Macron said that France “could have stopped the genocide” in Rwanda

Macron said that France “could have stopped the genocide” in Rwanda

After acknowledging in 2021 France's “responsibilities” in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Emmanuel Macron took another step on the 30th anniversary, estimating that Paris “could have stopped” the massacres but “did not have the capacity to do so.” will.”

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The French President, who was invited by his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, to attend the commemoration ceremony on Sunday, will not go there and will be represented by his Foreign Minister, Stephane Ségournet, and the Rwandan-born Minister of State for the Maritime, Herve Bervil.

But the Elysee announced on Thursday that he would speak on Sunday “via a video that he will publish on social networks,” the content of which was partially revealed.

“The Head of State will remember in particular that when the stage of total extermination against the Tutsis began, the international community had the means to know and act, through its knowledge of the genocides revealed to us by the survivors of the Armenian Holocaust, and that France, which could have stopped the genocide. With its Western and African allies, it did not have the will.”

In May 2021, the French President's trip to Kigali and his words there led to a rapprochement with Paul Kagame, who has never stopped questioning France. The question of the French role before, during and after the genocide has been a hot topic for years, even leading to the collapse of diplomatic relations between Paris and Kigali between 2006 and 2009.

At the memorial in the Rwandan capital, Emmanuel Macron said he had come to “recognize” France's responsibilities in the genocide, which left at least 800,000 dead, most of them from the Tutsi minority, between April and July 1994.

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He added: “While French officials had the clarity and courage to describe what happened as genocide, France failed to reach appropriate consequences.” He added: “We have all left hundreds of thousands of victims in front of this closed hellish door.”

“A country admits its mistakes”

He explained that Paris “was not complicit” with the perpetrators of the Hutu genocide, and did not apologise, while saying he hoped for forgiveness from the survivors.

A report by historians published shortly before under the supervision of Vincent Ducleert had concluded that France bore “heavy and overwhelming responsibilities” and that the Socialist president at the time, François Mitterrand, and his entourage were “blind” in the face of racism. And the drift towards genocide of the Hutu government that Paris supported at the time.

Paul Kagame praised the 2021 presidential speech and spoke of the “tremendous courage” shown by his “friend” Emmanuel Macron.

Marcel Kabanda, president of Epoca France, the main organization for memory, justice and support for genocide survivors, said the letter reported on Thursday “goes further than the Ducleert report and the declaration he made in Kigali.” “I'm happy because it gives France this positive image of a country that acknowledges its mistakes and grows by recognizing its history,” he told AFP.

“It is undoubtedly a step forward,” responded Vincent Ducleert, who sees in it “a very strong recognition” of “all the mistakes” that France has “committed since the beginning of the 1990s in Rwanda.”

He added to France Inter: “We felt that France might be a little late in this thirtieth anniversary, and there, Mr. President, France is already returning to the forefront.”

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For its part, the Survie Association, which is heavily involved in the issue, asked France to go further by “officially recognizing” “complicity in genocide.”

According to the Elysee, the Head of State will confirm, on Sunday, France’s support for Rwanda and the Rwandan people in memory of the million children, women and men who were martyred because they were born Tutsis. It will reaffirm the importance of the duty of memory, as well as the importance of developing and disseminating reference knowledge, especially through educating the younger generations in France.

In 2010, Nicolas Sarkozy, then president of France, had already admitted in Kigali that there had been “serious errors” and “a form of blindness” on the part of the French authorities, which had “very tragic” consequences.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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