Editorial: France should face the truth and stop mudslinging

Twenty-three years after the Rwanda Patriotic Front stopped the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, France remains on a revisionist path. Paris’s role in supporting the genocidal regime of Juvenal Habyarimana, through training and arming Interahamwe, the militia largely behind the killing over a million innocent Rwandans, is well documented.

Twenty-three years after the Rwanda Patriotic Front stopped the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, France remains on a revisionist path. Paris’s role in supporting the genocidal regime of Juvenal Habyarimana, through training and arming Interahamwe, the militia largely behind the killing over a million innocent Rwandans, is well documented. 

Since the defeat of its client regime in Kigali, France has aggressively promoted wild conspiracy theories that discredit the RPF government, with view to rewrite Rwanda’s history, turn victims into perpetrators and cleanse perpetrators of the fastest genocide the world has ever witnessed.

These antagonistic tendencies, which mainly arise from France’s guilt over its tragic role in Rwanda’s troubled history, usually increase whenever Rwanda is garnering positive news coverage thanks to its continued transformation.

The country’s economy continues to receive positive reviews from different international development organizations and has particularly attracted the attention of key players in the hospitality sector from around the world in the recent past, highlighting its growing status as a preferred tourist and investment destination.

Rwanda’s hard-earned reputation as an efficient, progressive and pro-people economy is the result of RPF’s visionary policies anchored on the tenets behind the PRF-led Liberation Struggle.

In just over two decades after ending the Genocide, the RPF leadership under President Paul Kagame has not only turned around the country’s fortunes with Rwanda today occupying an enviable place among the community of nations and Rwandans proud of who they are, but it also continues to lay the foundation for a more secure, prosperous and inclusive nation.

Now, that’s a trajectory those linked to the country’s tragic past abhor simply because the country is under a leadership they hate with a passion.

This is the principal reason why every now and then France – influenced by the political and military leaders with a bloody role in Rwanda’s history – recycles the same old falsehoods about the shooting down of the Habyarimana plane, pointing a finger at the RPF liberation forces.

This, despite the fact that separate inquiries in Rwanda and France have previously concluded that the missiles that brought down the Falcon 50 jet could only have originated from the Kanombe barracks area which was under the control of the then government forces and French troops.

In fact, it is the French soldiers that arrived at the crash site in Kanombe before anyone else and went on to collect whatever they deemed valuable, including the black box.

That extremists within the Habyarimana regime could have eliminated him did not come as a surprise as some in his own party were openly against the Arusha Accords that he had signed with the RPF.  

Therefore, the latest claims that a new witness had come forward to pin the RPF on the attack is only a continuation of France’s mudslinging and blackmail campaign, which nonetheless, is an exercise in futility.

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