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French ex-cop accused of Rwanda genocide complicity

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A former French police officer and security adviser to African states has been accused of knowingly supplying arms to the Rwandan government in 1994 during the genocide.

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Three France-based human rights organisations on Monday filed an official complaint against a former French “supercop”, whom they accuse of complicity in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Paul Barril is accused of signing an arms contract with former Rwandan prime minister Jean Kambanda on May 28, 1994,  during the devastating genocide.

The International Federation for Human Rights, the French Human Rights League and NGO Survie, who filed the complaint, say that Barril worked extensively as a security advisor, in a private capacity, to African states in the 1990s.

They allege that he was particularly active in Rwanda and that he had a close and long-term relationship with the authorities there.

They also accuse him of being fully-aware of the situation in Rwanda at the time, and of exploiting it for personal profit by signing and partially fulfilling a contract that had a direct influence on the genocide in which up to a million people were killed.

In levelling the charges against him, the three NGOs pointed out that United Nations Security Council resolution 918 of May 17, 1994, imposed an embargo on the sale or delivery of arms to Rwanda.

Barril, a former officer of the GIGN special forces unit of France’s Gendarmerie, a national police force that is also a branch of the country’s military, has authored a number of books on his counter-terrorist activities in the 1970s and 1980s.

He is no stranger to the courts, and is currently under investigation for his alleged involvement in a Paris casino the authorities say was used by Corsican and Marseilles-based gangsters to launder illicit cash.

(FRANCE24 with wires)

 

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