Rwanda is suspicious about President Francois Holland’spromised classified dossiers with evidence on France’s involvement in the genocide against the Tutsi between 1990 and 1995.
On Tuesday April 7, just a few hours after millions of Rwandans began the 21st commemoration of the genocide, Holland announced that he will release classified files from diplomatic and military advisors and minutes from ministerial and defense meetings between 1990 and 1995.
While Rwanda hopes the documents will finally undress France’s complicity, President Paul Kagame expressed concern that the files might as well be empty papers.
“We will accept truth behind the release of the documents after verifying that they are not infiltrated,” he said.
Kagame made the remarks on April 8, at his office in Kigali while meeting with members of Europe’s anti-Racism movement, EGAM.
Benjamin Abtan, the EGAM delegation leader told KTPress, “The statement on release of documents by France doesn’t make us believe truth is going to be told.”
Rwandans have questioned Holland’s motive and timing, considering a recent French court decision set free Claude Muhayimana, accused of participating in killing thousands of Tutsis in Kibuye, Western Rwanda.
The court said his alleged crime of genocide had not been written in the statute books in Rwanda in 1994.
Muhayimana now holds a French nationality and his extradition request by Rwandan authorities was denied.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Johnston Busingye said France will be given the benefit of the doubt, only to see if the truth about France’s complicity can finally be told in the expected dossiers.
Busingye said, “perhaps the goings on at the time (1990-1994) will finally be opened up, and it will shed light on the many unanswered questions.”
Diplomatic relations between the two countries have regularly been sour, with both countries expelling ambassadors.
Last year, during the 20th commemoration, Kagame said, “No country is powerful enough to change facts, even if it thinks that it is.”
Inferring to France, he said, “…apres tout, les faits sont tetus”– “facts are stubborn, after all.”