Rwanda says France must face 'difficult truth' of role in genocide

6th April 2014, Comments 0 comments

Rwanda on Sunday called on France to face up to the "difficult truth" of its role in the 1994 genocide, amid a diplomatic spat ahead of commemorations marking the 20th anniversary of the killings.

"For our two countries to really start getting along, we will have to face the truth, the truth is difficult, the truth of being close to anybody who is associated with genocide understandably is a very difficult truth to accept," Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said.

She said is was "impossible for our two countries to move forward if the condition is that Rwanda has to forget its history in order to get along with France."

"We cannot move on at the expense of the historical truth of the genocide," Mushikiwabo said during an international forum held as part of events commemorating the genocide.

The French government announced that it was pulling out of Monday's commemorations after Rwandan President Paul Kagame again accused France, an ally of the Hutu nationalist government prior to the 1994 killings, of having helped the slaughter of 800,000 ethnic Tutsis take place.

Paris has repeatedly denied the accusations and insisted that French forces had striven to protect civilians.

Speaking to reporters, Mushikiwabo said the French boycott was "not justified" and an "overreaction".

"I don't think the French people in general should be held in ignorance of what some French officials did in this country," she said.

"Specific individuals in the military and the politics did some very wrong things in this country," she said.

© 2014 AFP

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