The government of Rwanda is alleging that France had a hand in perpetuating the violence and atrocities of the 1994 genocide in which over 800,000 people lost their lives.
The accusation by the Rwandan government on France’s involvement in the 1994 genocide is coming not too long after France relaunched an investigation into the Rwandan genocide.
French investigators wanted to hear evidence from a former general who claimed that President Kagame was involved in the shooting down of a plane carrying then President Juvenal Habyarimana. The action was believed to unleash a slaughter in which ethnic Hutu extremists killed more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
President Kagame was openly critical of the move by France, saying at the time;
“The judicial system of Rwanda is not subordinate to France or France’s interests,”
“If starting all over again is a showdown we will have a showdown, there is no problem about that.”
It seems like that showdown is just beginning as a statement released by Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) claims that 22 French senior military officers helped to plan and execute the 1994 genocide.
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The CNLG argues in their statement that these “French actors were involved in the genocide both as perpetrators and accomplices.” One of the French senior officers accused of having played a role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda is the general Jacques Lanxade. Lanxade was at the time the chief of Staff of the French armies.
According to the CNLG, Kigali believes that the French Operation Turquoise was authorized by the United Nations while deployed in Rwanda and they were a “real occupation force involved in serious crimes”, supported and hidden by France. The group says that the French forces did “not want their acts known despite their evidence.”
Rwanda and France have had a tense relationship since 2006 when a judge called for President Kagame to stand trial for the alleged crime that sparked the genocide, this statement by the CNLG can only make that relationship worse.