Macron advised to apologize for France’s role during Genocide

On 7 April 2021 at 07:19

A French historian, Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau has said that France’s involvement during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi is shameful highlighting that President Emmanuel Macron should apologize to Rwanda and Rwandans on behalf of his country.

Audoin-Rouzeau made the observation on Tuesday 6th April 2021, few days after Duclert report that reviewed archives on France’s role during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi presented findings to President Macron on 26th March 2021.

The committee that made the report was led by historian, 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 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.

France Inter Radio based in France yesterday aired a talk commenting on Duclert report in which a historian, Audoin-Rouzeau and female Rwandan survivor of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, Jeanne Allaire Kayigirwa were invited.

Audoin-Rouzeau who was delisted from the committee making Duclert report said that showing the role of France during the Genocide against Tutsi ‘ is a great milestone’ filling the gap among French nationals denying genocide.

“The Presidency Office had all means to know and refuse the existence of ethnic groups in Rwanda. This means, they were able to prevent racial discrimination and divisive Government of Habyarimana. It kept a blind eye to killings that took place in 1990 and continued with participation of Government officials. Duclert is clear enough,”he said.

Audoin-Rouzeau explained that there are many countries that apologized for role during the 1994 Genocie against Tutsi like Vatican and highlighted that France should also follow the suit.

“I beseech President Macron to apologize on behalf of France. The president of the Republic should support this truth. Belgians apologized and Vatican did so. Why should France refrain from apologizing? The President of the Republic should do so,” he advised.

Jeanne Allaire Kayigirwa also emphasized that findings of the report are clear but criticized the statement that France supported Habyarimana’s Government blindly.

“It is a great milestone but the word ‘blind’ is not corresponding to the context. You cannot state that it was blind to provide support yet it was well known that Habyarimana’s Government was characterized by racial discrimination, preparing the extermination of Tutsis,” she said.

Kayigirwa also insisted that Macron should apologize for France’s role during the Genocide against Tutsi.

“We are awaiting his reaction. We ask him to hold a speech on 7th April, at the day he dedicated for commemoration of the 1194 Genocide against Tutsi in his country. The time is now for the President of the Republic to apologize to families of genocide survivors,” she observed.