Former French President Francois

Rwanda Adds France to List of Names Responsible for Genocide

August 07, 2008 07:01 AM
by Christopher Coats
Turning the tables on France, Rwanda has released the findings of an independent commission, implicating 33 political and military officials in the genocide that claimed over 800,000 lives in the spring of 1994.

30-Second Summary

Straining an already tense diplomatic relationship between the two countries, the allegations come several months after the commission’s report was complete, though no reason for the delay has been given.

Naming various figures including then French President Francois Mitterand as well as a number of political and military advisors, the report accuses the French of advising those responsible for the mass killing as well as supplying them with weapons.

"The French support was of a political, military, diplomatic and logistic nature," concluded the report.

The culmination of generations of ethnic tension, the killings were triggered by the downing of then-president Juvénal Habyarimana, lasting 100 days, during which time, attacks on mostly Tutsis at the hands of government-supported Hutus.

During this time, the French government was accused of being aligned with the Hutu-dominated government and for supplying arms and advice that would ultimately be used in a campaign of violence against the country’s Tutsi population.

This relationship is at the center of the commission’s accusations, alluding to support that continued during the period of genocide.

The French government has flatly denied any connection to the country’s period of genocide, insisting that they would need to review the report before they could provide a more complete response.

Headline Link: ‘France accused in Rwanda genocide’

Background: UN tribunal called; history of Tutsi-Hutu tension

Reactions: French denial; Rwanda aligns with British Commonwealth

Opinion & Analysis: France’s involvement

Related Topics: Serbian genocide; UN failures

Reference: International Criminal Court, Rwandan genocide


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