This is a comprehensive report that tells the role of the French in the 1994 Tutsi genocide right from the preparatory stage to the aftermath.
It is however not a criminal report but an inquiry one. It does not seek to prove guilt nor does it seek innocence of anybody. But anyone who feels that he/she can use it for further analysis based on facts can go ahead.
This is a paraphrased statement given by the articulate Rwandan Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama, while officially launching the Mucyo commission report on Tuesday, August 5, 2008.
The National Independent Commission report, gives detailed findings on France’s active role in the 1994 Tutsi genocide, in which over a million people were brutally massacred.
The Mucyo commission has been investigating the role the French played in the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda. The audience comprising of journalists, ministers, MPs and other dignitaries was tense during the presentation of the report.
The tension in the conference room, however, cooled down as time went by and people were invited to freely ask questions.
Almost all questions asked were similar in context; People wanted to know what would follow the report-if there could be possible indictments, claims for compensation, and so on and so forth.
Some went as far as expressing their fears that the superpower (France) will ignore the whole exercise as usual and continue with its hidden agenda.
France’s Foreign Ministry said officials were still poring over the accusations, which were listed in a report, and they did not immediately have a comment but someone at least did.
However, one MP from France’s ruling party immediately reacted to findings of the report:
“…It very sad and actually shameful that the report implicates France as an accomplice in the genocide. France was the only country that expressed its concern over the atrocities in Rwanda.
We did all these when countries like Britain and the USA brushed it off as no issue…We in fact went as far as helping those who were escaping the war waged against a legitimate regime”, Jacques Myard told BBC radio yesterday.
The MP does not only refuse to accept the role played by France in preparing the genocide, but goes as far as to defend the French soldiers who were involved in the infamous ‘Zone Turquoise’.
There is however nothing new in the French denial of complicity in the genocide-they have done so for quite long and actually set an egg-chicken-like equation.
Children and ‘philosophers’ are normally accused of creating endless confusion so that they continue doing their philosophy (not very scientific).
Children for example, will argue for ages as to what comes into existence first-the egg or the chicken. In addition, philosophers, who will not buy the idea of the Bible- creation story, will be embroiled in similar paradoxical equations. France usually deflects blame.
On hearing the MP’s utterances, I could not help but marvel at his virulent scorn on the force that actually stopped the genocide.
“The French tried to stop the war and possible death of citizens, but was betrayed by RPF/A that was fighting a ‘legitimate’ government, plus Britain and the USA who never wanted to intervene”, BBC quoted the Myard
The confusion the French- man wants to keep on hanging can be compared to the children’s chicken and egg equation.
Unfortunately, for him and others of similar ‘thought’, Rwandans are not children and neither do they need to keep on ‘philosophizing’.
There is again little wonder that French and Spanish judges decided to draft indictments against some top Rwandan government officials to pre-empt any accusations from the very government.
The Mucyo commission must have caught them unawares, as it unravels their monstrous acts before, during and after the 1994 Tutsi genocide. Their frustrations are further laid bare in light of their denials-they are beaten in their own game.
As for Rwandans, they must remain vanguards of the cause to unravel, expose, and prosecute all those who destroyed our people and nation without fear.
It is necessary for us to be assertive in the quest to receive justice. People who wronged us or continue to wrong us, take our gentility for granted, and in some cases have over stretched our leniency.
Nonetheless, they should be reminded that opting for diplomacy does not necessarily mean that we are submissive. We bite and those bitten can now feel the pain.
We do not mind whatever they want to call it, ours is a just cause and nobody should stand in our way.