French President Emmanuel Macron may not be coming to Rwanda to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, but he has taken some important steps that his predecessors would not have taken.
Just to recap; it had been widely circulated in the media that Macron would be coming to Rwanda for the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. But at the last minute, it was announced that the French delegation would be led by a new Member of Parliament from Macron’s party, Hervé Berville.
The choice was also significant; a Rwandan by origin, Berville was orphaned during the Genocide and adopted by a French couple.
So, this week Macron took a positive plunge that will not go down well with Genocide deniers and apologists; he met representatives of survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi, the first senior French official to do so.
But he did not stop just there; during the meeting with the survivors, he announced the appointment of a commission of inquiry into French involvement in the Genocide. They will get full access to French archives, especially those belonging to former President Francois Mitterrand that French officials have been reluctant to release.
That will definitely spell bad news for Hubert Vedrine, Secretary General of the French presidency during the Genocide and very tightly enmeshed with organisers of the Genocide.
His appointment as Minister of Foreign affairs after the Genocide did little to mend fences with Rwanda and instead he embarked on a crusade to crucify Rwanda and its leaders while ferociously defending France’s role in Rwanda.
Let us hope that Macron’s commission will carry out its job with an open mind to forever put to rest a very dark chapter in our history.