French judge seeks key to Élysée archives over arms deal during Rwanda genocide


A Paris-based judicial investigation into alleged “complicity in genocide” by Paul Barril, a former commander of the elite GIGN gendarmerie intervention squad, is now seeking access to the classified archives of a military chief of staff to late French president François Mitterrand. In May 1994, Barril signed a 3.1-million-dollar weapons deal with Rwanda’s extremist Hutu regime during its slaughter of up to a million of the country’s Tutsi population. The investigation is seeking to establish whether Barril was furthering his own interests or, unofficially, those of France. Fabrice Arfi reports.

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A French examining magistrate investigating the activities of former gendarmerie captain Paul Barril during the 1994 Rwanda genocide, last month requested access to the classified archives of the late French president François Mitterrand’s chief of military staff.