Rwanda says report on France’s role in 1994 genocide important step toward common understanding

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KIGALI, March 26 (Xinhua) — Rwanda on Friday welcomed a report by a French commission that spent two years investigating France’s role in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

“The Government of Rwanda welcomes the report of the Duclert Commission, which represents an important step toward a common understanding of France’s role in the Genocide against the Tutsi,” said a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Kigali will release an investigative report by the government in 2017 in the coming weeks, whose conclusions will complement and enrich those of the Duclert Commission, the statement said.

Vincent Duclert, head historian of the commission set up by French President Emmanuel Macron, presented the report to the latter in Paris earlier in the day.

According to its findings, France bears the burden of “heavy responsibilities” in the genocide that claimed over 1 million lives, mainly ethnic Tutsis, but was not complicit in the killings during the 100-day tragedy.

It also ruled out wrongdoings by military “Operation Turquoise” led by France towards the end of the Rwandan genocide.

France’s role during the April-July 1994 genocide has for years been the subject of intense scrutiny and much controversy.

Rwanda has been accusing France of backing the genocidal regime government and covering genocide suspects through “Operation Turquoise,” but the claim was denied by France.

The central African nation severed diplomatic relations with France in 2006 following the issue by a French judge of nine arrest warrants against Rwandan officials in the case of the attack on the aircraft of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana in April 1994, which triggered the genocide.

Although the diplomatic relations between the two countries were restored in 2009, France has no ambassador in Rwanda since the last one left the post in 2015. Enditem

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