The much eluded question of French complicity in the Rwandan genocide since 1994 is once again in the news thanks to a number of unexpected judicial dockets.
Hubert Vedrine, former Secretary General of the Elysée and top adviser to President Mitterrand during the Rwandan genocide was seeking justice and financial compensation from a Paris courtroom against an association of indignant and critical citizens, Genocide made in France, for having sprinkled edible red juice over him one year ago, November 28. Although the court was unable to determine which of the outraged militants actually caused the fake bloodstains, the prosecutor called for a 6 month prison sentence and a stiff fine against one young woman. On the other hand, the courtroom refused to examine the obvious motives behind this symbolic gesture of accusation against one of France’s principle policy makers during the bloody slaughter in Rwanda.
In a separate case against French story writer Pierre Péan, the same Paris Tribunal relaxed the charges of disseminating hate propaganda against the author and his publisher, Fayard’s Claud Durand for the hideous pamphlet, Black Fury,White Liars , which contains several abusively, offensive passages for Rwandan Tutsis whose culture is supposedly dominated, according to Mr. Péan, by the propensity to lie! This time the plaintiffs are the civil rights association, SOS Racism and IBUKA, a Rwandan civic association of genocide victims and their families. Once more Hubert Vedrine was called upon by the court to testify, but in this instance at the bidding of his close friend Pierre Péan who needed a moral certificate of approval, which he got from Mr. Vedrine as well as from Bernard Debré, another close collaborator during the Rwandan debacle. The plaintiffs have appealed the verdict given the gravity of the accusations and the particularly virulent reaction on the part of our government officials whenever the question of French complicity in the Rwandan genocide is publicly raised regardless of the circumstances.
Pop up No 3: France’s most wanted: Mrs. Rose Kabuye
The third docket opened November 9 and involves the extradition to France of Rose Kabuye, protocol assistant to the Rwandan president Paul Kagamé. Mrs. Kabuye is one of 9 persons against whom in November 2006 the French ex-judge Brugière launched international arrest warrants in connection with the sabotage of president Habyarimana’s personal Falcon jet. She was arrested by German authorities upon arrival at Frankfurt airport on an official mission in Europe. Former parliamentary representative and mayor of Kigali, Mrs. Kabuye is one of the first ex-officers of the Rwandan Patriotic Front to be arrested under this mandate. She hopes that her arrest will finally oblige the French judiciary to open up the case of French responsibility in the Rwandan genocide and examine the accusations of the Mucyo report against 33 top French civilian and military officials.
Pop up 4: 10 Turquoise squad officers defy The Rwandan National Commission Report (“Mucyo Report”)
Another ugly pop up is the complaint for public defamation filed in Paris by 10 ranking officers of the French Turquoise command, who operated in Rwanda during the summer of 1994. These officers are accusing the Rwandan government of tarnishing their reputations with the August 5, 2008 National Commission report on French complicity which cites them among the 13 civilians and 20 officers nominally implicated by the Mucyo report in the Rwandan genocide. Furthermore Kigali has indicated its intention to launch arrest warrants against several of the persons cited and to publish the results of its own inquiry into the fatal plane crash of April 6, 1994.
We deplore but are not surprised by the benign verdict pronounced in the case of Pierre Péan’s shocking diatribe against the Rwandan Tutsis, which according to the victims is a makeover of all the ideological slurs, which lead to this horrific genocide in the first place. Tutsi women are particularly slandered in Black Fury,White Liars because they are supposedly guilty of furthering the Tutsi cause by using their bodies. On the other hand the severe sentence meted out to an outraged, African-French woman who dared to stain Hubert Vedrine’s costume is completely in keeping with the latest judicial trend of making citizens “pay” for inappropriate, public opinions or gestures.
Together with the International Federation of the League for Human Rights and the French League of Human Rights, Survie is part of a tough legal procedure engaged since 2004, which opposes Rwandan civil plaintiffs against French military personnel from the Turquoise squad “for complicity in genocide.” This long judicial deliberation is still going on before the Military Tribunal in Paris, and we are still hoping against hope that ordinary citizens as well as our elected representatives will wake up and clamor for the truth to out in France so that we can finally emerge from the hypocritical denial which afflicts French politics since nearly 15 years.
(Translated for Survie by AZ)