France Closes 17 Year Probe Into Role of its Commandos in Genocide
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Investigating magistrates have found no evidence that French troops were complicit in crimes against humanity during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
French magistrates dropped a case against French peacekeepers accused of being complicit in a massacre during the genocide here.
They found nothing that would point to the “direct participation of French military forces in abuses committed in refugee camps, nor any complicity in helping or assisting genocide forces,” the French Public Prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
France deployed thousands of troops in Rwanda in 1994 when ethnic extremists targeted Tutsi community and slaughtered over a million people in just 100 days.
France’s role in the genocide
Survivors accused French troops of deliberately abandoning them to Hutu extremists in the hills of Bisesero in western Rwanda.
Prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into possible complicity in crimes against humanity in December 2005
However, the magistrates overseeing the case have opted against proceeding with a trial for the soldiers.
Last year during a visit to Rwanda, French President Emmanuel Macron admitted French responsibility for the genocide.
Macron said that France did not listen to those who warned it about the impending massacre in Rwanda and stood de facto by a genocidal regime.
However, France “was not an accomplice” to the genocide, Macron added.
His statements echoed the findings of an independent commission of historians, which absolved France of direct complicity but blamed it for failing to foresee the slaughter.
The latest developments contradict a two year investigation by Rwanda back in 2008 which gave graphic details about the acts of the French soldiers. The final report said they raped Tutsi women, armed interahamwe militias, ferried Tutsi in helicopters then dumped their dead bodies in Nyungwe forest, and gave safe passage to genocide militia as they retreated into Zaire (now DRC).
All this evidence was a waste of time, at least going by the current state of affairs between Rwanda and France.