The National Commission to Fight against Genocide (CNLG) has taken it out with former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe following his tweet last Friday that was negating France’s role during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The tweet, which was in French, read, “Faire procès à la France de porter une part de responsabilité dans le génocide aux Rwanda est une honte et une falsification historique”, loosely translated as ‘Implicating France in the Rwandan genocide is a disgrace and a historical distortion”.
It saw many Rwandans, especially diplomats and lawmakers taking to Twitter to condemn what they termed as provocation, which they said, is yet another attempt to add salt to an injury for Genocide survivors as they prepare for the 22nd commemoration of 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“We have issued a statement which targets French media consumers to expose his lies. It is on record that in 1998, a French parliamentary commission of inquiry publicly acknowledged France’s paramount role in aiding and abetting genocidaires; they did it when supporting the defeated Ex-FAR, he cannot merely deny his country’s role in the Genocide against the Tutsi,” said Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana, the CNLG executive secretary.
He further argued that the Genocide’s history was vividly documented, and that France’s role was and is still a concern for many, including former French President Nicholas Sarkozy.
“President Sarkozy himself, during his visit here, noted with concern that it was a political error by the then French government which systematically pushed for more hostile policies like deployment of French soldiers in Rwanda and supply of logistics when the Genocide was in course,” he added.
“Alain Juppé received in Paris a delegation of the (then) interim government composed of Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza and Jerome Bicamumpaka, two notorious extremists of the genocidal government, whose purpose was to solicit and mobilise arms and political backing. That was done when the Genocide was in full swing,” he further explained.
Juppe, who is currently serving as the mayor of Bordeaux, a south western province of France, is running for president.
Naphtal Ahishakiye, the executive secretary of Ibuka, the umbrella organisation of Genocide survivors’ associations, called on members of the public to be wary of such offensive messages, especially when coming from a famous revisionist like Juppe.
“It is not very surprising when those statements are uttered by a well-known genocide ideologist and revisionist like Juppe whose role in the Genocide is widely known.
“But this should not distract us, we should focus more on productive and progressive agenda, They purposely tend to do it when we approach or during commemoration but we should stand firm,” he said.
It is reported that, for example, on April 5, 1994, France supported, at the UN Security Council, demands by the extremist party CDR, to join the transitional government which the Arusha agreements did not provide for and which the CDR had also publicly rejected.