Rwanda genocide: Macron orders probe of France’s role


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French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed a panel of experts to investigate France’s role in Rwanda’s genocide 25 years ago.

An estimated 800,000 Rwandans, most from the minority Tutsi community, were killed by ethnic Hutu extremists over 100 days in 1994.

Rwanda has accused France of complicity in the mass killings – a charge repeatedly denied by Paris.

The experts will now consult archives to analyse France’s role.

Looking at the period from 1990 to 1994, it is hoped that the findings made by the eight historians and researchers will “contribute to a better understanding and knowledge” of what happened, the presidency said in a statement.

France was a close ally of the Hutu-led government of Juvenal Habyarimana prior to the massacres.

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It was the shooting down of his plane over the capital Kigali in April 1994 that triggered the genocide.

Rwanda has accused France of ignoring or missing warning signs and of training the militias who carried out the attacks. It also says French forces helped some of the perpetrators to escape.

The issue has long strained relations between the two countries, though they have improved over the past decade.

Mr Macron turned down an invitation to attend genocide commemorations in Rwanda this weekend, citing scheduling problems.


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