Prosecution opens criminal inquiry on French officials over role in Genocide

The National Prosecution has moved to investigate French officials who played a role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

A statement released by the National Public Prosecutions Authority (NPPA) states that they have opened criminal inquiry into 20 individuals from the French government to ascertain whether criminal charges can be brought against them.

“The inquiry, for now, is focused on 20 individuals whom, according to information gathered so far, are required by the Prosecution Authority to explain or provide clarity on allegations against them, to enable the Authority to make conclusions whether the concerned individuals should be formally charged or not,” reads the statement.

Adds the statement: “As investigations continue, other French government agents and/or officials might be required to similarly assist the Prosecution Authority.”

It added that relevant French Government authorities have been formally engaged. The Office of the Prosecutor General expects that reciprocal judicial cooperation will be availed throughout this inquiry by the relevant French Government agencies and authorities.  

Various reports have implicated the French authorities in the Genocide, in which over a million people were killed, including a recent report by the National Commission for the Fight against the Genocide (CNLG).

The CNLG report that was released last month in two parts, detailed the individual role of at least 22 senior military officers in the French armed forces and two ambassadors who were accredited to Rwanda at different times between 1990 and 1994.

During the 1990-94 liberation struggle that was launched by the RPF Inkotanyi, the French soldiers actively fought alongside the then government soldier.

It is also on record that French troops openly trained and armed the Interahamwe militia that carried out the genocide.    

A report by a special commission of enquiry instituted in 2009 to probe the role of France in the Genocide against the Tutsi deduced that at least 33 French officials were criminally liable for the Genocide. 

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