URUGWIRO VILLAGE - President Paul Kagame yesterday held a meeting with the visiting French Foreign Affairs Minister, Bernard Kouchner, where it was agreed that discussions on historical errors between the two countries be held as one way of cementing their relations.
The two countries restored relations a month ago following years of diplomatic drawbacks triggered mainly by controversial indictments issued by French Judge, Jean Louis Bruguiere.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting at Village Urugwiro, Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, said that the immediate step to take is ensuring that the appointed Ambassadors start their work as soon as possible.
“We have just met the President and what has been reached is to take a step further on normalization of our relations. We shall also start discussions on some aspects of our countries’ history that didn’t go well,” the Minister said.
Mushikiwabo said that what is most important is that the two countries have agreed to take a step forward and that the meeting largely dwelt on what needs to be done to strengthen the revived ties.
Kouchner said that what is important is to understand the achievements registered so far by the two countries.
“The most important signal if I may say so is to understand what has been done here and the whole process of the story. My personal view, because I was there (during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi) is that it has not been explained to the French people. We will try to do it,” he said.
Commenting on Genocide suspects in France indicted by Rwanda, the French Minister said that the matter should be left to the two senior investigative judges who visited the country recently to examine the cases of Genocide fugitives residing on French soil.
“Two judges visited Rwanda last December and they are absolutely independent. It is not up to me, the Ministry of Foreign affairs or the French government to decide for the judiciary.
But I think we are on the good path. We opened three days ago a unit of international justice in our judicial system and we are waiting for it to be accepted by Parliament,” he said.
Kouchner declined to divulge details on action by his government to the findings contained in the Mucyo Commission report that cited alleged complicity of the French government in the Rwandan genocide.
“I have no comment to pronounce and to offer you on that issue. But let’s walk together and explain to the people that the judicial side is going on,” he told members of local and international media.
Pressed on what has to be explained to the French people about the history of the two countries, Kouchner said; “we were very far and we didn’t understand… some of us, and we have to repeat and explain to the people to meet each other, and that is exactly what we want to do.”