8 April 2014
Kagame accuses France of involvement in Rwandan genocide and bars ambassador from commemoration ceremony
Following accusations by the Rwandan President Paul Kagame of French involvement in the Rwandan genocide, France did not attend the ceremony on 7 April 2014, marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. According to the French Foreign Ministry, Rwanda barred the ambassador from the commemoration.
Kagame told the magazine Jeune Afrique in an interview last month that both France and Belgium had a ‘direct role in the political preparation of genocide and participation in its execution.’ Kagame accused France of training and arming the Hutu armed groups who were the main perpetrators of the genocide and of involvement in the slaughter of Rwandans who attempted to escape through a French-controlled territory.
The French Foreign Ministry stated that ‘these accusations are in contradiction with the process of dialogue and reconciliation that has gone on for several years between our two countries.’ The countries began to restore their relationship as France acknowledged mistakes and initiated genocide investigations.
A senior researcher on Rwanda for Human Rights Watch stated that ‘the whole of the international community bears a responsibility for not stopping genocide in 1994, but France’s responsibility went beyond that because it had supported the previous government that perpetuated the genocide and had trained their soldiers.’
Source: Reuters | France to shun Rwanda genocide ceremony after Kagame accusations
Source: The New York Times | 20 Years After, Rwanda Pauses to Recall Carnage
Source: The Wall Street Journal | Rwanda, France Spar on Anniversary of Genocide