French President Emmanuel Macron and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame have agreed to set up a joint committee of historians to do research that could establish role of France during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda.
The two leaders met in Paris where President Kagame concluded a two day working visit on Thursday.
They discussed several topics ranging from the candidacy of Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister on the post of Secretary General of French speaking countries-OIF and the biggest question between Rwanda and France.
It consists of the role France played during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda where more than a million Tutsi perished in three consecutive months.
Rwanda accuses France to have trained and armed militia who committed the Genocide, while several leaders of the genocidal government are accused to have participated in planning the Genocide.
France always dismisses the allegations despite Rwanda presenting damning facts.
A commission of historians to look into the matter was welcomed by Rwanda, according to Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs who reminded that the relationship of both countries has been a difficult one because France remained adamant.
“I think that a commission of historians from both sides is not a bad idea. It was suggested under Nicolas Sarkozy, but it had not yet been achieved,” Mushikiwabo told France 24.
The Minister said, re-establishing cordial relationship between Rwanda and France cannot be an overnight task, and it is out of question to “try to find a quick solution for a complicated problem.”
She however said, candid talks between both Heads of State are a sign that a new path is being set.
Mushikiwabo reiterated that the move is part of several actions that were supposed to have happened, but what is most important today is to try and bring the countries back together.
Mushikiwabo said that Rwanda and France meet and work together on several other platforms, including, in the context of African Union organization and the United Nations.
This justifies therefore, the reason why their bilateral relations should also be reviewed and improved.
In France, there are several classified dossiers related to the country’s role in the Genocide against Tutsi.
Macron said he would work declassify them.
The media in France also asked Louise Mushikiwabo if Rwanda would consider asking Macron to close judicial cases of France against Rwandan authorities, but the Minister responded that first of all, “it is a politicised case that has no reason of being.”
She however said, “Rwanda wants the dossier closed, but it may not be up to President Macron to close it, because it is a judicial case.”
Her take though is that Rwanda is appreciative of Macron’s honesty about the matter.
Meanwhile, media in France is still bringing the question on why Rwanda is vying for the position of Secretary General of OIF “when it has joined Commonwealth.”
The answer is that, Rwanda did not exit Francophonie organization since her adhesion in 1970, and joining other organizations did not deter the country from keeping her engagement and contribution in OIF.
“I think Francophonie is not in war against Commonwealth nor is French against English. In the contrary,” Mushikiwabo said adding that Rwanda added two other national languages including English and Kiswahili, but French is the most spoken among foreign tongues.
Mushikiwabo said the recent case of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) accusing Rwanda to “plan a coup against President Joseph Kabila,” is only baseless.
President Kagame invited Macron to Rwanda, and Mushikiwabo believes he will not decline the invitation, and “he is welcome toRwanda.”