France's Macron admits some guilt for Rwanda's genocide

Frances Macron admits some guilt for Rwandas genocide

Kigali: In a key speech on his visit to Rwanda, French President Emmanuel Macron said he recognises that France bears a heavy responsibility for the 1994 genocide in the central African country.

Macron solemnly detailed how France had failed the 800,000 victims of the genocide but he stopped short of an apology.

France was not an accomplice in the genocide but ended up siding with Rwanda's genocidal regime" and bore an overwhelming responsibility in the slide toward the massacres, the French leader said, speaking Thursday at the genocide memorial in the capital, Kigali.

France has a role, a history and a political responsibility in Rwanda. It has a duty: That of looking history in the face and recognizing the suffering that it inflicted on the Rwandan people by favouring silence over the examination of truth for too long, Macron said.

When the genocide started, the international community took close to three months, three interminable months, before reacting and we, all of us, abandoned hundreds of thousands of victims.

France's failures contributed to 27 years of bitter distance between the two countries, he said. I have to come to recognise our responsibilities, Macron said. Although Macron didn't apologise, he won praise from Rwandan President Paul Kagame for his powerful speech.

His words were something more valuable than an apology, they were the truth, Kagame said.

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