Last week, the French newspaper Le Monde published an account that claimed the Office of the French President was privy to the planning of the Rwandan Genocide. In the documents, it becomes increasingly clear that [then] French President François Mitterrand supported the perpetrators of the genocide.
The documents, obtained by lawyers for six Tutsi survivors who are bringing a case against France for “complicity with genocide” at the Paris Army Tribunal, suggest the late President Mitterrand’s support for the Hutus was informed by an obsession with maintaining a French foothold in the region. One of the lawyers, Antoine Compte, said France was aware of the potential danger of its support for the pre-genocide Rwandan government. “Massacres on an ethnic basis were going on and we have evidence that France knew this from at least January 1993. The French military executed the orders of French politicians. The motivation was an obsession with the idea of an Anglo-Saxon plot to oust France from the region.”
Mr Compte said the file of diplomatic messages and initialled presidential memos, obtained from the François Mitterrand Foundation, provided evidence that the French military in Rwanda were under direct instruction from the Elysée Palace. The lawyer yesterday called on the investigating judge at the Paris Army Tribunal to interview senior French political figures, including military figures, diplomats, the former defence minister, Pierre Joxe and former prime minister, Alain Juppé.
It’s been long reported that the French shipped arms to Rwanda at the beginning of the genocide, an allegation that has been continually denied by the French government. As further evidence comes to light, it becomes increasingly difficult to cover up how much the French government knew about the Rwandan genocide, and the latest reports are casting them as allies to the genocidaires.