Rwandan Genocide: 20 French Diplomatic, Military Officials To Be Probed

Rwanda’s National Public Prosecutions Authority says more French officials might be questioned for their role in the 1994 killings.


Rwanda’s National Public Prosecutions Authority, NPPA, has opened a criminal inquiry into the alleged role of 20 French officials in the 1994 genocide in the country. The New Times newspaper of Rwanda reported yesterday, November 30, 2016 that prosecutors have not yet published the names of the people to be investigated. But a dossier recently published by the National Commission for the Fight Against the Genocide, CNLG, accused several top French diplomatic and military officials of preparing and executing the genocide that claimed at least a million lives.

A statement made public on November 29, 2016 by CNLG talks about the alleged role of French Ambassadors to Rwanda between 1990 and 1994 and several military officers in the killings. Prosecutor-General Richard Muhumuza said depending on the outcome of the investigations, more French government officials might be invited for questioning. An NPPA source said the inquiry will be mainly conducted in France, adding that French authorities had been contacted and full co-operation was expected.

The shooting down of the plane of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana over the capital, Kigali, in April 1994, triggered the mass slaughter that lasted from April 7 to July 3, 1994. Relations between Rwanda and France were broken off between 2006 and 2009 after a French judge said top Rwandan officials were involved in the downing of Habyarimana’s plane. Rwanda has repeatedly accused France of backing Habyarimana’s regime, and training and arming Hutu extremists largely responsible for the genocide. France has denied the accusations, insisting that its forces sought to protect civilians.

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