Civil society organisations and survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi living in France have accused the French government of politicising the commemoration of the Genocide by canceling two major remembrance events and boycotting others.
The French government recently cancelled the unveiling of a monument to honour victims of the Genocide that was scheduled to take place at Raymond VI Gardens in Toulouse last week.
The Mayor of Toulouse, Jean-Luc Moudenc, informed the organisers that the event was cancelled, citing President Paul Kagame’s recent statements on France’s participation in the Genocide against the Tutsi.
“The inauguration of a monument has been postponed to an unspecified date” the mayor said in an email.
The french government has systematically boycotted the ceremonies of the 20th anniversary of the Genocide Against the Tutsi in various French cities including the cancellation by the Mayor of Paris of his attendance at the commemoration ceremony at the square of the city council (parvis de la mairie de Paris), organised by Ibuka-France. Ibuka is the umberlla of Suvivors Associations.
“On April 7, the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, informed us that she had canceled her participation in the ceremony to commemorate the Genocide” Olivier Kayumba, Rwanda’s second Counselor at the embassy in Paris, told The New Times yesterday.
Shortly after, Rwandans living in France reacted with a statement condemning the mayor of Toulouse for political manipulation of the memory of over one million victims of the Genocide Against the Tutsi.The monument, which the mayor was due to inaugurate, was meant to serve as an educational tool about the Genocide to future generations.
“We condemn this discretionary decision of the Mayor of Toulouse. The commemoration event aimed to honor the memories of the victims in solidarity with the people of Toulouse,” the statement reads.