Officials in the French capital, Paris, have agreed to find a larger and better public place in the city, next year, to host the Genocide against the Tutsi commemoration events.
The promise was made on Tuesday as over 200 Rwandans and friends of Rwanda gathered at Paris’ 20th arrondisement, one of the city’s 20 administrative districts, to honour victims of the Genocide.
The Rwandan embassy in France joined the Paris municipality of the 20th arrondisement and Ibuka France to lay a wreath at a memorial stone at Père Lachaise Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Paris, as they commemorated the 1994 Genocide.
Rwandan ambassador to France Jacques Kabale, the president of SOS Racisme, Dominique Sopo; Ibuka-France president Marcel Kabanda; Paris deputy mayor, Patrick Klugman; and over 200 other people, including Sacha Reingewitrtz, head of the Jewish student union of France paid tribute to the victims of the Genocide.
On October 31, last year, a memorial stone dedicated to the Genocide was inaugurated at the cemetery located at 8 Boulevard de Ménilmontant 75020.
A statement from the Rwandan embassy in Paris states that on behalf of the Mayor of Paris (Anne Hidalgo), Klugman agreed to find a spacious place in the city, in 2016, which is accessible enough, to dedicate to the memory of the Genocide victims.
Stressing that Genocide perpetrators still “live freely” on French soil, Kabale called on France to follow other European countries in extraditing Rwandan Genocide suspects to Rwanda.
For over a decade now, rights activists in Rwanda and France have investigated and tracked Rwandans suspected of participating in the 1994 Genocide and are now living in France with impunity but are yet to see any extradition to Rwanda.
Rwanda has also indicted 20 Genocide suspects living in France with little success.
Several French youth leaders are in Rwanda to join Rwandans in commemorating the 21st anniversary of the 1994 Genocide. The youth want their government to accept its responsibility in the killings.
Among others accused of taking part in the Genocide is Agathe Kanziga, the widow of former President Juvenale Habyarimana, who continues to reside in France illegally.
On Tuesday, French President François Hollande, signed an order to declassify documents in the presidency relating to communication between France and Rwanda between 1990 and 1995.
Activists and researchers have, however, received France’s release of the archives with caution, calling it a good move but warning that it might be a mere publicity stunt without potential to show France’s true role in the Genocide.