Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Spat over Iran's UN ambassador hampers thawing relations with US

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: Is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Call it a caretaker government'

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Pornography without borders is key benefit of EU, says French MEP

Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • Pro-Russia separatists ‘seize’ Ukrainian armoured vehicles

    Read more

  • Acclaimed Belgian conservationist shot in eastern Congo

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Rescue effort under way as ferry sinks off S. Korean coast

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • Berlusconi sentenced to community service for tax fraud

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

  • US to mark one year since Boston Marathon bombing

    Read more

  • India's Supreme Court establishes third gender category

    Read more

  • Paris hotel that hosted Holocaust survivors shuts for renovation

    Read more

France

Rwandan president drops call for genocide apology

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-09-12

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said he was no longer seeking an apology from France for its alleged role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, during a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Monday.

AFP - Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and France's Nicolas Sarkozy staged a delicate diplomatic encounter in Paris on Monday, hoping to turn the page on 17 years of bitterness over the 1994 genocide.

The French president welcomed Kagame to the Elysee Palace on the second day of his three-day trip to the French capital, his first since his government accused Paris of complicity in the massacre of 800,000 ethnic Tutsis.

Kagame said he was no longer seeking a French apology for its alleged role in the killings -- which French officials have always denied -- and both men said they hoped their countries would enjoy warmer ties in future.

France24 exclusive: interview with Paul Kagame



The only concrete measure to come out of the meeting was Sarkozy's vow to almost double France's development assistance from 22.7 million euros per year to 42.2 million, but Kagame hesitated to admit the trip was merely symbolic.

"Well, if symbolic means 'very important', I agree," he laughed, in an interview with AFP in the Paris Ritz. So the trip was for history and not for contracts? "Yes, but for the path to contracts."

Sarkozy's office said France stood by to help Rwanda develop geothermal and methane gas energy projects -- and hoped to start building a Franco-Rwandan cultural centre in Kigali before the start of next year.

"This is a new stage in the process of normalisation between the two countries, based on dialogue and mutual respect," the Elysee said, in a positive but cautiously-worded statement.

For his part, Kagame summarised the day to AFP by saying: "Really the whole purpose is to find ways of overcoming our differences over the past and going forward with a better relationship for the future."

"I'm happy to be here, and so far so good ... I'm happy," he added. "I asked for more trade, more partnership. The French are free to come and invest in Rwanda, in tourism, in general infrastructure and so on and so forth.

"And Rwandans are happy to come and do business in France," he said.

The visit was a tricky one for Sarkozy, who has made it clear that he wants to build on his own trip last year to Kigali to reconcile France with Rwanda but who faces much criticism at home for holding out a hand to Kagame.

Kagame's government has been accused by a French investigating judge of downing the former Rwandan president's plane, leaving two French pilots dead in an attack that was used as an excuse by the then regime to start the killings.

French officials and troops in their turn -- including two dozen named and very senior individuals -- have been accused in an official Rwandan report of complicity in mass murder and rape and in training Hutu militias.

Meanwhile, opposition and human rights groups accuse Kagame -- whose Tutsi rebel army overthrew the murderous Hutu government and brought the killing to an end -- of himself becoming more authoritarian in his 17 years of rule.

On a visit to the French Institute of International Affairs he clashed with rights activists who accuse him of imprisoning opponents and muzzling the media. He, in turn, accused them of ignoring the progress Rwanda has made.

Unlike Rwanda's former colonial ruler Belgium, France has never apologised for failing to halt the killing, but Sarkozy came close during his visit to Kigali in 2009, admitting Paris had a "kind of blindness" to the genocidal streak in the former regime.

But Kagame told AFP that he had not come to Paris seeking an apology, but simply a renewal of normal ties and an opportunity to look to the future.

Date created : 2011-09-12

  • FRANCE

    Rwandan president in France on reconciliation visit

    Read more

  • ON RFI

    Rwandan opposition to protest at Kagame's French visit

    Read more

  • THE HAGUE

    Rwandan rebel leader faces war crimes charges

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)