Rwandan president blasts France over genocide

Rwandan president blasts France over genocide

The Rwandan President has lashed out at France over its alleged involvement in the 1994 genocide which killed an estimated 800,000 people.

President Paul Kagame made the remarks on Monday during a speech on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Rwandan genocide.

“People cannot be bribed or forced into changing their history, and no country is powerful enough, even when they think they are, to change the facts.” Kagame said in an apparent reference to France, adding, “Facts are stubborn.”

President Kagame says French soldiers were both accomplices and actors in the bloodbath.

Paris cancelled a ministerial visit in response to renewed accusations, and the French ambassador was, in turn, barred from attending commemoration ceremonies in Kigali.

Kagame has repeatedly denounced the “direct role of Belgium and France in the political preparation for the genocide.”

Up to one 800,000 people, as much as 20 percent of the country’s then total population, died in the killings two decades ago.

The Rwandan genocide began following the shooting down of a plane carrying former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, on April 6, 1994. Then Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira was also killed in the plane crash.

After the crash, Hutus who were in majority, were incited to commit acts of ethnic violence against Tutsis. The genocide of 1994 lasted approximately 100 days and hence is called the “100 Days of Hell.”

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