“Instead of fundamentally supporting democratization and peace in Rwanda, the French authorities have supported the ethnic division and radicalization of Rwanda’s government,” said Vincent Duclert, historian and project manager at Rwanda Report. He described the European country’s approach to the Rwandan genocide as a “monumental failure”.
President Macron had previously commissioned an expert from the experts historical studies about the massacres. The initial report has twelve hundred pages, the content of which is also devoted to the engagement of Paris in an African country, where members of the Hutu majority ethnic group killed about eight hundred thousand mostly minority Tutsis in just ninety days. “Although France is not complicit in the crime of genocide, its actions have helped to strengthen the criminal mechanism,” says Duclert.
The French head of state now adds to the publication of the analysis the opening of the historical archives to the public, symbolically on April 7, which is exactly 27 years since the day the Rwandan genocide started. Macron’s decision is welcomed by Dafroza Gauthier, who in 1994 lost more than eighty members of her extended family.
The materials can help investigate offenders
She and her husband Alain are now searching for the perpetrators of the massacres. At the same time, they are both looking for testimonies from both Rwandan refugees and murderers. “The historians’ commission uses very strong words in its report as failure or responsibility of the state. This is what we have been repeating for the past 27 years, “said the genocide activist and investigator.
The Gauthier organization has already tracked down thirty perpetrators of genocide. The couple hope that the declassified archives will provide them with new clues. It is possible that they can use them to reveal the true extent of the preparation of crimes and the share of former officials of the Mitterrand administration. The prime minister’s government was characterized by an anxious effort to maintain national interests in francophone Africa.
But Mitterrand’s followers after the historical lesson of genocide demonstrate a different attitude. “What happened in Rwanda requires the international community, including France, to consider its mistakes,” said former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2010.