Rwanda invites President Macron for 25th genocide commemoration
Written by: George Kalisa
Wednesday, March 13th, 2019, 3:51
Rwanda’s Regional Affairs Minister, Olivier Nduhungirehe on March12 said that French President Emmanuel Macron’s attendance of the 25th genocide commemoration will be a gesture of improved relations between Rwanda and France. Nduhungirehe confirmed that his government invited Macron, adding that the relations between the two nations have been cold for 25 years.
“He was indeed invited for the 25th genocide commemoration on April7,” Nduhungirehe told this reporter yesterday in a telephone interview.
“His attendance is very important to consolidate the relations between Rwanda and France that have been complicated for the last 25 year, and the act will further improve the relations which are currently on recovery and have improved, indeed,” he added.
President Nicholas Sarkozy was the first French leader to visit Rwanda since 1994 in February 2010 and paid tribute to over 250,000 victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi buried at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
He wrote in the visitors’ book: “In the name of French people I bow before the victims of the genocide of the Tutsis. Humanity will preserve forever the memory of these innocent people and their martyrdom.”
Since 1994, Rwanda has repeatedly accused France of complicity in the 1994 genocide, alleging that high profile French leaders either provided military training to the Interahamwe militias who killed Tutsis, weapons or technical expertise in the plotting of the genocide – accusation which France denies.
Rwanda has frequently said it will not abandon its stance to implicate France in the genocide and will continue with the quest to have the truth about France’s role which is backed by documents, and Rwanda needs many questions regarding to France’s complicity be dealt with as appropriate.
The French anti-terror judges Jean-Marc Herbaut and Nathalie Poux in December, 2018 definitively dropped the investigation on the shooting down of the aircraft on which ex-president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira were aboard.
Rwanda claimed that the controversial probe due to lack of evidence. Rwanda had alleged that the probe was started purposely to divert global attention from France’s role in the preparation and execution of the 1994 genocide and that it was based on false testimonies from a career liar and deserter from Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF).
In 2006, French judge, Jean-Louis Bruguière, issued indictments to bring to book senior Rwanda government official in the downing of the plane.
More than one million Tutsi and moderate Hutus were killed during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.