France’s role in Genocide has always been known to Rwandans

Editor, RE: “More evidence pins France on Genocide” (The New Times, July 1). Actually, the evidence is not coming to light only now. It has been there fully in the open from the time these crimes of abetting and involvement in genocide were committed.
French soldiers train Interahamawe militia, who are largely blamed for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. (File)
French soldiers train Interahamawe militia, who are largely blamed for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. (File)

Editor,

RE:More evidence pins France on Genocide” (The New Times, July 1).

 

Actually, the evidence is not coming to light only now. It has been there fully in the open from the time these crimes of abetting and involvement in genocide were committed.

 

In addition, reports of various international and national investigations, including the OAU international commission of eminent persons (OAU, Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide, 2000); the Mucyo Commission (the August 2008 report of the National Independent Commission Charged With Gathering Evidence to Show the Implication of the French Government in the Genocide Perpetrated in Rwanda in 1994); and the January 2010 report of the Mutsinzi Independent Committee of Experts (including top experts from the United Kingdom’s National Defence Academy who provided scientific advice and ballistic analysis), have all documented and publicly presented hard evidence implicating the highest levels of the French Government of the time in the planning and execution of the Genocide against Rwanda’s Tutsi, as well as the continuation of the French Government’s efforts to provide support to the genocidaires, including in the military, political, diplomatic, judicial, informational and financial fields even after the genocidaires had been routed.

 

What is new today is that an increasing number of French people, including some who were involved in Rwanda as agents (sometimes unwillingly) of that criminal policy pursued by French political decision-makers are willing to come out and testify to what we were already aware of, despite the pressures and threats that have been applied by powerful forces within the French establishment to shut them up.

Such individuals’ courage (acceptance of the personal risk they are exposing themselves to as well as the ostracism from former frères d’armes and even the risk of being cut off from any material benefits of their past service) deserves our full gratitude.

But back to my first point: We, in Rwanda, already knew these facts and do not need these new revelations to teach us anything about France’s role in the Genocide.

We have been aware of that role from long before the Genocide in April 1994. The only problem is that in a racially hierarchically structured world, few wanted to believe the accusations against ‘civilised’ France when they came mainly from Africans from deep within the centre of the ‘dark’ continent.

Now that the accusations are increasingly coming from bona fide French citizens, including those who were actively involved in carrying out that French policy on the ground, the French Government and its then officials who were involved in developing and implementing that genocidal policy will find it ever more impossible to deny the facts or deflect criminal liability from their acts.

Such a comeuppance couldn’t come too soon.

Mwene Kalinda

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