French state policy can be seen as complicit in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, according to a researcher studying the official state archives.
Francois Graner, research director at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) at Paris Diderot University, has been researching official archives on France’s role in the genocide, which left some 800,000 dead, since the Council of State last June opened the archives after a legal battle.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency published Wednesday, Graner said French policy is to keep Rwanda under its influence.
"All of the archives confirm France's support for the Hutus. French officials were informed that there were preparations for genocide,” he said.
France supported the Hutus not only during the genocide, but also before and after, said Graner, who is also part of the group Survie (Survive in English), a NGO which denounces all forms of French neocolonialist intervention in Africa.
“France also gave intense military support to keep the regime alive. This military support was in the form of military training and weapons supply before the genocide. Arms support continued secretly during and after the genocide,” he added.
Graner said that "French soldiers and mercenaries" who were in Rwanda in 1994 might have participated in the attack against then-Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and that this should also be investigated.
“Archives show that in January 1994, France sent arms to Rwanda when Rwanda was supposed to be disarmed, but the United Nations seized these weapons,” he added.
Saying that he plans to publish the results of his research, Graner added that he has not yet accessed the military archives on the genocide.
The 1994 genocide began on April 7, 1994, and claimed the lives of some 500,000-800,000 ethnic Tutsis within a period of 100 days.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.