Here are few excerpts from France’s involvement in the Rwandan genocide…please check out the links provided that explain in detail France’s omissions and commissions…news reports from 1995 till 2015.
In September 2015 a French court blocked the extradition of Joseph Habyarimana on the grounds that the crimes he is accused of were not offences at the time and laws could not be applied retroactively. A group of Rwandan plaintiffs, the CPCR, reacted angrily to the ruling.
“France never reacts positively to extradition applications while all other countries do,” said its president Alain Gauthier. The retroactivity argument is not valid, he argued, claiming that some high-profile trials of former Nazi collaborators would not have taken place if it was applied in France.
Mr Kagame last year caused a stir by repeating his accusations against France before commemorations to mark the 20th anniversary of the genocide which ran from April to July 1994.
He notably said that France had not “done enough to save lives” and had not only been complicit but “an actor” in the massacre of Tutsis.
He also spoke of “the direct role of Belgium and France in the political preparation of the genocide, and the participation of the latter in its actual execution”.
One senior Rwandan official spent 27 days in Paris as the genocide was taking place, to “accelerate” six arms deliveries worth more than £2.5 million.
“Considering the gravity of the alleged facts, the Rwandan government enjoins competent authorities to undertake all necessary actions in order to bring the French political and military accused leaders to answer for their acts before Rwandan justice,” the report concludes.
A French parliamentary inquiry set up to try to establish the truth about the French role declared that “France was in no way implicated in the genocide against the Tutsis.”
But the two rapporteurs, one of whom was Bernard Cazeneuve who is currently France’s interior minister, however admitted the French authorities made “serious errors of judgement.”
“I am sure that this decision will be very unpopular in Rwanda where confidence in the French justice system no longer exists,” he said.
Activists have welcomed the French government’s decision to declassify archive documents relating to the 1994 Rwandan genocide but said it does no go far enough. “Some documents still have to be declassified,” Alain Ghautier, the head of French NGO Collective of Civil Parties for Rwanda, commented on Wednesday.