France opened this Wednesday to the general public important archives relating to the situation in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994, 27 years to the day after the start of the genocide of the Tutsis in this country, according to a publication in the Official Journal. These are archives of former President François Mitterrand, as well as those of his then Prime Minister Édouard Balladur.
Several of these documents, in particular diplomatic telegrams and confidential notes, appeared in the damning report on the role of France in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994, delivered by a commission of historians at the end of March. The Duclert report looks back on the French commitment during these four decisive years, during which the genocidal drift of the Hutu regime took place, leading to the tragedy of 1994: some 800,000 people, mostly Tutsi, were exterminated in abominable conditions between April and July. They underlined in particular the responsibility of François Mitterrand and his particular staff who regularly ignored the various warnings on the risks of genocide.
Commemorations this Wednesday
Several commemorations are planned, especially in France, to mark the 27th anniversary of the start of the genocide. After a moment of meditation and a deposit of flowers in Paris at 10 a.m., several official speeches must follow one another and a minute of silence must be observed at noon.
When submitting the Duclert report, Emmanuel Macron had indicated that he hoped for an “irreversible” rapprochement with Kigali. Even if relations between the two countries have relaxed with the arrival to power of the French president in 2017, the role of France in Rwanda has remained an explosive subject for more than 25 years. It is also the subject of a violent and passionate debate between researchers, academics and politicians.
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