A report commissioned by the Rwandan government has accused France of enabling the 1994 genocide.
“The French Government bears significant responsibility for enabling a foreseeable genocide,” the Rwandan government wrote in its report published on its main website.
The Rwandan commissioned Robert F. Muse and the Washington, DC, law firm Levy Firestone Muse LLP to investigate France’s role in the genocide.
“The message of the Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister today is a key step in getting our two countries closer,” a French presidential adviser told reporters on Monday.
The report comes just weeks after the findings of a report ordered by French President Emmanuel Macron in 2019 determined that France bears “serious and overwhelming” responsibilities for the Rwanda genocide.
“Is France an accomplice to the genocide of the Tutsi? If by this we mean a willingness to join a genocidal operation, nothing in the archives that were examined demonstrates this,” the report’s conclusions said. “Nevertheless, for a long time, France was involved with a regime that encouraged racist massacres… It remained blind to the preparation of a genocide by the most radical elements of this regime.”
France led Operation Turquoise, humanitarian purposes in June 1994. Many believed the operation was actually to assist the genocidal Hutu government. More than 800,000 Rwandans were brutally murdered between April and July of 1994, the majority of them Tutsis.
Thus far, France has been reluctant to apologize to Rwanda for its failures during the mass slaughter. But with both reports coming to similar conclusions, it may be time for France to swallow its pride and cough up an apology and atone for its sins.
“Ultimately, this report cannot be the final word on the French government’s role in Rwanda. That word will arrive after the French government makes public all of its documents and allows all of its officials to speak freely,” the report adds.