France’s defence minister has ordered that a total of 105 secret intelligence reports be handed over to a judge investigating allegations that Paris played a role in the Rwandan genocide. An official inquiry was launched a year ago into complaints by survivors who accuse France of complicity in crimes against humanity during the 100-day massacre in 1994. French troops were sent to Rwanda at the height of the genocide as part of a UN operation.
A parliamentary probe in 1998 cleared France of responsibility but did recognise that “strategic errors” had been made. Survivors claim French troops let Hutu killers enter refugee camps under their protection and also committed crimes themselves. France is also accused of training and arming the Hutu extremists. Paris denies the accusations.
Eight hundred thousand people, mainly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were killed in the slaughter by Hutu militia. After hearing the witnesses’ testimony, the Rwandan panel will rule on whether to file a suit at the International Court of Justice.