Tuesday 31 January, 2023

Al-Estiklal Newspaper

Opening the File of the Genocide in Rwanda May Pave the Way for Condemning Paris

2022/05/26 13:05:00 |
"The final decision is now in the hands of the investigative judges."
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The French newspaper, La Croix, highlighted the start of the trial of the former Rwandan official, Laurent Bucyibaruta, before the Criminal Court in Paris, stressing that this step may pave the way to condemn France for its role in a genocide in Rwanda.

The newspaper pointed out that many reports prove the involvement of France in a prominent role in arming the Hutu groups that killed hundreds of thousands of Tutsi groups in 1994.

 

Worrying Move

The French newspaper stated that Bucyibaruta is the highest official to be tried in France for the genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda, twenty-eight years after its occurrence.

It is the fourth trial in France with cases related to the genocide where at least 800,000 people were killed in a hundred days in Rwanda, mostly from the Tutsi minority.

An officer, two sheriffs, and a driver were on trial, but Laurent Bucyibaruta, a refugee in France since 1997, held the highest administrative rank.

Bucyibaruta, the former governor of Gikongoro state (south), one of the areas that witnessed the most violent killings, is accused of having organized or participated in several meetings where massacres were planned, particularly by encouraging the gathering and extermination of Tutsis.

Bucyibaruta, 78, faces life in prison on charges of genocide, complicity in genocide, and complicity in crimes against humanity.

The trial is expected to last ten weeks and will begin on Monday afternoon with the hearing of the defense pleadings, which call for the cessation of prosecutions that began 22 years ago.

Hundreds of witnesses coming from Rwanda will be heard; the schedule has been adjusted to take into account the health of the accused, and sessions will be limited to seven hours a day.

"We are in a race against time, we hope it will not be delayed any longer, and that it will be brave enough to listen to what is being said and face the accusations," said Etienne Nsanzimana, head of an association for survivors of the genocide.

For his part, Alain Gauthier, president of the caucus of civic parties for Rwanda, said that “his defense is, I couldn't do anything, I was confused, but he was conservative, so he was responsible."

Bucyibaruta had been a civil servant for nearly thirty years when the events took place. The prosecution described him as "a man with experience in exercising power.”

The lawyer for civil parties, NGOs, and a Rwandan whose family was murdered in Rachel Lyndon's church asserts that the accused "cannot pretend that he does not know what happened.”

 

Important Facts

Among the facts established by the investigation, there is a massacre committed in a technical school in the Murambi district of Nyamagabe municipality, one of the tragic bloody acts of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

On the morning of April 21, 1994, tens of thousands of Tutsi refugees gathered around the governorate building as said by the governor, who had promised them "protection,” but he killed them.

Only a handful of Tutsis survived the massacre, who either fled from there or hid under the corpses of the dead.

On the same day, the crimes continued in the same province, which included two adjacent ways of the Murambi area, where the Tutsis were hoping to find refuge.

Bucyibaruta is also accused of being responsible for the massacre of about 90 Tutsi students at GS Marie Merci School in Kibeho on May 7, 1994, and the execution of Tutsi prisoners, including three priests, in Gikongoro Prison, charges he rejects.

Bucyibaruta was summoned by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, but he eventually acquiesced to the French courts.

In addition, twenty-nine judicial investigations are still in progress and five preliminary investigations are open in relation to "crimes against humanity" in the judicial pole of the Paris Court.

 

France Is Accused

The newspaper pointed out that there is another sensitive issue. It is an investigation into the possible responsibility of the French army, accused by the survivors of those massacres of abandoning hundreds of Tutsis who were killed on the hills in late June 1994.

The prosecutor in Paris asked in April 2021 not to hear the case regarding the responsibility of the French army.

However, the final decision is now in the hands of the investigative judges.

A report on the genocide on April 19, 2021, was prepared by a US law firm, on the genocide on April 19, 2021.

According to this report, France had sent money to extremists through the Democratic Republic of the Congo, despite the decision to stop sending weapons.

French journalist Patrick de Saint-Exupéry also emphasized in an article in the French magazine XXI, his country's involvement in the Rwandan genocide.

The article was titled Our Crimes in Africa, in which he explained that France launched Operation Turquoise with the aim of re-arming Hutu groups, not to create a safe zone as it announced at the time.

He pointed out that the decision to arm the Hutu was signed by the Secretary-General of the French President at the time.

 


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References:

1

Genocide in Rwanda, a Former Prefect Before French Justice [French]

Tags :

criminal court french crimes genocide laurent bucyibaruta rwanda