Rwandans Say 'France Alone Did Not Know' Its Role In Genocide
Sumaira FH 15 days ago Sun 28th March 2021 | 02:02 AM
The findings of an official French commission that Paris bears overwhelming responsibilities in the 1994 Rwandan genocide created little surprise in Kigali on Saturday, but there was a ray of hope for future ties
Kigali, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 27th Mar, 2021 ) :The findings of an official French commission that Paris bears overwhelming responsibilities in the 1994 Rwandan genocide created little surprise in Kigali on Saturday, but there was a ray of hope for future ties.
"Only France did not know of its role," said MP John Ruku-Rwabyoma.
"But the whole world, especially Rwandans, knew." The commission of historians set up by President Emmanuel Macron declared a "failure" on the part of France over the genocide that saw around 800,000 people slaughtered, mainly from the ethnic Tutsi minority.
"Now the next step for France is to accept that they have to pay reparations to the victims," he added.
Jean Dushimimana, 29, was in the genocide museum's section documenting France's role.
"There is nothing that they (France) can pay back for what they did," said the computer engineer whose parents were killed in the massacres.
France "helped the perpetrators that committed the '94 genocide", he said.
Paul Habumugisha, 27, stood nearby and added: "Most young Rwandans are afraid of France because of what we know that they did." But he said that if Paris had finally accepted its role "it means that France is going to be our friend".
Outside the museum, waitress Josiane Umurerwa said she hoped France's acknowledgement "will also help the victims and those who have lost their loved ones to have peace of mind".
Rwanda officially hailed the findings on Friday as "an important step toward a common understanding of France's role in the genocide against the Tutsi".
The foreign ministry statement said the results from the country's own investigation commissioned in 2017 would be released in the coming weeks and "complement and enrich" the French commission's report.
African Union chief Moussa Faki noted in a tweet that the report was "courageous and worthy of appreciation" and had "established a great number of responsibilities".
It was "an important decision in the service of truth about the most dramatic event in contemporary African history".
The issue still poisons modern relations a quarter of a century later between the colonial power France and Rwanda under President Paul Kagame, a former Tutsi rebel in power since the aftermath of the genocide.
The Elysee said it hoped it would mark an "irreversible" reconciliation process between the two countries.