France “bears a heavy responsibility”, says a Rwandan report

Flowers in tribute to the victims of the genocide in Rwanda, April 6, 2019 in Kigali. – Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

France “bears a heavy responsibility” in the “foreseeable” genocide of the Tusti in Rwanda in 1994 and still refuses to recognize its role in this tragedy, estimated a report commissioned by Kigali and published on Monday.

“Our conclusion is that the French state bears a heavy responsibility for having made possible a foreseeable genocide”, affirms the American law firm charged by the Rwandan government with this investigation into the role of France, Levy Firestone Muse.

“Unwavering support”

In its investigation, the cabinet also believes that France knew that a genocide was brewing but continued to provide “unwavering support” to the regime of Hutu President Juvénal Habyarimana. This support continued even when “their genocidal intentions became obvious”. The nearly 600-page report was unable to establish any evidence as to the involvement of French officials or personnel in the killings between April and July 1994.

But he rejects the idea that Paris was “blind” to the genocide that was brewing, as recently estimated by the report by French historian Vincent Duclert, delivered at the end of March to French President Emmanuel Macron, who had ordered it. The Duclert commission concluded that if “nothing shows” that it has become an accomplice, France bears “heavy and overwhelming responsibilities” in the tragedy, in particular by being “blind to the preparation” of the genocide.

“The French state has still not recognized its role”

The report of the American cabinet underlines for its part that France was an “indispensable collaborator in the establishment of institutions which would become instruments of genocide”. “No other foreign state was aware of the danger represented by Rwandan extremists while supporting these same extremists (…) The role of French power was unique. However, the French state has still not recognized its role and has still not officially apologized ”, we can read.

The report’s authors also accuse France of obstructing their investigation by ignoring its requests for documents. France’s role in the genocide has poisoned relations between Paris and Kigali for years. President Paul Kagame, who took over Rwanda after the genocide, welcomed the French report after its release, saying it was an “important step forward”.



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