France Opens Archives On Rwanda Genocide

The French Government on Wednesday ordered the opening up of significant state archives concerning the genocide in Rwanda on the 27th anniversary of the start of the slaughter that still casts a shadow over France.

France Opens Archives On Rwanda Genocide

According to a statement issued in France`s official journal which publishes Government decrees, the archives concern the work of former president Francois Mitterand and his prime minister Edouard Balladur between 1990 and 1994 when the genocide began.

Many of the documents include diplomatic telegrams and confidential notes that were sources for a long-awaited report by historians published last month over France`s role in the genocide that saw 800,000 people slaughtered mainly from the ethnic Tutsi minority between April and July 1994.

President Emmanuel Macron concluded that France bears overwhelming responsibilities over the genocide. A report that was published last month indicated that there was a failure on the part of France under Mitterand while adding that there was no evidence Paris was complicit in the killings.

Macron ordered the report after years of accusations that France did not do enough to halt the massacres and was even involved in the crimes. This issue still affects the relationship between France and Rwanda under its president Paul Kagame who is a former Tutsi rebel.

Rwanda described the report as an important step towards a common understanding of France`s role in the genocide against the Tutsi.