France was ’blind’ to 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, report says

On 27 March 2021 at 09:19

The report by French historians has revealed 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.

According to BBC, the report was presented yesterday, two years, after the delegation of 13 historians started reviewing archives on France, Rwanda relations between 1990 and 1994.

The expert commission presented the report to French President Emmanuel Macron. The report said France had been "blind" to genocide preparations.

The team studied French official files.

Rwanda, which has long accused France of complicity, said it welcomed the report.

The Government said it "represents an important step toward a common understanding of France’s role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi".

The report blames the then French President, François Mitterrand, for a "failure" of policy towards Rwanda in 1994. The findings are being 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.

The commission members include experts on the Holocaust, on the massacres of Armenians in World War I and on international criminal law. They are led by historian Vincent Duclert.

In 2015, then-President François Hollande announced that the Rwanda archives would be declassified but two years later, after a researcher sought permission to study them, France’s Constitutional Council ruled that they should remain secret.

The Government of Rwanda said it would soon release its own report, "the conclusions of which will complement and enrich those of the Duclert Commission".