Franco-Rwandan relations since the 1994 genocide

8th April 2015, Comments 0 comments

A chronology of the stormy relations between France and Rwanda since its 1994 genocide, after France on Wednesday declassified documents relating to the killings.

- 1994: Genocide -

April 6: Rwanda's Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana is killed when his aircraft is shot down over Kigali.

April 7: The genocide starts. From April to July 4, according to the United Nations, some 800,000 are killed, most of them members of the Tutsi minority, as well as moderate Hutus.

Some 500 French paratroopers evacuate more than 1,000 French and foreigners.

- 1994: Operation Turquoise -

June 22: The United Nations gives France the green light for operation Turquoise, a military operation in Rwanda with humanitarian ends. The mainly Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (FPR) accuses France of seeking to save the Hutu regime and the perpetrators of the genocide.

- 1998: French parliamentary probe -

December 15: A French parliamentary mission exonerates France from involvement in the genocide but says it bears some responsibility due to strategic error and "institutional disfunction". Rwanda accuses France of being guilty of genocide in the country.

- 2003: Kagame to France -

February 20-21: Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a Tutsi, takes part in the 22nd Africa-France summit in Paris.

- 2006: Relations broken off -

November 17: French judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere recommends Kagame be prosecuted by the UN-backed tribunal trying Rwanda's genocide suspects for suspected participation in Habyarimana's assassination. On the 22nd, he signs nine arrest warrants against Kagame's aides.

November 24: Rwanda breaks off all diplomatic relations with France.

- 2009: Relations restored -

November 29: Paris and Kigali re-establish diplomatic relations.

- 2010: Sarkozy acknowledges mistakes -

February 25: Then French president Nicolas Sarkozy acknowledges that France made mistakes during the genocide and pays homage to the victims, but stops short of apologising during a landmark visit to Kigali.

September 11: Kagame carries out his first official visit to France.

- 2014: First French genocide trial -

March 14: A French court sentences a former Rwandan army captain to 25 years in prison in the country's first trial linked to the genocide.

- 2014: New Rwandan accusations -

April 7: The 20th anniversary of the genocide is commemorated in Kigali.

On the eve of the commemorations Kagame again accuses France of "participating" in the genocide, denouncing the "direct role of Belgium and France in the political preparation for the genocide".

- 2015: Paris declassifies documents -

April 8: France declassifies documents in the presidential archives relating to the genocide.

© 2015 AFP

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