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President Kagame welcomes Duclert report on France’s role in the Genocide against Tutsi

By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU

Speaking at the Official launch of the 27th Commemoration of the Genocide against Tutsi, on 7th April 2021, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame welcomed Duclert report on France’s role in the Genocide against Tutsi.

A recent report handed over to French President Emmanuel Macron by Vincent Duclert sheds light on the role of Paris in the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda.

The two years’ worth of research digging through historical archives — coordinated by historian Duclert– asserts that France failed in Rwanda as the then French president, François Mitterrand, and his entourage showed guilty blindness by supporting the regime of Juvénal Habyarimana.

In his speech on April, 7th 2021, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame said “We welcome this report because it marks an important step, toward a common understanding of what took place.”

Kagame added that “It also shows a desire from the leaders in France to move forward with a good understanding of what happened. We welcome this.”

France’s policy in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994, led by an “ideologically blinded” president and his entourage, was a “failure” and bears “overwhelming” responsibility for the Tutsi genocide, according to a report by historians submitted to Emmanuel Macron.

On the 27th Commemoration of the Genocide against Tutsi, France’s President Emmanuel Macron said “April 7 is a national day of remembrance and meditation. We think of the victims of the genocide against Tutsi, the survivors, their families, the Rwandan people. The work of truth must continue through the opening of the archives of this period.”

It is clear that France Government is set to make public other archives that will show other revelations on the role of that Country in the Genocide that cost over a million lives of Rwandans.

OIF Secretary General Louise Mushikiwabo together with France President Emmanuel Macron

Although relations between the two countries have eased with the arrival in power of Emmanuel Macron in 2017, France’s role in Rwanda has remained a volatile issue for more than 25 years. It is also the subject of a violent and passionate debate between researchers, academics and politicians.

In earlier statement published by Élysée,  President Emmanuel Macron has decided, by general exemption, to open the presidential archives of Mr. François Mitterrand relating to Rwanda between 1990 and 1994, which are now freely accessible.

In accordance with its intention, which has already been made public, this access is extended to the archives of Mr. Edouard Balladur, former Prime Minister.

Finally, by the same decision, all the documents cited in the report of the Commission chaired by Mr. Vincent Duclert are also made available, following declassification work, by the ministries concerned (Ministry for Europe and of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Armed Forces, Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Recovery, Ministry of Culture).

The statement noted that “This decision is part of the commitment made by the President of the Republic to create conditions favorable to the pursuit of the work of understanding the role and commitment of France in Rwanda.”

“France joins the Rwandan people in commemorating the genocide against Tutsi and, on this day of meditation, expresses all its compassion and solidarity with regard to the survivors and the families of the victims.” Concludes the statement.

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