Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

NATO chief hails strength of transatlantic bond on defence, security

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Khaled Diab: Debunking myths about Islam

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Australian female comedian's murder sparks soul-searching about women's safety

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Washington DC votes to raise minimum wage for waiting staff

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

At least 18 killed in Abidjan floods from heavy rains

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's anti-Merkel Twitter tirade

Read more

THE DEBATE

Ten days to save Merkel? German leader under pressure over border policy

Read more

FOCUS

Alarmingly high rates of HIV among China's youth

Read more

ENCORE!

Samira Wiley, Darren Criss & Neal McDonough at Monte-Carlo Television Festival

Read more

France

Kagame in France to repair ties frayed over Rwandan genocide

© Ludovic Marin, AFP | Rwandan President Paul Kagame pictured with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace on May 23.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2018-05-23

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Rwandan President Paul Kagame to the Élysée Palace on Wednesday as they sought to improve bilateral ties following two decades of tension over the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

President Emmanuel Macron, in a move likely to strengthen France's ties with Rwanda, on Wednesday backed the Rwandan candidate to head the world association of French-speaking nations.

After meeting in Paris with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame, Macron said he supported a bid to appoint Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo as secretary general of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

"The Rwandan foreign minister has every competence to carry out this role," Macron said. "I will support her."

The Paris meeting comes after decades of tension between France and the small East African country over the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rwanda has accused France of complicity in the mass killings through its support of ethnic Hutu forces who carried out most of the slaughter.

France has admitted it made mistakes but insists it never had a role in the massacre.

More than 800,000 lives were lost during the violence, most of them ethnic Tutsis and some of them moderate Hutus.

>> Video: Did French troops abandon Rwanda’s Tutsis?

Kagame, who is also the current president of the African Union (AU), last visited the Elysee Palace in 2011, a year after then-president Nicolas Sarkozy admitted France had made "serious errors" in the genocide, but gave no apology.

Wednesday's meeting is the third between Macron and Kagame in a year.

Macron also said he would attend an AU summit in the Mauritanian capital of Noukchott on July 1 and 2.

He praised Kagame for sharing his belief in "strong multilateralism," while Kagame said, "We hope to continue working together... both on the bilateral level and for the African continent."

Resolving "the complexities of the past... will probably take time," Macron said, adding however that "what brings us together are the questions of peace and security in Africa."

>> French bank BNP Paribas accused of complicity in Rwandan genocide

Rwanda was part of German East Africa from 1894 to 1918.

After World War I, it was administered by Belgium, becoming a republic in 1961, and has a long association with the international francophone community.

But in 2009, it joined the English-speaking Commonwealth after Mozambique, the only other member of that organisation not to have historic ties to Britain.

The OIF comprises 84 states and observers. Its current secretary-general is Michaelle Jean, 60, a Haitian-born Canadian, whose term expires in mid-October.

In November 2016, Rwanda opened a probe into the role of French officials in the genocide

(AFP)

Date created : 2018-05-23

  • FRANCE - RWANDA

    France claims innocence in Rwanda genocide, again

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    BNP Paribas subject of full-scale Rwanda probe in France

    Read more

  • RWANDA-FRANCE

    Rwanda opens probe into role of French officials in genocide

    Read more

COMMENT(S)