A few days ago, the Government of Rwanda released its report on French involvement in the 1994 genocide. It is available, with several relevant supporting documents, on the website of its Department of Justice: http://www.minijust.gov.rw/news.html. The actual report seems to be in French only, but there is an English summary: http://www.minijust.gov.rw/communique_english_version.pdf.
The French are furious, of course, but they are only getting a taste of their own medicine. A few years ago a French prosecutor attempted to indict President Kagame and several senior officials in Rwanda for crimes against humanity. France was exercising universal jurisdiction, whereas Rwanda is doing no more than to invoke its territorial jurisdiction.
Since the International Court of Justice issued its ruling in Bosnia v. Serbia last year, I have wondered how long it would take to figure out the application of that decision to the Rwandan genocide. The Court said (at para. 432), that the Serbs in Belgrade, ‘In view of their undeniable influence and of the information, voicing serious concern, in their possession, the Yugoslav federal authorities should, in the view of the Court, have made the best efforts within their power to try and prevent the tragic events then taking shape, whose scale, though it could not have been foreseen with certainty, might at least have been surmised. The FRY
leadership, and President Milošević above all, were fully aware of the climate of deep-seated hatred which reigned between the Bosnian Serbs and the Muslims in the Srebrenica region…’ Surely the same reasoning is perfectly applicable to the relationship between France and Rwanda in the period preceding the genocide. As the summary of the recent Rwanda report indicates, French military advisers were deeply involved in the Habyarimana government from 1990 to 1994, and were well aware of the racist plans afoot.
Thanks to Muyoboke Aimé Kalimunda.