Macron acknowledges a historical and political responsibility of France in genocide against the Tutsis and asks for forgiveness from the survivors

Macron acknowledges a historical and political responsibility of France in genocide against the Tutsis and asks for forgiveness from the survivors

Macron acknowledges a historical and political responsibility of France in genocide against the Tutsis and asks for forgiveness from the survivors

/ POLITIQUE / Thursday, 27 May 2021 18:41

By Kabakura Jean Bosco Ceusi

Only those who crossed the night can maybe forgive; give us the gift of forgiving us,” he said, addressing to the victims and survivors of the genocide against the Tutsis who were looking for an apology.

President Macron added that by engaging in a conflict in 1990 in which it had no anteriority, France failed to hear the voices of those who had warned it, or did it overestimate its strength by thinking it could stop the worst.

Rwanda’s government and genocide survivor organizations have accused France of training and arming militias and former government troops who led the genocide in 1994 that left some 800,000 Tutsis dead.

A   report prepared by French historian earlier this year concluded that France bore “serious and overwhelming” responsibility for the genocide, but was not complicit in the killings.

France has a role, a historical and political responsibility in Rwanda. And she has a duty to face history and recognize the amount of suffering it has inflicted on the Rwandan People”, said Macron in Kigali.

France ignored signs as early as 1990 that the genocide was being prepared, and it ignored warnings during, and calls for recognition after, and today “has a responsibility to look at history head-on and recognize its part in the suffering inflicted on the Rwandan people by imposing silence on the examination of truth.”

Rwandan President Paul Kagame had previously said that the French report acknowledging France's responsibility was a big step towards   easing relations between his country and France.

Macron’s visit to Rwanda and his speech is another step.“Facts are more important than words,” historian Jean-Paul Kimonyo told the new times. 

An advisor to Kagame, he said the fact that France has acknowledged its role in the genocide and has started prosecuting perpetrators is important.

These are facts, and that is the most important. Words are important, and we are open to them,” he said. “In the current world, there is an activist spirit of asking for apologies from institutions and high ranking people. It’s not really in the Rwandan culture. If someone wants to apologize, they can do it. We will not demand it.”

The speech of President Macron at the Kigali memorial where over 250,000 victims killed during the Genocide against the tutsis responds exactly to the wish of the genocide survivors and is a guaranty of the will of his administration to cement the steps made in the normalization of relations between France and Rwanda.

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