RWANDA. Kigali: In a report released on March 26, French historians have blamed France for turning a blind eye to the Rwandan genocide, making the European nation mainly to blame for the 1994 massacre.
French President Emmanuel Macron had ordered an inquiry into the mass killings in Rwanda in May 2019. The commission of inquiry was led by historian Vincent Duclerart.
“Paris was blind to a racist and corruption regime,” reads the report.
The report further says that perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide had a safe zone created by French troops and that senior French political figures had failed to arrest them.
Along with this, the French military is also accused of letting perpetrators of the violence escape. However, the report did not find France an accomplice to the genocide.
But, the report has blamed former French president François Mitterrand.
Socialist Mitterrand and his inner circle were also fearful of the encroachment of English-speaking influence into francophone Africa by Uganda and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) of Kagame.
The French military sanctioned by the UN offered a military- humanitarian intervention between June and August 1994 but critics felt it was aimed at protecting the Hutu.
800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in the genocide according to the UN.
What Triggered The Tragedy?
Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana was killed in a plane crash together with Cyprien Ntaryamira a Burundian president. Nobody has been hold responsible but Hutus blame Tutsi militia and some blame extreme Hutus.
Within hours of the plane crash, the presidential Guard, the Rwandan Army and Hutu militia groups set up barricades and roadblocks, slaughtering moderate Hutus and Tutsis.
The groups included the Interahamwe (Those who fight Together) and the Impuzamugabi(Those who have the same goal).
A Hutu Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and some Belgian peacekeepers were killed in the attack. Senior Hutu extremists in the Army took power on April 9.
The killings spread from Rwanda to other areas. Tutsi leaders from the south did not comply with the killings. Hence, they were killed and removed from their positions.
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Government-sponsored Rwandan radio stations ordered Hutus to kill their neighbors. The RPF fought back and formed a coalition government with the current leader Paul Kagame as Vice president and a Hutu Pasteur Bizimungu as president.
A new constitution was established banning the party of former president Habyarimana the National Revolutionary Movement For Development. Over 2 million Hutus fled the country to neighboring states. In 2003, Kagame was elected for a 10-year term.