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France accused in Rwanda genocide
« on: August 05, 2008, 06:30:04 PM »
France accused in Rwanda genocide
  Rwanda has accused France of playing an active role in the genocide of 1994, in which about 800,000 people were killed.

An independent Rwandan commission said France was aware of preparations for the genocide and helped train the ethnic Hutu militia perpetrators.

The report also accused French troops of direct involvement in the killings.

It named 33 senior French military and political figures that it said should be prosecuted. France has previously denied any such responsibility.

Among those named in the report were former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and late President Francois Mitterrand.

The French foreign ministry told the BBC it would only respond to the fresh allegations after reading the report, which was released on Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier this year France's Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner denied French responsibility in connection with the genocide, but said political errors had been made.

Some 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered by Hutu militias in just 100 days in 1994.

Testimonies

The BBC's Geoffrey Mutagoma in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, says the commission spent nearly two years investigating France's alleged role in the genocide.

It heard testimonies from genocide survivors, researchers, writers and reporters.

The 500-page document was presented to Rwanda's government last November, but was not made public until now.

Rwanda has repeatedly accused France of arming and training the Hutu militias that perpetrated the genocide, and of dragging its feet in co-operating with the investigations that followed.

France has maintained that its forces helped protect civilians during a UN-sanctioned mission in Rwanda at the time.

The two countries have had a frosty relationship since 2006 when a French judge implicated Rwandan President Paul Kagame in the downing in 1994 of then-President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane - an event widely seen as triggering the killings.

President Kagame has always denied the charge.

He says Mr Habyarimana, a Hutu, was killed by Hutu extremists who then blamed the incident on Tutsi rebels to provide the pretext for the genocide.

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Story from BBC NEWS:

Source
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7542418.stm

 



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