prostate http://dan.rabarts.com/wp-includes/registration.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>France last week revealed Justice Minister, Christiane Taubira, would miss the commemoration activities in Kigali after President Paul Kagame renewed accusations against France for her “direct involvement” in the genocide.
Rwanda responded by cancelling the accreditation of the French ambassador to the events.
In the interview with a French Magazine, Kagame said France “had not done enough to save lives” by mounting Operation Turquoise and was an actor in the bloodbath.
Kagame, who led the RPF rebels that halted the genocide in 1994, further pointed out that Belgium and France actively participated in preparations and execution of a master plan to wipe out the Tutsi.
“The commemoration is more important for the people of Rwanda. We are not bothered about the absence of France,” said Rwanda Foreign Minister and government spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo.
“I’m hopeful that the leaders in France who are often behind denial will realise that our country is better off moving forward,” said Muishikiwabo, adding, “We are however pleased that many French citizens, researchers and friends have attended to remember with Rwandans.”
Mushikiwabo made the remarks on Monday at a press conference in Kigali.
The statement comes high on the heels of France’s refusal to admit its role in the genocide.
Mushikiwabo said “It is perfectly normal if France doesn’t intend to be part of this commemoration. It is their loss. We cannot change history to please France. They helped the Rwanda regime to carry out genocide. This is undeniable history.”
She further asserted the commemoration is for Rwandans and that for those who were absent; they simply missed an important event.
“We find it not normal that any country dictates us what to say and what not to say. We cannot ignore our true history to save relationships. The comments by President
Kagame in Jeune Afrique are neither surprising nor new. It is time to face the truth. “
She insisted France must face the difficult truth of her involvement in 1994 horror.
The Minister said Rwanda has to be creative and innovate in terms of financing her development.
“Agaciro is an expression of a desire to contribute to our own development in the name of dignity.”
Mushikiwabo’s views reiterated President Kagame’s earlier speech in which he lashed at the west for genocide denial.
“Historical clarity is a duty of memory that we cannot escape. Behind the words “Never again”, there is a story whose truth must be told in full no matter how uncomfortable,”’ said Kagame on Monday during a function at Amahoro Stadium to commemorate 20 years after genocide.
The President observed the people who planned and carried out the genocide were Rwandans, but the history and root causes go beyond the beautiful country.
“This is why Rwandans continue to seek the most complete explanation possible for what happened,” he added amidst a thunderous applause from thousands of Rwandans in stadium.
“We do so with humility as a nation that nearly destroyed itself. But we are nevertheless determined to recover our dignity as a people.
Walk to remmeber
Meanwhile, Rwandans led by President Kagame held a “walk to remember” as a way of honoring the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and uniting to ensure genocide is never repeated anywhere in the world.
Graced by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and U.S representative to UN, Samantha Power in Kigali, the walk to remember saw hundreds of thousands of Rwandans and friends from around the world walk to stand against genocide and support survivors.
Prayers were later held at Amahoro Stadium to honour over one million lives lost in the genocide.
The Kwibuka Flame of remembrance returned to Kigali Genocide Memorial where president Kagame will flag off the national mourning period.
In Rwanda over the next 100 days, communities will hold their own Walk to Remember events.