French-English historical animosity haunting Rwanda

The facts pinning French soldiers and former leaders’ inhuman complicity makes one wonder why such a big power would have embroiled itself in the bloody 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda.

The facts pinning French soldiers and former leaders’ inhuman complicity makes one wonder why such a big power would have embroiled itself in the bloody 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda.

Nevertheless, two answers can be assumed; one is that that they had a regime friendly to their interests which helped them maintain their influence in Africa, therefore fighting it was not acceptable.

France actually categorized any efforts to change Habyalimana’s regime as a “lese-majesty” crime - an offence that violates the dignity of a ruler.

Secondly, they did not want the RPF/A freedom fighters to bring their English ‘influence’ to Rwanda. Most RPF/A soldiers had come from English speaking countries.

The above two assumptions also explain why Rwanda, a former Belgian colony, continued to enjoy a privileged relationship with France. Rwanda did not have anything to attract France in terms of resources and it should not have therefore risked its respect to fight for a genocidal regime.

According to Jackie Jura, an independent researcher monitoring international events, “During Habyaliman’s regime, Rwanda went as far as being classified as France’s “pré-carré” (Its reserved sphere of influence in Africa). The liberation war by RPF/A, was thus seen by the French, as a ‘trick’ from the Anglo Saxon world to oust it”.

Though the assumption was completely wrong, the hostile historical relationship between the English and French justified the thought.

Who knows, maybe the Anglo Saxon world could have been dancing inside their hearts, that the French were losing influence in Africa. You know the effects of the 100 years war between England and France.

The animosity of their wars keeps haunting them, and up to today, I do not think anything has improved in terms of relationships.

They actually have to play diplomacy for mutual benefits and nothing beyond that. Certain tangible evidence explaining why the two worlds vowed never to meet, can be traced in simple daily life.

When you go to a world of French influence like Rwanda, you will not only drive on the right, but also push your door inside as you open your house. Conversely, in the Anglo-Saxon world, you will do the exact opposite.

This is a simple testimony explaining why the French abhor anything English and its allies.

It is, however, unacceptable that the people of Rwanda remain victims of such history. We have the right and moral obligation to choose who serves our interests. We could not of course remain under ‘serfdom’ where we had to dance to the tune of our oppressors.

This is where the French went wrong - they never expected us to react, let alone react vigorously.

But when you treat human beings like animals, they will in the long run react as such to find their way out. This is what happened exactly and of course, the might of the super power could not do much to halt the people’s fight to unchain themselves.

Instead, they succumbed to their lackeys’ backward, inhuman and very myopic advice to exterminate the Tutsis. This is the shame they carry today!

The French, with their Anglo-Saxon hatred in their minds, thought the advice was timely and went ahead to help the regime carry out the genocide.

This is how they blundered and there is no doubt that today’s regime in Paris must be blaming the Mitterrands of yester year.

Nevertheless, the mighty France uses its power to refuse all the crimes it committed in Rwanda. I do not think that the French who committed the crimes against humanity in Rwanda will ever face justice under today’s trends of events in the UN.

I mean, they have all it takes to manipulate the UN’s international courts. UN has remained indifferent whenever we accuse France.

“We don’t believe any French citizen or other citizen is above the law, especially when it comes to crimes as serious as genocide.

We hope the French will take this report as seriously as Rwanda has taken it, and when the indictments come out, will co-operate,” said Louise Mushikiwabo, the Rwandan minister of Information.”

The IBUKA president Theodore Simburudari further said that, “The French judiciary should be the first to bring French criminals to justice.”

The two officials’ demands after the Mucyo report are logically and technically correct, but realistically doubtful due to all the reasons I have cited.

All these notwithstanding, Rwandans should not stop highlighting and seeking to bring to justice all those who mercilessly murdered the children of Rwanda. 

We do not have room for whoever wants us to live the way he/she wants, and our rights cannot be limited by any history or power - be it foreign or home made. We cannot be held at ransom!


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