Rwanda bars France from geno­cide cer­e­mony

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

French am­bas­sador to Rwanda banned from at­tend­ing event amid diplo­matic row over France’s role in the 1994 geno­cide.

The French am­bas­sador to Rwanda has been barred from at­tend­ing events mark­ing the 20th an­niver­sary of the Rwan­dan geno­cide, amid a ma­jor diplo­matic row sur­round­ing France’s con­tro­ver­sial role in the events of 1994.

“Yes­ter­day night the Rwan­dan for­eign min­istry tele­phoned to in­form me that I was no longer ac­cred­ited for the cer­e­monies,” the French am­bas­sador, Michel Flesch, said on Mon­day.

The French govern­ment ini­tially an­nounced that it was pulling out of the events af­ter Pres­i­dent Paul Kagame again ac­cused France, an ally of the Hutu na­tion­al­ist govern­ment prior to the 1994 killings, of aiding the mur­der of 800,000 eth­nic Tut­sis.

At the cer­e­mony on Mon­day, UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-Moon joined Kagame in light­ing a torch at the Ki­gali Geno­cide Me­mo­rial Cen­tre in mem­ory of those killed.

In his speech, Kagame said that 20 years af­ter the geno­cide, Rwanda continues “to seek the most com­plete ex­pla­na­tion” of the atroc­i­ties.

Samantha Power, the US am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions, at­tended and said geno­cide is a “dev­as­tat­ing re­minder that night­mares seem­ingly be­yond imag­i­na­tion can in fact take place.”

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