[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 1 August, 2004, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Rwanda inquiry into French role
A survivor prays at a mass grave
France armed the Hutu regime, but did it help plan genocide?
Rwanda is to investigate France's alleged role in the mass killing of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994.

The Rwandan government said it was setting up an "independent commission charged with assembling the evidence of France's involvement in the genocide".

Rwanda has regularly accused the French of aiding and abetting the Hutu extremists who killed 800,000 people.

Paris denies responsibility - although it has admitted supporting Rwanda's former Hutu-led government.

The current Rwandan government, which took over after the genocide, argues that Paris knowingly armed the killers and provided an escape route after their defeat.

It is not clear when the new Rwandan commission will start work.

Muted admission

Last week the two countries announced they would work together to review events leading to the genocide.

The announcement came after a meeting in South Africa between French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier and his Rwandan counterpart Charles Murigande.

"We discussed ways to improve and normalise relations... and we agreed to forge a new spirit and work together on genocide remembrance," Mr Barnier said after the talks.

In 1998 a French parliamentary panel cleared Paris of responsibility for the genocide.

However the MPs admitted that successive French governments had extended diplomatic and military support to Rwanda's hardline Hutu government between 1990 and 1994.

France has also been accused of allowing perpetrators of the genocide to escape when it launched a operation in south-western Rwanda in June 1994.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific