Tuesday, March 16, 2004

France and Rwanda have been trading accusations. First, French authorities have accused then rebel leader (now Rwandan president) Paul Kagame of ordering the shooting down of the plane carrying the then Rwandan and Burundian leaders in 1994. This event was the pretext the Rwandan regime’s extremists were looking for as an excuse to implement their pre-planned genocide that eventually killed at least 800,000 people. Kagame denied the accusation and accused France of ‘direct involvement’ in the genocide.

Kagame told Radio France Internationale, “They [the French] trained the genociders. They were in positions of authority over the armed forces who committed the genocide. They also participated directly in the operations: by infiltrating roadblocks to identify people by their ethnicity, in punishing Tutsis in favor of Hutus. All this was done in plain site, at the roadblocks. We have everything on video, numerous proofs of French participation. Not the Frenchpeople, but certain elements who were acting on the order of the government and who managed roadblocks during the genocide.” Strong stuff. Unfortunately, plausible too, considering the close relations between Paris and its client regime in Rwanda and considering the military operation the French launched to help the genociders escape to then-Zaire.


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