Kagame welcomes Duclert report

On 7 April 2021 at 07:34

President Paul Kagame has welcomed the recently released ‘Duclert report’ that reviewed archives on France’s role during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

Findings from the report were presented to President Macron on 26th March 2021. It was made by an expert committee of French historians led by Prof. Vincent Duclert.

The report by French historians 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.

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.

The commission members include experts on the Holocaust, on the massacres of Armenians in World War I and on international criminal law.

As he delivered the message marking the beginning of the 27th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi; Kagame said that certain French officials have for decades tried to cover up their responsibilities (during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi) which caused significant damage and reminisced on the Duclert report which he welcomed highlighting that it marks an important step toward common understanding of what took place.

“Recently, a commission of historians appointed by the French government released a detailed report after reading official archives that had remained secret. The report shows that President Mitterrand and his closest advisers knew that genocide against Tutsi was being planned by their allies in Rwanda. Despite that knowledge, the president decided to continue supporting them, because he believed this was necessary for France’s geopolitical position. Rwandan lives were just pawns in geopolitical games,” he said.

“We welcome this report because it marks an important step toward a common understanding of what took place. It also marks a change, it shows the desire, even for leaders in France, to move forward with a good understanding of what happened, and we welcome this. We welcome this. We are going to have the report presented to us. I have been informed about it. It is a good thing,” added Kagame.

The President emphasized that Rwanda will, in the near future, release its findings going in the same direction with findings from Duclert report.

“Rwanda will also have a word to say in the near future, maybe around the third week of this month. The findings we have in our hands, based on the work that has been done by people who were commissioned to do that in parallel to what was being done in France — the findings go in the same direction. The important thing is to continue working together to document the truth. This is the truth,” he noted.