“At the same time, with humility and respect, by your side, today, I have come to acknowledge the extent of our responsibilities,” said French President during a speech he delivered in his mother tongue – French after paying tribute to Genocide victims that are laid to rest at Kigali Genocide memorial.
Macron started his first visit to Rwanda today and upon arrival, he visited the Genocide memorial, laid wreaths in the mass graves where more than 250,000 Tutsi are laid to rest.
They are part of more than one million Tutsi who perished during the genocide in three consecutive months of April, May and June 1994 an his country was aware the Genocide would happen and they watched killers doing it, according to reports.
Macron was straight to acknowledge the responsibilities that was denied by his predecessors since the last 27 years.
“When in April 1994, the executioners[Genocide perpetrators] started what they despicably called their “work”, the international community, the international community put three months, three good months before taking action. We all abandoned hundreds of thousands to that hell,” Macron pointed at the world at large before narrowing down to his own country.
“Ever since, twenty-seven years of sad distance have passed. Twenty-seven years of incomprehension of attempt of sincere but unreached reconciliation,” Macron said adding that they have also been twenty-seven years of suffering of Genocide survivors who still remember.
With that said, Macron said that France recognising its responsibility, is to pursue and to validate the work of researchers and historians who finished the work of knowledge and truth.
He also said, in order to encourage the a new generation of researchers who have couregously opened a new space of knowledge.
“Thus wishing that, besides France, all parties in this period of Rwandan history also open their archives,” he said.
Macron is visiting Rwana after two improtan reports which indicated the responsibility of France in the Genocide committed against Tutsi.
First is Duclert report that was commissioned by President Macron himself, and another one commissioned by Rwanda.
The two reports all pointed at several responsibilities of French Government in the Genocide against Tutsi. Macron recognises outcomes of the reports.
“France has a role and political responsibility in Rwanda. And it has a responsibility of; to look in the eyses of history and to recognise the part of suffering that it infliged to the Rwandan citizen by preveiling the silence on the truth for this long,” Macron said.
Macron explained that since 1990, his country got involved in a conflict it did not know the origine while it had been warned. He said his country went on to believe it was that strong to stop the worst that was befelling on Rwanda.
“France did not understand that by attempting to make an obstacle to a regional conflict or a civil war, it was staying on the side of a genocidal regime,” he said.
“By ignoring alerts of most lucid observers, France endorsed an overwhelming responsibility in a gear that culminated to the worst while it wanted to avoid it.”
Macron said that in Arusha, 1993, France was thinking that, by the side of Africans, had snatched peace, given efforts of its diplomats towarss that end. He said, they thought they were prevailing power sharing, which was laudable, but their efforts were trashed by a genocidal regime.
Macron said, that recognising this past, is recognising and pursuing the work of justice so that none who participated in the Genocide does not escape.
Macron believes that the path of “recognition through our debts, gifts, gives us hope of exiting thus night and to walk together again.
Macron said he wants the gift of pardon from Rwandan community which suffered a lot during the Genocide.
“On this path, only those that went through the night may forgive us, give us the gift of forgiving us,” he said.
The French President assured Rwandan youth, that with a new page being written, Frencg youth and Rwandan youth should expect to work together, in mutual respect.
In his speech, Macron recognized the atrocities of the Genocide and the unprecedented sifferings of the Tutsi, the target of the killers. He recognised that the Genocide was prepared.
He said, France was not accomplice in any way.