Three European NGOs have called on the French judiciary to bring to book a former officer of the French Gendarmerie Nationale for “complicity in crimes against humanity” during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
The NGOs want investigations into the role of Capt. Paul Barril expedited, Le Parisien, a French newspaper reported on Thursday.
After suing him in June 2013 for complicity in the Genocide, Survie, the Fédération internationale des droits de l’Homme (FIDH) and the Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH), now demand the indictment of the former head of the anti terrorism unit in the French President’s office during François Mitterand’s presidency.
According to official documents, Barril concluded a military assistance agreement with the Rwandan interim government (GIR) at the height of the Genocide, yet the UN had imposed an arms embargo on the country.
The French newspaper cited a letter titled “Urgent” and addressed to Barril from Rwanda’s then Defence minister, Augustin Bizimana, informing the former that Rwanda needed his professional services. Barril reportedly offered to supply weapons and 1,000 mercenaries to help the interim government at the cost of $3,130,000. A contract was signed on April 28, 1994 at the Rwandan Embassy in Paris.
Another “assistance contract” to supply arms and 20 “military specialists” was signed between Barril and the then Prime Minister, Jean Kambanda. The latter is now serving a life sentence in Mali, for his role in the Genocide.
On February 28, NGOs had also requested French judges to investigate Barril for his behind-the-scenes role in the Genocide.
A lawyer of one of the associations, Eric Plouvier, on Wednesday, told a press briefing that the three associations had sufficient evidence linking Barril in complicity to commit genocide.
A French judge, Marc Trevidic, probing the shooting down of President Habyarimana’s plane, searched Barril’s residence and offices and landed on allegedly incriminating information.
Apart from the backing of the Elysee Palace, Barril also had a close-knit relationship with former President Habyarimana’s inner circle, or Akazu, and had virtually taken over the security of the first family. He reportedly became the main covert supplier of weapons to the former Rwandan regime’s Genocidal army, Ex-FAR, even after it had fled to the former Zaire, now the DR Congo.
Barril, a popular figure in the annals of French Special Forces, allegedly supported the Hutu extremists responsible for the killing of over one million Tutsi and was involved with a mission insidiously code named, “insecticide.”