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Friday, April 3, 1998 Published at 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK



World: Africa

French troops accused of standing by, as 1,000 Rwandan Tutsis killed
image: [ French soldiers are accused of not saving a thousand Rwandan refugees ]
French soldiers are accused of not saving a thousand Rwandan refugees

The London-based human rights group, African Rights, has accused French troops based in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide of failing to prevent the massacre of one thousand Tutsis who'd begged them for protection.

It said a group of Tutsi survivors of earlier attacks -- around Bisesero, in western Rwanda --had emerged from hiding in June 1994 to plead for help from French soldiers but the troops ignored them returning to help only three days later and one-thousand people had subsequently died.

A French Foreign Ministry spokesman Yves Doutriauxsaid that France did not apologise for its intervention but now believed that it was better to train Africans to intervene in such situations than to do so itself.

A French parliamentary enquiry has begun into the country's role in Rwanda at the time of the genocide.

In Rwanda itself, a week of mourning is underway to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the genocide.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service






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