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Rwandan President Calls Out France, Belgium For Roles in Genocide on Its 20th Anniversary

France will not take part in the 20th anniversary commemorations of the Rwandan genocide after its president, Paul Kagame, accused Paris of “participating” in the 1994 mass killings.

Kagame denounced the “direct role of Belgium and France in the political preparation for the genocide,” in an interview with Jeune Afrique, a Paris weekly, which is due to be published on Sunday.

France said Kagame’s statement hindered reconciliation efforts between the two countries and announced that Christiane Taubira, the French justice minister, would not attend Monday’s commemorations in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

“France regrets that it cannot take part in the 20th anniversary commemorations for the genocide,” said Romain Nadal, a spokesman for the country’s foreign ministry.

Kagame also accused French soldiers, who took part in a military humanitarian mission in Rwanda’s south, of being both accomplices and “actors” in the bloodbath.

Paris has repeatedly denied these accusations and insists that French forces were trying to protect Rwanda’s civilians.

Relations between the two countries were frozen between 2006 and 2009 but have improved. France last month sentenced Pascal Simbikangwa, a former Rwandan army captain, to 25 years in prison for his role in the massacre.

It was the first trial in France to punish those responsible for the three-month wave of violence.

But Kagame scoffed at the Simbikangwa sentence, saying he did not see it as a positive development.

“For one criminal condemned 20 years on, how many criminals has the French justice system conjured away?” he said.

“This sentence is made out to be a gesture, almost like a favor that France has accorded Rwanda, while it is France’s role in the genocide that should be being examined.”

Kagame’s FPR rebels overthrew the Hutu-led government in 1994, and his party still controls the government.

In 2008, a report by Rwanda’s MUCYO commission of inquiry concluded that France had trained the armed groups that carried out killings and French troops had taken part in massacres. It accused 13 politicians and 20 officers by name.

Many of those accused of the worst crimes of the war escaped, allegedly under the cover of a French military mission.

At least 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis, were killed in the genocide.


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14 thoughts on “Rwandan President Calls Out France, Belgium For Roles in Genocide on Its 20th Anniversary

  1. My my my, that's why Bill Clinton didn't step in.

  2. And it's amazing how Africans worked against their brothers, it has to be more unity.

  3. John Lindsay says:

    The genocide was orchestrated and set-in-motion by the Belgians and other European powers.

  4. John Lindsay says:

    The movie "Hotel Rwanda" didn't tell the real story or history….and thus was NOTHING but a big LIE.

    "In pre-colonial Rwanda, the categories "Tutsi" and "Hutu" were somewhere between castes and ethnic groups. The boundaries between the two groups were permeable, with movement permitted between them. Some members of each group were local chiefs and there was no systematic Tutsi-Hutu violence.{4}

    The brief period of German colonial rule brought European racial theories to Rwanda: the more European-featured Tutsis were deemed to be the natural-born local rulers and the Hutus destined to serve them.

    These theories were then put into practice by the Belgians who took over from the Germans after the First World War. They replaced existing Hutu chiefs with Tutsis{5} and issued identity cards indicating each person's ethnic group, thus eliminating some of the social mobility of the old system.{6}

    High status Tutsis used Belgian rule and the penetration of western capitalism to gain Hutu land, but not all Tutsis were high status; indeed a study in the mid-1950s found that, if one excluded the minority of Tutsi office holders, the average financial situation of Hutus and Tutsis was about the same.{7}

    In the 1950s, elite Tutsis began agitating for independence, and the Belgians began to shift their support to the Hutu elite, who would likely be easier to control since they lacked the experience of domination. Communist governments at the UN championed the cause of Rwandan independence, further straining relations between Belgians and Tutsis. In 1959, ethnic clashes broke out, and the Belgians allowed Hutus to burn down Tutsi houses without intervening. Two weeks later, there were 300 dead and most of those arrested by the Belgians were Tutsi.{9}

    Belgium and France sent troops to Rwanda to evacuate their nationals from the country. Belgium withdrew its forces promptly and cut off military aid in a situation of civil war.{27} French troops, however, stayed on. To Paris, Africa was the one place where the glory of the French empire could still live on. "Without Africa," Mitterrand had written in 1957, "France will have no history in the 21st century."{28}

    Starting in 1960, the Belgians replaced most Tutsi chiefs with Hutus, who proceeded to organize persecution of Tutsis.

    JL: For the rest of the story of HOW European powers contributed to the genocide see:

  5. Farntella Graham says:

    thank you. thank you. thank you. I have always felt that some european countries were involved in that genocide. I knew about belgium but not france. I asked myself, just recently, why it has taken so long for the perpetrators of that atrocity to face justice? why the trial is taking place in europe and not rwanda? were the rawandan puppets given a seat on the un security council as reward for their cooperation with the west in the genocide of the rwandian people?

  6. Farntella Graham says:


  7. @John Lindsey, great read my brother. Africans across the world have to stick together. No more I'm from Africa and your from America. We have to center ourselves as Africans.

  8. Brother Lindsey, I heard of something like that just didn't know how far it went till now.

  9. WHAT A SAD SAD STORY!!! fRance and beligium both deserve severe penalties and repercussions. But in those countries, as well as in america: A BLACK PERSONS LIFE MEANS NOTHING!! WE ARE VIEWED AS TRHE LOWEST OF PEOPLE ANYWAY AND DOGS GET TREATED BETTER!

  10. WHAT A SAD SAD STORY!!! fRance and beligium both deserve severe penalties and repercussions. But in those countries, as well as in america: A BLACK PERSONS LIFE MEANS NOTHING!! WE ARE VIEWED AS TRHE LOWEST OF PEOPLE ANYWAY AND DOGS GET TREATED BETTER!

  11. The dots has now been connected. They did the same in Mali as well.

  12. Sambo Jallo says:

    Excellente analyse.

  13. and they call us barbaric, i don't know how people go to sleep at night, doing this kinda stuff, the earthen realm is not your last life destination spot, but the last stop is God. the french government is no different from napoleon, and the Belgium government is as racist as their crippled dead king, king Leopold. well in my eyes, hes no king, he is the epitome, of the word racism, (please see picture) trust and believe that black people, has endured a lot, but we are still here, God will make a way for us to survive everything you throw at us. we are not a war-mongering race of people, but would like to be left alone with our God and family..the French and Belgium government, should bankrupt themselves, for all the slavery and black on black diabolical mastermind they have created in Alkebulan (Africa) I dont usually say this, but God forgive me if i am wrong, may you all burn in HELL!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. this is the real atrocity. brothers against brothers in service to the european foreigner. I have a hard time respecting rwanda.

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