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Report: France is responsible for genocide in Rwanda

An estimated 800,000 people were killed in Rwanda in the spring of 1994. The genocide was perpetrated by extremist nationalists from the majority Hutu people. Most of the victims belonged to the Tutsi minority, but also Hutus who were seen as accomplices were murdered.

Rwanda has accused France of protecting war criminals and of previously arming the then Hutu regime.

“Failed policy”

The commission’s report, which was handed over to French President Emmanuel Macron, blames, among other things, the then French president François Mitterrand for pursuing a “failed” policy towards Rwanda, writes the BBC. Mitterrand had close ties with former Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana.

Habyarimana was killed when his plane was shot down before landing in the capital Kigali on April 6, 1994. The shooting is considered to be the trigger for the genocide.

“Friendly relations”

Macron, who commissioned the Commission to investigate France’s possible role in the genocide, welcomes the report.

“We hope that the report can lead to the development of our relationship with Rwanda (and that) the process of resuming friendly relations this time is irreversible,” Macron’s office wrote in a statement to AFP.

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Kigali also welcomes the conclusions and describes in a statement the report as a step “towards a common view of France’s role in the genocide”.

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