French officers linked to genocide

Rwanda has published a list of 22 French officers it accuses of helping plan and execute the 1994 genocide, in the latest sign of deteriorating relations between the two countries.

Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (known by its French acronym CNLG) issued the list on Monday.

This came a month after French investigators said they were reopening a probe into who shot down then-president Juvenal Habyarimana’s jet, triggering the genocide in which 800 000mostly Tutsi people were killed.

“High-ranking French officers and political figures committed very serious crimes in Rwanda,” the CNLG said.

“The refusal to put an end to the judicial investigation and to exonerate Rwandan leaders who ended the genocide is designed to camouflage these responsibilities.”

A Rwandan inquiry found Hutu extremists responsible for Habyarimana’s assassination, but the French investigation was inconclusive.

That inquiry was reopened following a deposition submitted by former Rwandan army chief Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, a one-time confidant of President Paul Kagame, who has again pointed the finger of blame at Kagame.

The shooting down of the plane falls within French jurisdiction because the crew were French.

Last month, Kagame warned of a showdown with France over the allegations.

The row over responsibility for shooting down the plane caused a severing of ties between France and Rwanda in 2006 and 2009.

The CNLG accused the 22 senior French officers of involvement in the genocide both as perpetrators and accomplices.

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