Genocide is considered the most serious crime against humanity. In the pages of history, many such massacres are known, which cannot be forgotten even if we want to. One of them is the Rwandan genocide that began in April 1994. According to government figures, about eight lakh people were massacred in this 100-day massacre. The great thing was that there were no outsiders but people of their own country who carried out the incident. However, 26 years after this massacre, France has apologized for its role today.
Macron apologized for France’s role
French President Emmanuel Macron, who arrived on a visit to Rwanda, said he recognized his country’s role in the massacre here. For this he apologized on Thursday by visiting the Gisozi massacre memorial built in the memory of the dead in Rwanda’s capital Kigali. He said that only those people who have passed through that night can be forgiven. I stand with you today politely and respectfully, I understand the limits of my responsibilities. The memorial is built on the spot where more than 250,000 dead in the massacre are buried.
Why did France need to apologize?
In fact, a few months ago a report by the French Investigative Panel on the Rwanda Massacre questioned the role of the then French army. The report said that a colonial attitude blinded the French authorities and that the government had committed a serious and heinous crime by not foreseeing the killings of the people. Since then, there was increasing pressure on France to apologize for this massacre.
What happened in Rwanda in 1994?
This year, about 8 lakh people were killed in Rwanda within about 100 days between April 1994 and June 1994. According to an estimate, around 10 thousand people were murdered every day during this massacre. The target of this massacre was Tutsi, also known as Tutsi, a minority community of Rwanda. The majority of the people of Rwanda were the people of the Hutu or Hutu community who carried out the massacre. They not only murdered the people of the Tutsi community, but also raped thousands of women.
Why did this massacre begin?
The Hutu community accounts for 85 percent of the total population of Rwanda, but the country has long been dominated by the Tutsi minorities. Despite being small in number, the Tutsi dynasty ruled Rwanda for a long time. In the year 1959, the Hutu rebels overthrew the Tutsi monarchy and overthrew the country. After which the Tutsis fled to Uganda to escape the atrocities of the Hutu community. To recapture their country, the Tutsis established a rebel organization called the Rwanda Patriac Front (RPF), which returned to Rwanda in 1990 and started slaughtering.
Violence erupted after President’s death
Thousands of people from both communities were killed in this violence. In 1993, the Tutsi rebels settled with the government and peace was established in the country. However, on 6 April 1994, a plane carrying then-President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundi President Caparial Natarayamira crashed in Kigali, killing all the occupants. Both communities accused each other for this accident and began the most horrific massacre in history.
What was France’s role in the Rwandan genocide?
Indeed, Rwanda has been a colony of France for a long time. Therefore, French influence is still very much seen in this country even today. Even at that time the Hutu government had the support of France. After the President’s death, the army, along with the command of the Hutu government, began to kill the people of the Tutsi community in conjunction with their community. It is said that even the Hutu priests of the church had killed even the Tutsi nuns. At that time France sent its troops in support of the Hutu government but did nothing to stop the massacre.
How did this massacre end?
The current President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, also alleged a few years ago that France supported those who carried out the massacre. However, France denied it then. Seeing this massacre in 1994, neighboring country Uganda sent its army to Rwanda. After which his soldiers captured the capital Kigali and ended this massacre.