International

France ‘enabled’ 1994 Rwanda genocide: report

The French government bears “significant” responsibility for “enabling a foreseeable genocide,” a report commissioned by the Rwandan government concludes about France’s role before and during the horror in which an estimated 8,00,000 people were slaughtered in 1994.

The report comes amid efforts by Rwanda to document the role of French authorities before, during, and after the genocide, part of the steps taken by France’s President Emmanuel Macron to improve relations with the central African country.

The 600-page report says that France “did nothing to stop” the massacres, in April and May 1994, and in the years after the genocide tried to cover up its role and even offered protection to some perpetrators.

It concludes that in years leading up to the genocide, former French President Francois Mitterrand and his administration had knowledge of preparations for the massacres — yet kept supporting the government of then-Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana despite the “warning signs.”

“The French government was neither blind nor unconscious about the foreseeable genocide,” it stressed.

The report comes after a French report, commissioned by Mr. Macron, concluded that French authorities had been “blind” to the preparations for genocide and then reacted too slowly to appreciate the extent of the killings and to respond to them.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 9:44:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/france-enabled-1994-rwanda-genocide-report/article34361887.ece

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