Rwanda accuses France of complicity in mass killings - a charge denied by Paris - and experts will now consult archives to analyse France's role.
Former army corps general Jean Varret is the most senior French officer yet to criticise France’s actions in the East African state of Rwanda in the years immediately preceding the 1994 genocide in the country. Interviewed as part of a joint investigation by Mediapart and Radio France into the events 25 years ago, Varret denounced the role and “faults” of a “military lobby” directing French policy, and how the warnings of the horror to come were ignored by his military and political masters.
In a joint investigation, Mediapart and Radio France have revealed the contents of previously unseen documents relating to aspects of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, from the assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana which sparked the massacres to illegal arms sales to the genocidal regime. The documents include a key report by France's overseas intelligence agency, the DGSE, on the genocide, which left close to one million people dead. Mediapart's Fabrice Arfi and Benoît Collombat of Radio France report.
French magistrates have closed an investigation into the missile attack in 1994 on a plane carrying then-Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana, which sparked the genocide in the East African country in which more than 800,000 people died, citing insufficient evidence against seven named suspects.
Mediapart has published a video filmed in the summer of 1994 by French soldiers in Rwanda. It exposes the passivity of the army during one of the most embarrassing episodes for France during the genocide in that country: the massacre at Bisesero. The revelation comes as French judges complete their long investigation into the claims that the French military was "complicit" in genocide and crimes against humanity. Meanwhile human rights groups say they fear that the victims of the atrocities will be denied justice. Fabrice Arfi reports.
Investigating magistrates in France have been probing the actions of a group of senior French military officers in relation to a massacre at Bisesero in Rwanda, one of the grim episodes in the genocide committed against the Tutsi people in 1994. For 13 years the judges have investigated the potential responsibility of the French military over that massacre amid claims that senior officers were slow to react to warnings that Tutsis were in mortal danger at that site. But Mediapart understands that the magistrates have now finished their probe with no individuals being placed under formal investigation, paving the way for the case to be dismissed with no trial. Fabrice Arfi reports.
An investigation into the deadly missile attack in 1994 on the aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana, after which followed 100 days of slaughter of the Tutsi ethnic minority by members of Habyarimana's Hutu ethnic group, leaving an estimated 800,000 people dead, has been closed by French magistrates.
Officials claim French officers were involved both as perpetrators and accomplices in 1994 genocide in which more than 800,000 were killed.
French investigators want to question a dissident general who has accused the country's current head of state of orchestrating the 1994 killing.
Court said Octavien Ngenzi, 58, and Tito Barahira, 64, were guilty of 'crimes against humanity' during country's 1994 genocide.
France-based Wenceslas Munyeshyaka was suspected of an active role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, where he received a life sentence in 2006.
Earlier this week it was announced that hitherto secret French presidential archives relating to the 1994 Rwanda genocide were to be declassified. The documents are records from the presidency of the late François Mitterrand, and cover France’s close relations with the Rwandan regime of president Juvénal Habyarimana, whose assassination 21 years ago sparked the state-sponsored massacres that claimed the lives of more than 800,000 people. France’s role before and during the genocide remains controversial, amid speculation that it provided weapons support and protection of those who perpetrated the slaughter. But, writes Mediapart’s international affairs correspondent Thomas Cantaloube, while the move this week to declassify Mitterrand’s archives appeared to be one of belated transparency, they promise few revelations beyond previous leaks, while the key archives about France’s involvement in Rwanda held by the defence and foreign affairs ministries remain strictly secret.
The hitherto secret files relating to the 1994 genocide of 800,000 people include advice given to then French president François Mitterrand.
The French government pulled out of the commemorations on Monday April 7th that marked the twentieth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. This abrupt decision was provoked by the recent comments of Rwandan president Paul Kagamé about “the direct role of Belgium and France in the political preparation of the genocide, and the participation of the latter in its actual execution”, remarks which have sparked outrage in France. But though France's reaction was in line with former foreign minister Alain Juppé's demand that the government should “defend France's honour”, Mediapart's Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel argues that the decision not to attend the commemorations is instead a sign of France's dishonour over the tragic affair.