UN urged to try French for Rwanda genocide

6th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

ARUSHA, Tanzania, April 6 (AFP) - Rwanda's envoy to the UN-backed court trying suspects in the country's 1994 genocide has called for the world body to prosecute French officials and soldiers allegedly complicit in the slaughter.

ARUSHA, Tanzania, April 6 (AFP) - Rwanda's envoy to the UN-backed court trying suspects in the country's 1994 genocide has called for the world body to prosecute French officials and soldiers allegedly complicit in the slaughter.

"I would like to take this opportunity to call on the United Nations and the French government to investigate and try these people," Aloys Mutabingwa told a news conference here on Tuesday.

He was speaking two days ahead of Thursday's 11th anniversary of the start of the genocide.

Mutabingwa said several French political and military figures were among those "individually or collectively responsible" for the genocide in which Hutu extremists massacred some 800,000 people, mainly minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus, during a 100-day period from April to July 1994.

The envoy did not name names, according to the independent Hirondelle News Agency, which is covering the proceedings of the UN-mandated, Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

But, he did say that 10 years of ICTR investigations had produced "sufficient and credible evidence" to try the officials, noting that several witnesses before the court had testified that French soldiers trained the Hutu Interahamwe militia, the main perpetrators of the genocide.

Mutabingwa also said that several genocide suspects were still at-large and in hiding in France, which supported the Hutu government in power in Kigali at the time of the killings.

"These fugitives are living comfortably in France," he told reporters. "They feel more secure there than anywhere else."

"There is still complicity even after the crimes have been committed," Mutabingwa said, adding that it is "time to put diplomacy aside" and seek true justice for the victims of the genocide.

He said the Rwandan government was currently at an advanced stage in creating an independent commission to look into charges that France and French officials may have been implicated in the genocide.

The ICTR, created in 1994 to try those responsible for the massacres, has so far convicted 21 suspects and acquitted three.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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