During a visit to East African Rwanda, President Emmanuel Macron recognized France’s role in the atrocities in Rwanda. With this he wants to venture a diplomatic fresh start after decades.
During a visit to the East African state of Rwanda, French President Emmanuel Macron recognized France’s political responsibility during the 1994 genocide. At the time, representatives of the Hutu majority had killed hundreds of thousands of members of the Tutsi minority and moderate Hutu.
Macron, speaking at the Genocide Memorial in the capital, Kigali, said France had a duty to “face history and recognize the extent of the suffering it has caused the Rwandan people”. Paris had waited too long to examine the truth, Macron said. The international community let three “endless” months pass before responding.
Although France wanted to prevent regional conflict or civil war in international negotiations in August 1993, it ignored warnings from observers and involuntarily sided with the perpetrators who would commit genocide months later, Macron said.
800,000 people died
Macron had arrived in Kigali Thursday morning to normalize relations. The contacts between the two countries have been clouded to this day because of France’s behavior during the 1994 genocide. Before leaving, Macron had expressed the hope of a fresh start.
Macron had been received by President Paul Kagame upon his arrival. Macron will travel to South Africa on Friday.
Only recently, a commission of historians came to the conclusion that the genocide weighed heavily on France. One conclusion was that Paris remained blind in the face of the preparations for the genocide. However, there is no evidence of complicity in the deaths of more than 800,000 people.