Yes. This is a long time coming. It had to be several of French Presidents before they took any responsibility and taking to account their role in the Genocide of 1994 in Rwanda. The French had invested and a close relationship with the current leadership at the time in Kigali. That jaded their will and their support for it. These folks did directly trade weapons and profit on the genocide.
The French have tried people who has been involved in the Genocide in Rwanda. France have acted as a big-brother, but not acted righteous towards its own ends. They have been the paternal nation and with the current Duclert Report. The current leadership in Paris should make reconciliation and redeem its stature in Kigali. That is only fair knowing what their actions did and did assist the atrocities in Rwanda.
First dropping one statement from France24 to show what they found and what has been written in 1999 about the same thing.
French Reports states known facts:
“The report tells of French decision-makers trapped in “post-colonial” thinking who supported the “racist, corrupt and violent” regime of Habyarimana as he faced a Tutsi rebellion which many considered was directed from English-speaking Uganda. Mitterrand “maintained a strong, personal and direct relationship with the Rwandan head of state”, it said” (France24 – ‘’Blind’ France bears responsibility on Rwanda genocide, historical commission reports’ 26.03.2021).
French Involvement before the Genocide:
“The leaders of France and Rwanda also had very close family ties Mitterand of France and Habyarimana were friends, but their sons, Jean Christophe Mitterand and Jean Pierre Habyarirnana, were not only closer friends, but that friendship was consolidated further by business dealings. The two camps used political power in their countries in order to boost and protect their respective economic interests. The Rwanda Re-view(2:3,1993) ran a letter from Mitterand to Habyarimana, a letter that was not only both personal and official, but also talked about the interests of France in Rwanda. There is also an indication that Jean C. Mitterand was one of the biggest arms dealer in Rwanda. It was there-fore in the interest of France that there should be use for the arms France was ready to supply to Rwanda, arms that eventually ended in the arms of the hands of the extremist killers” (Joan Kakwenzire and Dixon Kamukama – ‘The Path of a Genocide – The Rwandan Crisis from Uganda to Zaire’, P.83, 1999).
With these two pieces. You see they say the same thing. They are connected. The Kakwenzire and Kamukama is also showing the benefits of the relations between the Heads of State. That the sons also had a favourable relations. They wouldn’t have done what they did. If it wasn’t beneficial and had positive outcome. These folks wouldn’t have worked together like they did.
Both Kigali and Paris had close communication. They were even trading arms ahead of the genocide. Certainly knowing what was brewing and had some foresight into the violence that could erupt. Not like they were dumb or had no knowledge.
Just as they had already done this as well ahead of the genocide:
“1991; March 15: The French ambassador to Rwanda, Georges Martres, informed Juvénal Habyarimana that the French Presidency had decided to put a thirty-man DAMI (detachment of troops for military assistance and training) at the Rwandan authorities’ disposal *(Lanotte, 2007: 144). It was named DAMI-Panda and was originally intended to stay four months on location, but in fact it remained in Rwanda until December 1993 *(Lanotte, 2007: 145). This deployment was not publicized by the French political and military authorities, or by their Rwandan counterparts *(Lanotte, 2007: 148)” (Viret Emmanuel – ‘Rwanda – A Chronology (1867-1994)’ 01.03.2010, SciencePro.fr)
So with this all in mind. The Duclert Report only re-affirm what we already knew. They are only stating facts that been out there and they have finally “found” it out themselves. If they will take more accountability and actually reflect it. That is a whole different ball-game.
For some of us. We knew the French was directly involved and supported the regime who did their part in the genocide in 1994. Clearly, with that knowledge. The French could have acted differently and not participated in the exports of arms. However, they only saw money and friendship with the Heads of State. It was business and pleasure. Which in the end was helping the demise of so many innocent civilians.
Now is not the time for empty statements, but direct action of the French to act upon their own findings, which many of us already knew. Peace.
Youth, Ladies and Gentlemen
Today we commemorate the 26th Anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda (KWIBUKA26), under the theme: “Remember-Unite-Renew”.
This is the twelfth year since the African Union started the annual commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. However, this year our commemoration activities have been limited due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Although we will not be formally gathering at the African Union Commission for this event as usual, I encourage you to commemorate this day from wherever you are.
This annual commemoration affords us an opportunity to reflect, and continue the fight against genocide, its ideology, denial and impunity with a view to ensure that never again shall Africa experience such a heinous crime against humanity.
In this regard, I would like to pay tribute to the leadership and the people of Rwanda for consistently working towards “Never Again” and for emerging through resilience and unity from the terrible past and putting Rwanda on a development path that continues to inspire many countries on our continent and beyond.
Between April and July 1994, the world stood still in awe as more than a million people were killed in a space of one hundred days in Rwanda. As we remember the fallen mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters in Rwanda, we should not be oblivious of the fact that genocide is always well planned, deliberately executed with impunity, yet genocide is also always followed by denial.
We should, therefore, redouble our efforts in fighting genocide ideology, its denial as well as impunity. If genocide ideology persists, its denial will continue unabated and impunity will reign. This task should not be the responsibility of the leadership and people of Rwanda alone. It is the collective responsibility of the African Union, Regional Economic Communities/regional mechanisms and all Member States, CSOs, the youth organisations, the women’s movement, Media and Academia. We should collectively combat genocide ideology, impunity and denial working hand-in-glove with the international community and all other stakeholders.
Fighting impunity should equally be at the heart of our collective efforts as AU member states as well as the international community by arresting, prosecuting or extraditing indicted fugitives. Last year at its 836th meeting held on 3rd April, the AU Peace and Security Council called upon countries to arrest, prosecute or extradite fugitives accused of genocide. It is imperative that countries move towards implementation of this decision.
This commemoration should remind us of a past never to be repeated. It should challenge us to deal with the present and the future in our efforts towards achieving peace, reconciliation, accountability, justice, social harmony, constructive management of diversity and the respect for and protection of human and peoples’ rights on the African Continent.
Our Commemoration of KWIBUKA26 this year assumes a special significance given the AU Theme for this year (2020) “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”. I wish to seize this opportunity to call on all Africans to renew our commitment to promote peaceful and inclusive societies that will silence the guns for the attainment of socio-economic development and structural transformation and provide a firm foundation for building the Africa We Want and the Africa we Deserve.
Let us “Remember-Unite-Renew”.
I thank you.
On the alleged rights violations committed in the country, the report highlights “numerous arrests” of people who called for a “no” vote in the referendum.
GENEVA, Switzerland, June 28, 2018 – Reporting to the Human Rights Council, the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi delivered its findings based on more than 380 interviews, in addition to 500 testimonies collected last year.
The dossier compiled by the three-member panel encompasses events surrounding the national referendum last month on constitutional reform which could extend President Pierre Nkurunziza’s term in office well beyond 2020.
Noting a presidential declaration made in support of his successor after the referendum, the report reiterates the view of some observers that Mr. Nkurunziza’s comments were “by no means a clear and firm commitment not to run” in future elections himself.
It also notes “difficulties” faced by international media outlets in covering events in the country amid the suspension of broadcasters including the BBC and Voice of America, following reports that were deemed “biased” by Burundian authorities.
On the alleged rights violations committed in the country, the report highlights “numerous arrests” of people who called for a “no” vote in the referendum, including members of opposition parties who were then allegedly executed or abducted.
It states that “unidentified bodies” have continued to be found “in various parts of the country” after their arrest by “individuals in police uniform” or National Intelligence Service (SNR) agents.
Victims were also targeted by the Imbonerakure — the youth wing aligned to the ruling CNDD-FDD party — whose influence is said to have risen “in the repressive machinery which has developed since 2015”.
Describing how the Imbonerakure “cover the country”, the Commission of Inquiry’s findings detail how their members inform the authorities about “real or perceived opponents in each locality”, all the while “harassing, controlling or intimidating the population”, with the approval of State officials.
This collaboration extends to putting pressure on people to collect contributions for elections in 2020, the report states, before detailing how civil servants are required to pay the equivalent of 10 per cent “or more” of their salary to an election fund.
This levy extends to households and others above voting age on an “ad hoc basis at the local level”, the report continues, citing eyewitness reports of “roadblocks set up throughout the country” by the Imbonerakure to check whether people had receipts for the tax.
Such developments have contributed to the “continuing deterioration” of the Burundian economy that has left the country’s people among the very poorest in the world, according to per capita earnings, the report continues.
Referencing the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), it states that 3.6 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Burundi today.
The deteriorating economic situation will be included in the Commission of Inquiry’s final report to the Human Rights Council in September.