Rwanda begins probe into alleged French role in Rwandan genocide

[JURIST] A seven-man Rwandan government commission began an official probe Tuesday into accusations that France assisted a Hutu [Wikipedia backgrounder] massacre of Tutsis [Wikipedia backgrounder] during the 1994 genocide [HRW backgrounder; BBC backgrounder]. Rwanda's current Tutsi President Paul Kagame [official website; BBC profile] has accused France of training and arming Hutu militias who were behind the 100-day massacre that left over 800,000 Tutsis and Hutus dead. The commission, made up of legal experts, historians and a former army commander, will investigate the role of French troops in supporting the Hutu government which used its troops to commit genocide. Testimony taken from 20 witnesses could be used if Rwanda decides to take action against France. France investigated the Rwandan accusations last year [JURIST report], but has denied involvement in the massacres. Six Rwandan citizens filed a lawsuit in France [JURIST report] last year, accusing French soldiers of complicity in crimes against humanity.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive], established for the prosecution of persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law during the Rwandan genocide, has rendered judgments or has trials underway [JURIST report] for 56 suspects, and is on schedule to complete its roster cases [press release] by the end of 2008. Reuters has more.



 

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