Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Rwanda: The plot was thicker...

Reuters and AFP have issued brief four-paragraph stories about a 500-page report to the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda. In it the Government of Rwanda names French military and political officials it says should be prosecuted for assisting the 1994 genocide.

AFP quotes a Justice Ministry statement: "French forces directly assassinated Tutsis and Hutus accused of hiding Tutsis... French forces committed several rapes on Tutsi survivors."

Reuters reported that Rwanda has formally accused senior French political and military leaders of involvement in the 1994 genocide. Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and late President Francois Mitterrand were among those named in a report by a Rwandan investigation commission.

The report, which was submitted to the Rwandan government in November, was no released until today (Aug 5 08). The commission established in April 2006 and led by Jean de Dieu Mucyo took eighteen months to investigate the basis for its allegations.

Back in April, afrol News reported that

Not only was France training the genocidal militias prior to the genocide, the French government was even today providing perpetrators of the genocide a refuge. France has earlier been criticised by a European court for not trying genocide suspects.

In 2005, Paris set up a military tribunal to investigate charges by six Tutsis that French troops were complicit in the genocide. Also in 2005, a former French soldier also claimed that French troops had trained Rwanda militia for two years prior to the genocide.

Earlier this year (2008), the French FM admitted to political errors, but denied any responsibility for the genocide.

Rwandans (The New Times - Kigali Aug 5 08) waiting for the release of the report recalled the horrors revealed in a BBC film, Rwanda: The Bloody Tri-Colour (March 1995), and the testimony of a Belgian Colonel that on the night of April 5, 1994, UNAMIR intercepted a French plane-load of arms and ammunitions at former Kanombe, now Kigali International Airport, destined for Forces de Armee Rwandaise.

Earlier this month, France's top court, le Cours de Cassation, ruled against the extradition of Clavere Kamana, a businessman accused of "actively participating" in killings between April and July 1994 in the village of Runda in central Rwanda. Rwandan officials say Kamana was a leader of the local Interahamwe and that he took part as early as 1990 in plans for the genocide

Since 2000, France has extradited three genocide suspects to the international tribunal but has refused to hand over any suspects to Rwandan courts over concerns that they could not provide a fair trial.

Rwandan courts are still awaiting French action on requests to extradite two other genocide suspects -- Isaac Kamali and Marcel Bivugabagabo.Recommend this Post

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