, France has no ambassador in Rwanda since the last one left the post in 2015. 

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