- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
...Since 1994 France has been adept at trying to hide this stain on la gloire. Its ministers, including the current Prime Minister, constantly repeat the double genocide myth, which alleged that while Hutu killed Tutsi, the Tutsi also killed Hutu. It is akin to claiming that Holocaust victims were also mass murderers.
So the latest French government attempt to cover its Rwandan shame is no surprise to observers of La Françafrique. The timing behind the sudden release of Judge Jean-Louis Bruguières report, which blames Kagame for Habyarimanas death, is no coincidence. Four senior French military and political figures will shortly give testimony before the international war crimes tribunal in Arusha. They have been called by the defence team of Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, who faces charges of being the mastermind behind the genocide.
It is deeply embarrassing, like being called to defend Nazis at Nuremberg. Shortly, too, Kagames government of reconciliation, which drove the genocidaire out in 1994, will announce the findings of its own inquiry into the French involvement in the genocide. It promises to uncover even more explicit details of Mitterrands crime.
President Kagame arrived in London on Sunday for a five-day visit to the UK. His 12-year-old Government has revived a country torn apart by genocide, corruption and poverty. He has emphasised there is no Hutu or Tutsi in his country now, only Rwandans. But while he has created a stable economy and new sense of pride, it is vital that the world, which looked the other way in 1994, now demands answers from France about its direct complicity in the genocide.
There seems to be an unwritten rule among Western leaders not to question each others foreign policies too closely. But genocide cannot be allowed to be so cynically forgotten. Tony Blair has a duty to ask some deeply troubling questions about how and why the Élysée supported a genocidal government before, during and after one of the most appalling episodes of killing the world has ever seen. He may put at risk having some of his own skeletons unearthed. But the dead and the traumatised survivors in Rwanda deserve such belated recognition and respect.