Yes, we await fruits of renewed ties with France, but not at the expense of the truth

Editor, Two nights ago, I was watching the news on France 24, a French news channel at around 9 or 10 pm our time.


Two nights ago, I was watching the news on France 24, a French news channel at around 9 or 10 pm our time.

I was eagerly watching the news program, waiting to see the French and Rwandan public’s reaction to the renewal of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

I happen to be among those who’ve been eagerly awaiting the restoration of these ties-having benefited from this professionally.

To my disappointment, the French reporter following Bernard Kouchner’s delegation currently in Kigali saw fit to only comment on current developments in Guinea Conakry.

However, as I continued to watch, more details unfolded on the background to the restoration of diplomatic ties between Rwanda and France.

It was said that Rwanda had broken ties with France because of the indictment issued by the French judge Brugière.

Conveniently, there was no mention of France’s failure to apologise for its role in the Genocide.

I was shocked when the newscaster nonchalantly commented that Rwanda no longer included France among the guilty parties in the Genocide.

I heard her say in French “le Rwanda ne met plus la France au banc des accusés”.

This was the last sentence she made before the newscaster went on to other items, so it could easily have been overlooked by anyone watching. Nevertheless, it was heard by the millions, if not thousands of Frenchmen and women watching the news last night.   

This is not right. Not only will it sway the opinion of those French people who are eager to establish the truth of Mitterand’s government’s involvement in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, it is also, in my opinion, absolutely wrong.

Anyone who followed the proceedings of the Mucyo Commission will know that the French not only provided military training to a government army that they knew was planning a genocide; they also raped very young girls as well as women.

We owe it to the one million Rwandans who perished in the Genocide, the survivors of the Genocide, and to all Rwandans in general – to keep the truth intact. This is not only part of our history – it’s also the history of Mankind.

Therefore it should not be tampered with.

Esther Milenge



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