On May 3, the Paris prosecutor’s office demanded a dismissal in the investigation into the inaction alleged against the French army during the massacres of Tutsi at the end of June 1994. The five high-ranking French officers in the crosshairs of justice did not. were not indicted.
The Paris public prosecutor’s office requested a general dismissal in the investigation into the inaction alleged against the French army during the massacres of Tutsi in the Bisesero hills at the end of June 1994, during the genocide, according to sources close to the file cited. by AFP on May 3.
The five French general officers of Operation Turquoise targeted by the investigation not having been indicted, the magistrates should logically order a dismissal, unless they decide to relaunch the investigations, as recently claimed by associations and survivors after the publication of the Duclert report on the role of France in Rwanda.
In a press release, the Paris prosecutor Rémy Heitz explained that the Paris prosecutor’s office considered that “no aid or assistance from the French military forces was established during the commission of abuses, no adhesion of the latter to the criminal project. prosecuted by genocidal forces nor any failure to intervene in the face of crimes constituting genocide or crimes against humanity under a previous agreement. ”
“This indictment is heartbreaking and distressing legally”
In addition, the prosecution does not rule out the possibility that the non-intervention of the military constitutes a “non-assistance to a person in danger”, but concludes that this possible offense is in any case prescribed, according to the authorities. requisitions to which AFP had access. “This indictment is heartbreaking and distressing legally,” said Eric Plouvier, Survie’s lawyer, denouncing “a denial of justice”.
Since 2005, the associations Survie, Ibuka, Fidh and six survivors of Bisesero have accused the Turquoise force, deployed in Rwanda under a UN mandate to put an end to the massacres, of knowingly abandoning hundreds of Tutsi refugees to the genocidaires for three days. in the hills of Bisesero, in the west of the country.
According to the UN, the massacres left more than 800,000 dead between April and July 1994, mainly among the Tutsi minority.
During the investigation, five senior French officers – including the head of Turquoise, General Jean-Claude Lafourcade – were heard by the judges and remained placed under the status of assisted witness, less incriminating than that of indictment which opens , him, the way to a possible trial. A choice contested by the civil parties, who demand a trial “in complicity in genocide” against these officers but also against the entourage, never targeted by the investigation, of former President François Mitterrand.
For the complainants, the report published in March by the commission chaired by the historian Vincent Duclert on French policy in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994 revealed “new charges”, which justify relaunching the investigation and finally hearing from senior officials of the Elysée at the time.
The final decision now rests with the investigating judges.