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.
Just two days ago an American Law Firm studied the Rwandan Genocide as they say it themselves: “In light of that inquiry, the Government of Rwanda has retained the Washington, D.C. law firm of Cunningham Levy Muse LLP to review and report on the material available in the public record on the role and knowledge of French officials regarding the Genocide against the Tutsi” (Cunningham Levy Muse, P: 3, 2017). This here is will be quotes from that report that is on the role of the French Government in the Rwandan Genocide. Clearly, there has been allegations and has been some talk about that, concerning the arms and the knowledge of it. This report are putting light on some of that. I will take the quotes that is substantial for the French intervention in the civil war and genocide in Rwanda.
“The expansion of France’s military support and strategic advice began within days of the war’s commencement. On October 11, 1990, Defense Attaché Colonel René Galinié recommended sending French advisers into the field, northeast of the combat zone, to “educate, organize and motivate troops that had been ossified for thirty years and who had forgotten the basic rules of battle.” (…) “In addition to advice, French officials supplied the FAR with modern mortars, armored vehicles, and other vehicles, along with ammunition and rockets. French officials also provided and helped maintain helicopter-gunships, which fired upon RPF fighters. According to jokes at the time, the only thing Rwandan soldiers did was pull the trigger” (Cunningham Levy Muse, P: 12-13, 2017).
“Massacres of Tutsi continued throughout 1991, 1992, and up until the Genocide. French officials were aware of massacres at this time, as well as the role of the Habyarimana government and its military in them. Despite this knowledge, French officials maintained their support of the Rwandan military and funneled weapons into Rwanda” (Cunningham Levy Muse, P: 20, 2017).
“Thus, in February 1993, after the Noroît detachment had just been reinforced . . . , the Army Chief of Staff reminded the defense attaché that he was responsible for “ensuring that the Rwandan army does not find itself in a stock shortage of sensitive ammunition . . . and that deliveries to the FAR of military equipment be made in the utmost discretion.” In fact, in the timeline laid down in his end of mission report, Colonel Philippe Tracqui, commander of the Noroît detachment for the period from February 8, 1993 to March 21, 1993, noted “Friday, February 12, 1993: landing of a DC8 50 with a 12.7mm machine gun plus 100,000 cartridges for the FAR. Wednesday, February 17, 1993: landing of a Boeing 747 with discrete unloading by the FAR of 10 mm shells and 68 mm rockets (Alat).” (Cunningham Levy Muse, P: 23, 2017).
“The French Parliamentary Commission accordingly found: Faced with procrastination by Rwandan authorities and concerned about the stability of states and regional security, France never made the decision to suspend all cooperation, or even to decrease the level of its civil and military aid. Thus, President Juvénal Habyarimana was able to convince himself that “France . . . would be behind him regardless of the situation, and he could do anything militarily and politically.” (Cunningham Levy Muse, P: 27, 2017).
“Arms flows to the FAR were not suspended immediately by France after the imposition of the arms embargo on May 17, 1994. Rather, they were diverted to Goma airport in Zaire as an alternative to Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, where fighting between the FAR and the rebel RPF as well as an international presence made continued shipments extremely difficult. Some of the first arms shipments to arrive
in Goma after May 17 were supplied to the FAR by the French government. Human Rights Watch learned from airport personnel and local businessmen that five shipments arrived in May and June containing artillery, machine guns, assault rifles and ammunition provided by the French government. These weapons were taken across the border into Rwanda by members of the Zairian military and delivered to the FAR in Gisenyi. The French consul in Goma at the time, Jean-Claude Urbano, has justified the five shipments as a fulfillment of contracts negotiated with the government of Rwanda prior to the arms embargo” (Cunningham Levy Muse, P: 39, 2017).
“Information in the public record also shows that in the months that followed the Genocide against the Tutsi French officials continued to support génocidaires. On August 3, 1994, the UN Secretary General suggested that the international community should coordinate with UNAMIR to identify within the camps perpetrators of the Genocide against the Tutsi, with an eye to bringing them to justice. But instead, French soldiers escorted and released suspected génocidaires in Zaire. Between July and September 1994, French military helicopters evacuated Bagosora, along with Interahamwe leader Jean-Baptiste Gatete, and other ex-FAR troops and militia members, out of Goma” (…) “Finally, we urge the Government of Rwanda to seek France’s cooperation in this endeavor. To this end, France should make available its archives, documents, physical evidence and officials (current and former). Any investigation by the Government of Rwanda should evaluate what occurred in the 1990s, as well as what has happened since then, including France’s cooperation with this investigation into French complicity in the Genocide” (Cunningham Levy Muse, P: 48, 52, 2017).
This one collected lots of public information and put into account. This is damning evidence and not just random quotes from a mad-man, but from lawyers collected information as ordered by the Rwandan Government. The could have been done by the French, they might have given other insights and even transcripts we haven’t seen. Even as the Rwandan has and can get documentation on the actions during the genocide and before. Since the Rwandan Government wants closure and might want the French to answer for their crimes.
French President Francois Mitterrand at the time was loyal to President Juvenal Habyarimana, therefore wanted to stop the Rwandan Patriotic Front from overthrowing their man at any cost apperently. The French really showed it with the ammunition, training and also helping them flee with weapons to Zaire/Democratic Republic of Congo. Clearly, the French knew what they did and did it with a reason, as of they wanted someone loyal to them and also a weapons brother at any cost.
So the continued trouble of the Great Lakes Region has been created by the French as well. Since they let the Interahamwe and Ex-FAR leave with weapons in the refugee camps in the DRC. That has been an initial reason for violence since the 1990s. The French should step up and take responsibility for what they did and who they gave power to. Which also created this genocide. The PRF and President Paul Kagame did his part, the RPF is not a holy and non-violent movement who just brought peace. They also killed and took control. However, the French did aid and abide help to the other partner in the crime. Therefore, they are responsible for their part in this genocide. That shouldn’t be left alone and the stones should be turned, the ones sanction this and ordering this on behalf of Habyarimana and his government.
This report was compelling and it shows how disgraceful the French was and how they really wanted the dictator Habyirmana to continue to rule in Rwanda. Peace.
Cunningham Levy Muse LLP – ‘REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO THE GOVERNMENT OF RWANDA ON THE ROLE OF FRENCH OFFICIALS IN THE GENOCIDE AGAINST THE TUTSI’ (11.12.2017)
It is not that I am for the Rwandan genocide or partial in any sense of the actions done in Paris today. I will just spill the beans and ask for questionable trial and courtship in Paris as that is France, not Kigali that is Rwanda. If it still we’re tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania then this would be understandable for court outside as it was an agreement between United Nation and the Rwandan Government for this Tribunal as Peaceful change after the civil war and the genocide in 1993-1994 in the country. There I will question the action of the French Authorities today.
In Paris today:
“On Tuesday, Octavien Ngenzi, 58, and Tito Barahira, 64, will go on trial for allegedly playing a direct role in the massacre of hundreds of Tutsi refugees in a church in the eastern town of Kabarondo on April 13, 1994” (News Wires, 2016).
Because it is an important question and with the implication of history between Rwanda and the France; France have been the colonial master on the African Continent and still have control over the Central African Franc (CAF) and with that has an economic stake in many African nations. Still, this should not be implicated into why they can take Citizens of another Nation and also order their trial, even if it is breaching with Human Rights and Roman Statute. Most Countries have ratified the Roman Statute and also parts of UN Charter for Human Rights and even the Geneva Convention on justice in War. Still, this does opens the door from who has the right to sanction and the right to create justice.
Some people might say the Rwandan Government is a totalitarian and a Police State under strict control from a central government under the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) under President Paul Kagame who does not have the will to take certain Génocidaires to court as they might implicate certain close allies of the government. Still, that does not open the question that I will talk about. Because even if the courts and judges are premature and built for the Government in Rwanda, does not take away their jurisdiction and their own rights of rule of law in their own country. Even when it is the violations are a crime against humanity as Genocide.
Not that I want the men and woman behind an action of this size to get away is not my intention to discuss it. It is more the example of colonial law and the post-colonial acts that are not just or justified. We as people have to set standards and use our minds. I will not let the French or British control the Central Arguments, as much as I don’t want the Americans or Chinese doing it. What is important is this. We have Nations, which is a set territory, a territory where they keep citizens safe and have the monopoly for violence is for the state; in that sense that the nation have an Army to keep foreign forces away and the town a secure to raise families and work. Second part of that security is the internal security to make peace inside the country with a Police that takes criminals and courts of laws that with justification condemns and detain fellow citizens that have breached the national laws. All of this should be universal and understood, as ordinary understanding of what a state should do. And it with this matter I will take a step further.
Because this is important even when the States and Governments who controls their nations and does the wrong acts against fellow peers. Their citizens should then as long as the nation and state have ratified international laws and statutes get their crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court of Hauge. Even if the ICC and it’s attack on African Leaders, it still have the authority as given by the United Nation and the other bodies together with the ratified laws that the States and Government have signed at one point in time.
The problem I have and the reason for it is simple and it’s basic for any Republic/Kingdom/State/Nation their sovereign rights and their sovereign rule as a Sovereign Power in their own Territory as it is with the Army and the Police inside that nation. That is the main issue I have. Even when it comes to Crime Against Humanity.
Let’s say that the unlawful and unjust war from the United States of America under President George W. Bush who even address the world on 20th March 2003, which started a war on false premise and lies to American public and the United Nations, without the international states accept for United Kingdom accepting the attack on the Sovereign Nation of Iraq under President Saddam Hussain. I am not saying President Hussain we’re a saint, as his acts with certain gas and weapons against Iran was not justified, still the matter at hand can question the jurisdiction of the ones implicated and breaches of justice from the American Government at the time and the United Kingdom Government who went in Iraq. They all certainly we’re behind acts against Humanity on some levels as they went to war and even did torture in certain chambers in Iraq. Can the Rwandan Government and their courts if they collect evidence and collect for instance affidavit of victims and of low-level civil servants of the time, could they take President Bush for trial at the High Court of Kigali?
I am just asking the question, because the case today is an act upon the same sovereign question as the former Mayors of two towns or villages are taken to court in Paris. They are in foreign land as they are not in the Jurisdiction and the Territory of where the crimes happen and in the State where the claimed Génocidaires are citizens.
If citizenship and if sovereign nations still means something, then we have to ask the question and ask the matter. Even when it grimes crimes and crimes against humanity as the laws should be the same for Western Nations as for the African Nations. This should open up the questions for French interaction with the Génocidaires of the official government at the time under President Habyarimana with the military training and equipment before Operation Turquoise turned into the UNAMIR mandate under Dallaire. In that sense, the black-box sage that never really been answered as the training and interference of the French, should give the Government under Rwandan Patriotic Front to be allowed to Court the French Men who served the Génocidaires, right? Since the French now is doing the same in Paris, just because they are French and European should not make them able to clean their hands of the blood, just as much as the RPA, now RPF should not be white-washed over time. The law should apply alike to either side. Something that should not be needed to explain or take on; as any crime on humanity and support of the attacks with weapons and structures should be taken to court as violation of these men and woman.
The case is not that the Génocidaires should be dealt with from authorities and the men behind killings should not be punished by the Government or any other piece international legal-body that has the jurisdiction on it. If so then the men and woman should go to international court or a national one that could offer a fair judgement on the causes behind the violations and assess the criminal activity.
But what bugs me is the easy way the French and Government of France overturn the Rwandan Government as a sovereign nation to turn their citizens and their eye-witnesses to Paris for the trial to concede the judgement of these two mayors. Not that I am defending the Mayors for their activity, it’s the actions of French I am still questioning.
That is why, why couldn’t the Rwandese if they could collect information on the French involvement and support of the late-President Habyarimana in the turns up-to the genocide. Since the French can now take Rwandese to court in Paris and collect the witnesses from Rwanda to serve these men and woman in the capital of France. There questions about it and if it is justified as the precedence this kind of cases set. As if the French Authorities still can grant them authority to get these people to be eye-witnesses in a court case of actions against humanity in Rwanda and not on the French shores or near Caen. Therefore since this court is not directly based on the Roman Statute or the other ratified laws where the crimes against humanity are involved and control the verdicts of the judgements. So the matter is that if it was so, since this a case that is about crimes done abroad in alien jurisdiction, it might should have been posted in the ICC and not the High Court or whatever name the Court have in Paris.
It is not that I want the two Mayors to free-men without a court judgement or get the Génocidaires of the Rwandan tragedy to not be tested in Court and get fair trials, so that the men and woman who has actually done their crimes get their punishment. But the way it is done and how it is conducted as long as it talks about Sovereign States and Territory; when coming to court and to be able to conduct justice to its citizens and the condemn the crimes, condone it and make sure that criminals get fair trials before serving time as felons. That shouldn’t be too much to ask. The question is if we twisted the Courts to Kigali instead of Paris, if the French we’re sent to be on trial in Kigali instead of Paris. That should be allowed to ask, as the Rwandan Government and the French Government are both Sovereign States. As Sovereign they have rights, over territory and their citizens and nations are bound to respect these in any sense and be responsible for justice, also over boundaries and borders. And also respecting the international conventions, laws and other ratified accords that set the standards for justice in the State as the Citizens need safety and security; something the state should provide and make sure they have, by the peaceful means and rule of law. Peace.
New Wires – ‘Rwandan ex-mayors face trial in France over 1994 genocide’ (10.05.2016) link: http://www.france24.com/en/20160509-rwandan-ex-mayors-face-trial-france-1994-genocide-Ngenzi-Barahira
“The Kibeho massacre is one of many committed by the the Rwandan Patriotic Army in Rwanda and DR Congo, but it is one of the most shocking because it was witnessed by UN Peacekeepers from Australia, Zambia, and the UK, and well documented by at least two photographers, but no one was ever prosecuted for the crime” (RDI-Rwanda Rwiza, 2016).