Efforts made by French president Emmanuel Macron is “significant progress” towards investigating France’s role in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said on Monday.
Macron appointed a panel of experts comprising of a commission of historians and researchers to investigate France’s role in the Rwandan genocide and produce a public report, French media reported last Friday. The team of experts would look at state archives, including diplomatic and military documents, and produce a public report, according to reports. “This is not to deny the fact that with president Macron’s term of office even in a complicated environment of politics. There has been very significant progress,” said Kagame while addressing a press conference following Sunday’s commemoration of 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide against Tutsi.
There is a significant step in the way the archives are being treated because they contain the truth that people can interpret about France’s role in the 1994’s genocide, he said. “People have asked whether what we need from France or anybody is an apology and our answer is no. For an apology to have a meaning, it has to come from someone who is apologizing,” he added. France’s role during the April-July 1994 genocide in Rwanda has for years been the subject of intense scrutiny and much controversy, with both Paris and Kigali trying to pin responsibility on the other for the genocide. While Rwanda has repeatedly accused France of backing the genocidal regime government, allegedly arming and training the Hutu ethnic group perpetrators responsible for the mass murder during genocide, France has denied the accusations of murder, insisting its forces worked to protect the civilians.
Rwanda severed diplomatic relations with France in 2006 following the issue by a French judge of nine arrest warrants against Rwandan officials in the case of the attack on the aircraft of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana in April 1994, which triggered the 100-day genocide. The African country decided to restore diplomatic relations with France in 2009. The latter currently has no ambassador to Rwanda since the latest ambassador left the post in 2015.