France - Rwanda: now is the time

27 September 2011 by Franck Petit

During his first visit to France since the 1994 genocide Rwandan President Paul Kagame repeated his will to “move forward”, to “overcome past disputes” and enter without delay into the second phase of reconciliation.

Kagame’s three day visit to Paris, from the 11th to the 13th September, would surely not be enough to overcome the strained relations that have existed since 1994 - Rwanda has always maintained allegations of French complicity in the genocide. Kigali broke off diplomatic ties in 2006 after a French judicial inquiry fingered president Kagame in the April 6 plane attack which triggered the violence. That investigation is still ongoing, now with a new judge and a more balanced approach, and Rwanda is waiting for ballistic results conducted by French judge Marc Trevidic in Kigali on September 2010. The recurrence of tensions may well depend on their results, now scheduled before the end of this year.

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