In Brief

France ‘complicit’ in Rwandan genocide

Independent report concludes French officials obstructed justice in subsequent investigations

French officials were complicit in the Rwandan genocide and obstructed justice in subsequent investigations, according to a new report commissioned by the Rwandan government.

Commissioned by the Rwandan government and written by the American law firm Cunningham Levy Muse, the report is part of an official investigation into France’s role in the genocide, which claimed the lives of more than 800,000 Tutsis.

Drawing on wide-ranging sources including diplomatic cables and witness testimonies, the 52-page document make a series of allegations.

Among the most serious highlighted by CNN are that: “French officials supplied weapons to government forces and militias implicated in massacres of Tutsis, despite having knowledge of these atrocities; that French officials provided support and shelter for Rwanda’s interim government, whose leaders were subsequently convicted of genocide charges; and that the French government obstructed justice after the genocide by failing to release vital documents, and failing to extradite or prosecute suspected war criminals living in France.”

It is not the first time the Rwandan government has accused France of complicity in the mass-slaughter and relations between the nations have been strained since the genocide in 1994. France currently has no ambassador in Kigali and Rwanda has recently withdrawn its envoy from Paris.

The report says a “complete investigation into the full extent of the knowledge, conduct and complicity of French officials is warranted” and calls for French archives to be opened to shed light on the actions of the French government at the time.

France’s Constitutional Court recently ruled that any classified documents should remain sealed.

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