French town’s cancellation of Genocide commemoration not a surprise after all

Editor,  FRENCH INVOLVEMENT in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was a result of politicians’ calculations that the lives of the entire Tutsi population in Rwanda in 1994 were perfectly expendable when set against their own geopolitical interests.
Rwandans kept a candle light vigil at Amahoro Stadium during the 20th anniversary commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, on April 7. Courtesy.
Rwandans kept a candle light vigil at Amahoro Stadium during the 20th anniversary commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, on April 7. Courtesy.

Editor, 

FRENCH INVOLVEMENT in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was a result of politicians’ calculations that the lives of the entire Tutsi population in Rwanda in 1994 were perfectly expendable when set against their own geopolitical interests. 

They had made this amply clear when they invited then RPA Commander, Major-General Paul Kagame to Paris for talks only for their agents to show up at his hotel room, detain him and then take him to a senior official who insisted to him that the liberation war must end or else all the Tutsi in Rwanda would be exterminated. 

As you can see, the French knew long before 1994, the genocidal programme of their allies – that is if they themselves weren’t complicit in those plans. At any rate that didn’t stop them (France) from fully supporting the government whose genocidal intentions they were fully aware of. 

That support included political, financial, diplomatic, and more critically military, at the strategic, operational and tactical levels including the training of the militias (Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi) who would become the killing edge of the Genocide machine in 1994. 

Set against the weight of this Franco-Rwandan history, the decision by the Mayor of Toulouse not to honour the victims of his country’s politicians’ involvement in the Genocide is not only petty, but very small potatoes indeed.

Mwene Kalinda, Rwanda

Reaction to the story, “French town cancels Genocide memorial event” (The New Times, April 19)

 

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