France Cosies Up to Rwanda in New Diplomatic Moves

After years of pointing accusing fingers at Paris for its role in the 1994 genocide, Rwanda may have opened its doors again to France.

Long held as a major player in the genocide that led to the killing of at least 800,000 people in the East African country, France chose the African Financing Summit as a perfect room to cosy up with Rwanda, still recovering from the effects of that sore point in its history.

Rwanda’s move may have been informed by the decision of France President Emmanuel Macron to set up a panel to check his country’s activities in the genocide.

Called the “Duclert Report”, named after the leader of the panel, Vincent Duclert, the report unveiled in March, did not directly name France as an accomplice in the genocide but pointed fingers at former President Francois Mitterrand who was believed to be close to the Hutu-led government of Juvenal Habyarimana at the time.

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The panel had 14 historians sitting to check what transpired in Rwanda and concluded that Mitterrand, in a bid to extend France’s post-colonial presence to Kigali saw to the battle through an ethnic prism. This however led to the loss of lives which has caused diplomatic difficulties between both nations.

Kagame has previously said an apology from France for its roles in the genocide will be welcomed as Kigali is also expected to reveal its part of the report in the coming days.

Macron used the premise of the African-Financing Summit in Paris to reveal he will be visiting Rwanda for the first time and is expected to name an Ambassador when he visits next week.

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