Kagame meets former French senior military officers

On 19 May 2021 at 12:33

President Paul Kagame yesterday met with former French senior military officers who served in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994 for a candid discussion about history of Genocide against Tutsi.

“This evening, President Kagame received members of the Duclert Commission along with Gen. Jean Varret, Gen. Éric de Stabenrath, Col. René Galinié and Amb. Yannick Gérard, former French officials involved in Rwanda between 1990-1994, for a candid discussion about history and memory,” the Presidency has tweeted.

Gen Jean Varret who was part of officers that meet with Kagame served as the head of France-Rwanda military cooperation mission from October 1990 to April 1993.

Brig Gen Éric de Stabenrath was heading the Opération Turquoise (a French-led military intervention in Rwanda) in 1994 in former Gikongoro Prefecture while Colonel René Galinié was the Defense Attaché to the Embassy of France in Rwanda and head of military cooperation mission (July 1991-April 1994).

During his stay in Rwanda, Gen Varret informed his country about Genocide plan that was underway. Since then, he was gradually excluded from coordination that official information was later exchanged directly between the Presidency of Mitterand and subordinates until he resigned. He was replaced by Gen Jean-Pierre Huchon who was at the rank of Colonel at the time.

Recently on 26th March 2021, the expert commission comprised of French historians commissioned by Macron released ‘Duclert’ report which 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.

As Duclert report was released, Gen Varret said that it will provide ground for truth on France’s role during Genocide against Tutsi.

During an exclusive interview with France 24 recently, Kagame said that he wanted to meet with these former army officers to discuss history of what happened in Rwanda particularly findings of Duclert report and Muse report released by Rwanda.

Rwanda and France have embarked on a new chapter to revitalize wavered relations over the role France is accused to have played during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

The recently released Duclert report is considered a big step forward to revitalized relations.

President Paul Kagame in a group photo with former senior military officers and Duclert committee after holding discussions.