Kagame accuses France of aiding genocide

6th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Dec 6, 2006 (AFP) - Rwandan President Paul Kagame renewed his attacks on France amid a diplomatic row over the 1994 genocide, accusing it of having trained and armed forces involved in the massacres during a BBC radio interview Wednesday.

LONDON, Dec 6, 2006 (AFP) - Rwandan President Paul Kagame renewed his attacks on France amid a diplomatic row over the 1994 genocide, accusing it of having trained and armed forces involved in the massacres during a BBC radio interview Wednesday.

He dismissed suggestions that he was involved in the downing of a plane carrying the then president, Juvenal Habyarimana, following a call last month by a French judge that he should be tried over the allegations.

Habyarimana's death triggered the genocide which killed an estimated 800,000 mainly Tutsi people -- about a tenth of the country's population -- within six weeks.

Rwanda is locked in a diplomatic spat with France in the wake of the judge's comments which has seen all of the European country's diplomats pulling out.

Asked about allegations he was involved in orchestrating the plane crash, Kagame told the BBC: "That could not be part of our plan.

"It's France that supported the genocide forces, that trained them, armed them."

He cited "documentary evidence" that French soldiers manned road blocks where, if travellers were suspected of being Tutsis, they would be pulled to one side for harassment, imprisonment or potentially fatal torture.

"France did not at any time attempt to stop the genocide, on the contrary participated in the period leading the genocide in supporting the government of Rwanda that committed the genocide," he said.

He described himself as a "freedom fighter" who was "involved in a fight with the genociders".

Kagame's comments came during a visit to London during which he met British Prime Minister Tony Blair Tuesday and discussed post-genocide reconciliation.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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