Rwanda is demanding that France follow the path of Spain to drop indictments against Rwandan officials – and instead bring to justice its own citizens accused to have been brains behind the mass killing of Tutsis as far back as 1992.
The national commission against genocide (CNLG) has identified French nationals General Jacques Hogard, Jean-Claude La Fourcade Jacques Rosier and Michel Robardey.
General Jacques Rosier had been head of the Military Assistance Detachment and Instruction (DAMI) between June 1992 and November 1992 during the period when the Rwandan army committed several massacres on Tutsis. DAMI was housed in military camps of Gabiro, Mukamira and Bigogwe as well as at Nyakinama university campus and and Gako military camp in Bugesera.
During that time, the Rwandan army intensified military and ideological training of Interahamwe in these military camps where Jacques Rosier was the coordinator of these courses as head of DAMI. At Turquoise, in 1994, Jacques Rosier was also the highest French military official on the ground during the genocide committed on Tutsis survivors in Bisesero on June 30, 1994.
Michel Robardey was advisor to the Criminal Research Centre and documentation of the Rwandan gendarmerie, commonly called “Criminology”.
Michel Robardey, for his part, coordinated the data compilation activities concerning people to hunt and kill, particularly the Tutsis. During the 100-day genocide, militiamen had lists of Tutsis they had to massacre. The infamous RTLM hate radio broadcast some of the key targets, and neighborhoods where Tutsis were supposedly hiding.
After the genocide against Tutsis, the three men teamed up to form a platform that openly campaigns to undermine the mass slaughter of Tutsis. All are founding members of the “Association France-Turquoise”, whose purpose is the justification of the role of its members in the genocide against the Tutsi, denial of planning and deliberate demonization of Rwandan authorities, says CNLG.
The latest reaction of the Rwanda’s ant-genocide commission comes after the Spanish Supreme Court dropped controversial indictments of 40 Rwandan officials issued in 2008. As a result, the global policing agency Interpol announced last week that it has also lifted the Red Notices (arrest warrants) against the inductees.
“It is therefore high time for the French courts, like the Spanish justice, to distance itself from the clutches of some militaro-politico influences of certain individuals that were involved in some way in the genocide against the Tutsi,” said Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana, the CNLG executive secretary in a statement issued yesterday.
It should also be remembered that, politically, during the genocide, April 27, 1994, Alain Juppé, then Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Elysee received Jerome Bicamumpaka, the foreign minister of the government that was committing genocide and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, one of the senior officials of the genocidal regime.
Financially, until August 1994, the Banque de France provided financial resources to the perpetrators of genocide. The National Bank of Paris (BNP-Paribas) honored the settlement of several deliveries of arms contracts during the time the genocide was at its peak.
Through the Ministry of Cooperation, France had ensured the supply of arms, ammunition and equipment to the Rwandan Armed Forces while they were organizing the systematic execution of Tutsis.
In 2006 French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière issued arrest warrants against nine Rwandan soldiers accusing them of orchestrating the shooting down of plane carrying Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana. Rwanda reacted by expelling the French diplomat in Kigali. Relations collapsed completely.
In 2008, Rwanda identified 33 French political and military officials who aided the Rwandan government to massacre Tutsis after a two year investigation. Rwanda has vowed it will indict the officials, but is yet to act.
Under the Nicolas Sarkozy government, France changed course with the Rwandan indictments. A new investigation was instituted to carry out a new probe on the Habyarimana plane.
Judges Marc Trévidic and Nathalie Poux and visit at the scene took place in Rwanda in 2010 which led to drafting of an expert report that was published in January 2012. Their probe concluded that the missiles which shot down the plane of President Habyarimana on 6 April 1994, came from the Kanombe military camp run by ex-FAR.
This camp housed more specialized units, including the para commando battalion and anti-aircraft fight (LAA) company that during the time were under the authority of Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, the mastermind of the genocide committed against Tutsis. He currently serving a length sentence for genocide.