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Macron Acknowledges France’s Failure To Stop Rwanda Genocide

Emmanuel Macron | Biography, Political Party, Age, Presidency, & Facts |  Britannica

FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron has publicly acknowledged France’s failure to intervene and stop the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, admitting that both France and its Western and African allies possessed the capability to prevent the mass slaughter of an estimated 800,000 people, mainly ethnic Tutsis.

In a video message scheduled for release on Sunday to mark the 30th anniversary of the genocide, Macron will emphasise the missed opportunities for intervention by the international community. A French presidential official, who chose to remain anonymous, revealed that Macron will highlight the inaction during the phase of ‘total extermination’ against the Tutsis, stressing that the international community had the means to intervene but lacked the will to do so.


‘The president believes that at the time the international community already had historical experience of witnessing genocide with the Holocaust in World War II and the mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey during World War I,’ said the official.

‘France, which could have stopped the genocide with its Western and African allies, did not have the will to act,’ the official added, echoing Macron’s sentiments.

Despite France’s historical acknowledgment of its role in the genocide, Macron will not attend the commemorations in Kigali this Sunday alongside Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Instead, France will be represented by Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne.

During his visit to Rwanda in 2021, Macron acknowledged France’s ‘responsibilities’ in the genocide but fell short of issuing a formal apology. He emphasised that only the survivors could grant ‘the gift of forgiveness.’ However, Kagame, who led the Tutsi rebellion that ended the genocide, has consistently called for a more explicit acknowledgment of France’s role and a formal apology.

‘A historical commission set up by Macron also concluded in 2021 there had been a “failure” on the part of France under former leader Francois Mitterrand,’ the official added.

This acknowledgment comes amidst ongoing efforts to address France’s historical responsibility and its role in the Rwandan genocide, as the nation grapples with its past and seeks reconciliation with Rwanda and the international community.

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