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France rejects Rwanda's genocide accusations

Rwandan investigators issued a report Wednesday that implicates French soldiers – and top French officials – in the 1994 genocide.

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Official French reaction to the Rwandan accusation that French leaders, diplomats, and soldiers were complicit in the epic 1994 genocide in Rwanda was muted and curt.

"Unacceptable," said both former French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, and a diplomatic spokesman here during a sleepy week when most of Paris has decamped for vacation. Yet some French nongovernmental organizations, media, and intellectuals treated accusations that France aided and abetted Hutu government forces in the 100-day killing spree, which left more than 800,000 dead, as at least a subject for further inquiry.

"There is something not clear in France's responsibility in Rwanda," argued a column in the Paris-based daily, Libération, though it noted that the report, by a Rwandan presidential commission, does not carry the significance of a body like the United Nations' Rwanda war crimes tribunal – set up at the same time as the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Le Monde hit the subject slightly harder in a headline reading, "Rwanda's genocide: a duty to tell the truth."

Tit-for-tat accusations


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