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16 Nov 2007 18:00
A special Rwandan commission handed over on Friday a 500-page report on France’s alleged role in the country’s 1994 genocide, the commission’s president said.
“We have achieved the first task and we will wait for the president of the republic to pronounce on the veracity of this inquiry so that it can be made public,” said commission president Jean de Dieu Mucyo.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame will likely offer his feedback on the study in the next month, he added.
Paris has already rejected the competency of the commission of historians and jurists tasked to assemble evidence of France’s role in Rwanda’s genocide that killed 800 000 people in just a few months.
The current, Tutsi-led government accuses Paris of having armed and trained the authors of the massacre, something that France denies.
Between last October and December, the commission organised public hearings of witnesses, notably former members of the Rwandan army, who implicated the French government in the slaughter. It had wanted to extend its inquiry to France.
The accusations have been traded both ways.
In November 2006, the French anti-terrorism Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere implicated Kagame in the 1994 assassination of former Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana, which sparked the slaughter.
Kagame subsequently broke off diplomatic relations with France.
In August, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said he was ready to go to Rwanda as soon as a number of unspecified issues were ironed out.
While that has yet to happen, Kouchner met his Rwandan counterpart in September on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
In October, Kouchner said France had committed “mistakes” in Rwanda, while denying any French responsibility in the genocide.—Sapa-AFP
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