The political expert who once served as an advisor in the Office of the President the Republic, Paul Kagame has explained that it is the first time for a committee established by France to approve that the country supported the Government that prepared and executed Genocide noting that the gesture is a giant stride leading to the revelation of unknown realities and revitalized bilateral relations.
The report by expert commission comprised of French historians was released on 26th March 2021 and presented to French President Emmanuel Macron. The team studied French official files.
The report indicated that France bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" over tragic history that led to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi which took lives of over 1 million victims.
It was presented two years, after the delegation of 13 historians started reviewing archives on France, Rwanda relations between 1990 and 1994.
The report blames the then French President, François Mitterrand, for a "failure" of policy towards Rwanda in 1994. The findings were made public after years of French official secrecy over links to the Government led by Juvenal Habyarimana.
President Macron appointed the 15-member commission two years ago, giving them access to presidential, diplomatic, military and intelligence archives.
Among the archives are those of Mitterrand, who had close ties to former Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana.
Dr. Kimonyo who also authored different books has told IGIHE that the relevance of the report lies in its resolutions.
He holds a PhD in Political Science obtained from Québec University in Canada.
He has so far authored two books including ‘Rwanda, un génocide populaire ‘ and ‘Rwanda demain! Une longue marche vers la transformation’.
“In fact, the gist of the report lies in its resolutions. It has two resolutions.The first states that French people had heavy and overwhelming responsibility to what happened in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994. Secondly, it is the first time an entity from France makes such a statement. That’s a great milestone,” he said.
“Taking stock of the situation in the past five years, an individual trying to ask former France officials if the country was accomplice to Habyarimana or Genocidal Government was mocked. The report clears France of complicity but asking the question also has a strong relevance,” added Dr. Kimonyo.
He explained that implications of the report proves the country’s role during Genocide particularly allies complicity of allies to the then President Mitterand even though it is not mentioned directly.
Dr. Kimonyo finds that Duclert report is a great step to restoring Rwanda, France relations considering the strong willingness of President Macron since he took office in 2017.
“The report is not the first gesture Macron demonstrates to revitalize Rwanda. France relations. As the Duclert commission was established, the country had started spotting Genocide fugitives to face justice. The situation is promising that Rwanda, France relations will continue to flourish,” he observed.
Since 1991, France embassy in Rwanda reported that preparation of Genocide to exterminate Tutsi but the Government of Mitterand kept a deaf ear as revealed by Colonel René Galinié who was the Defense Attaché to the Embassy of France in Rwanda and head of military cooperation mission (July 1991-April 1994).
The Duclert report also triggered reactions of other French soldiers who were deployed in ‘Opération Turquoise’ (a French-led military intervention in Rwanda since 1994) among other politicians who have been explaining the Government of the then French President, Mitterand disregarded for several times reports and evidences explaining that Genocide was under preparation in Rwanda.