Posted by: africanpressorganization | 6 August 2008

Rwanda / Statement by the French minister of Foreign Affairs


 

Rwanda / Statement by the French minister of Foreign Affairs

 

PARIS, France, August 6, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ –(…) What is your reaction to the Rwandan Justice Ministry’s accusations made public yesterday? Do these call into question the political will for a rapprochement with Kigali which France has been expressing for a year now?

We have read the report published on August 5 and made public in

Kigali at a press conference held by the Rwandan Justice Minister.

The report has not officially been communicated to us.

We can speculate about the objectivity of the mandate entrusted to this “independent commission tasked by the Rwandan authorities to gather evidence showing the involvement of the French State in the genocide perpetrated in Rwanda in 1994.” We can’t of course be surprised at the commission’s conclusions, given its title.

In the report, unacceptable accusations are leveled against French political and military leaders.

We draw your attention to the fact that a very substantial investigation of France’s role in Rwanda during those years was carried out in 1998 in the framework of a parliamentary mission of inquiry chaired by Paul Quilès. We stick with this commission’s analysis and its conclusions.

Also, ever since it was set up, we have cooperated closely with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). It’s important to remember that as soon as the ICTR was set up, France immediately adapted its legislation to recognize the full jurisdiction of this tribunal and its primacy.

We are still as determined as ever to build a new relationship with Rwanda, transcending this difficult past:

– President Sarkozy had a meeting with the Rwandan President Kagame in Lisbon on December 8 last year. He forcefully expressed our strong desire for reconciliation and also our concern to face up to the weaknesses and errors of the international community, including France, in the face of the Rwandan genocide.

– The Minister of Foreign and European affairs, Bernard Kouchner, went to Kigali in January this year to take a concrete step toward Franco-Rwandan reconciliation. A Franco-Rwandan working group has met three times in the past year to lay the foundations for a new relationship between Kigali and Paris.

– At the judicial level, since June 2007, France has arrested on its territory, at the request of Rwanda and the ICTR, six Rwandan nationals sought for participation in the genocide.

We continue to view our relationship with Rwanda in this forward-looking way.

(…)

 

 

SOURCE : France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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