Jean Damascène Bizimana, Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG)
Jean Damascène Bizimana, Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG)

In a statement highlighting proof of preparation of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) has shed more light on how the then-French government supported the genocidal regime.

It comes as the Commission continues to share with the media the key acts that marked the preparation of the genocide.

Among others, it is noted that on Jan. 22, 1992, Col. Bernard Cussac, who was in charge of military cooperation between France and Rwanda, operating from France’s embassy in Kigali, wrote an official letter designated to the Ministry of Defense in France, saying guns were distributed to Interahamwe militia, by Rwandan armed forces and local leaders who were members of the MRND, reported The New Times, Rwanda’s leading daily.

From Jan. 7-21, 1993, international experts — including Jean Carbonare of France — investigated killings then happening in Rwanda.

Later, when he arrived in France on Jan. 24, 1993, Carbonare, the head of this delegation, was invited to the state-owned TV (France2) and declared that for the period of three weeks that they spent in Rwanda, they found mass graves into which killed Tutsi were dumped.

The CNLG states that he confirmed that there were facts proving that there was a plan of genocide to exterminate the Tutsi and that those involved in that plan were top leaders spearheaded by President Juvénal Habyarimana himself and his wife Agathe Kanziga.

The Frenchman, who died Jan. 18, 2009, at age 82, was the first person to state that the genocide was being perpetrated in Rwanda.

“What struck us very much in Rwanda was the scale, the systematization, the organization, of these massacres! There is a mechanism that is set in motion. We have talked about ethnic cleansing, genocide, crimes against humanity … we insist very much on these words,” Carbonare is quoted saying at the time. “Our country, which militarily and financially supports this system, has a responsibility. Our country can, if it wants, influence this situation.”

On Jan. 23, 1991, Habyarimana requested France to send troops to help him counter the RPF soldiers and remove them from the town of Ruhengeri, arguing that the invaders were from the Ugandan army.

Georges Martres, France’s ambassador to Rwanda at the time, accepted.

On the nights of Jan. 23-24, 1991, French soldiers in opération Noroit — under the command of Col. René Galinie — arrived in Ruhengeri for a rescue mission on behalf of the then-government of Rwanda.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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