Did France Mastermind the Rwanda genocide?

Belmont Club links to and covers this post document and reviewing French involvement with the Rwanda genocide.

The genocide was anything but a spontaneous explosion of violence, as many have long assumed, but rather an operation orchestrated by Hutu extremists from Rwanda’s north attempting to maintain their hold on power. Melvern uses this and other documents to demonstrate the meticulous premeditation of the killing, revealing, for instance, Kambanda’s testimony on cabinet-level discussions about the genocide. She also reveals that the Rwandan government imported $750,000 worth of Chinese machetes (enough to arm one in every three Rwanda men). Mulvern also discusses arms imports from France and Egypt shortly before the genocide and offers an “insider’s account of the roadblocks where so many Tutsi lost their lives.” Many of the road blocks were manned by French troops.
Last february and March, filmmaker Georges Kapler filmed interviews with three Interahamwe militiamen which he presented in Paris. The three men say they were “trained and assisted” by France and one of them, Jean-Bosco Halimana, says that “the French gave us a license to kill. They came to support the genocide in a clear and visible manner.”
the French were there at the moment the genocide occurred. They trained the killers. They were stationed at command positions within the armed forces that carried out the genocide. They also directly participated in the operations: they filtered the road blocks, identifying people on an ethnic basis, punishing the Tutsis and favoring the Hutus.

All this was done in broad daylight at the road blocks. We’ve got it all on video, numerous pieces of evidence of the participation of the French. Not the French people but certain elements acting on orders from the government and who were manning these roadblocks during the genocide. They knew. They supported it. They supplied arms and they gave orders and instructions to the killers. What more can I say?
On March 25, Patrick de Saint-Exupéry, a reporter from Le Figaro published the book L’inavouable: La France au Rwanda (“That which cannot be confessed: France in Rwanda”. It reads like a lyrical 300-page letter to former Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin:

Soldiers of our country trained, under orders, the killers of the Tutsi genocide. We armed them, encouraged them and, when the time came, evacuated them. I came upon this story unwittingly in the Rwandan hills. It was hot. It was summertime. The weather was lovely, magnificent. It was the season of genocide.

BelmontClub observes:

n the end we are left with a list of suspects without a definite culprit. Kagame had the motive but not the means. A rebel leader at the time, he didn’t have the juice to pull strings at the highest levels of the UN or at the Security Council. France had the means, but not the obvious motive. What could be possibly be worth enough in a place like Rwanda to make killing nearly a million people worthwhile? Most mysterious of all is the role of the United Nations. One gets the sense that they were in on the plot early on, but what was the plot? Read the whole thing.

I agree and wow! Note to D and M: Do you still believe modern Europeans are incapable of genocide?


2 Responses to Did France Mastermind the Rwanda genocide?

  1. Douglas says:


    Those posts on Rwanda got a fair amount of attention but I certainly hope people don’t think there’s anything credible in them to suggest that France ‘masterminded’ the genocide. That is something that even president Kagame, a proto-fascist, will go so far as to hint at and such suggestions, as the Bruguière report makes clear, only serve to divert attention from his own gargantuan misdeeds of that time and also from the very probable realty that he had sought to provoke the Hutu Power genocide.

    The real scandal is that is becoming increasingly clear that France may have at least partially enabled the genocide in the process of defending its own sordid interests.

    I’m reviewing other commentary on other blogs to see if it’s worth posting on this.

  2. that’s a mighty cute tinfoil hat you’re wearing, alex.

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