France accused as Rwanda marks anniversary

10th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

KIGALI, April 7, 2007 (AFP) - Rwandan President Paul Kagame made another swingeing attack on France Saturday at a ceremony marking the 13th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, accusing French forces of killing Rwandans.

KIGALI, April 7, 2007 (AFP) - Rwandan President Paul Kagame made another swingeing attack on France Saturday at a ceremony marking the 13th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, accusing French forces of killing Rwandans.

"The French did not come to save the Rwandans, they came to kill them," Kagame said in the broadcast speech from the southern town of Murambi, referring to a French military intervention codenamed Operation Turquoise.

French troops went in to Rwanda in 1994 during the massacres of ethnic minority Tutsis by Hutu extremists which killed some 800,000 people. Paris claimed they saved many lives.

However Kagame's former rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front, which seized power in the wake of the genocide, accused France of permitting many Hutu militants to escape justice.

Before Kagame spoke, survivors accused French troops of killing and raping Tutsis, as well as laying a volley-ball court on top of a mass grave at Murambi.

"Playing volley-ball over the grave of people they had just killed or caused to be killed proved that they considered the Rwandans worthless," Kagame charged.

"The international community failed, it played a role in the genocide," he said, referring to the inability of foreign peacekeepers to stop the massacres sparked by the shooting down of then Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana's plane.

Some countries have apologised for the lapses, but not France.

In November last year, Kigali broke ties with Paris after French judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere called for Kagame to be tried for alleged complicity in the death of Habyarimana. Kagame denied the allegations.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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