Kigali, Rwanda | FRANCE 24 | French President Emmanuel Macron, on a symbolic visit to Rwanda Thursday, said France had “a role, a history and a political responsibility” towards Rwanda. But he stopped short of an official apology, saying France had not been complicit in the 1994 genocide.
“Standing here today, with humility and respect, by your side, I have come to recognise our responsibilities,” Macron said in a speech at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where the remains of 250,000 victims of the 1994 genocide are interred.
He said France had a duty to admit the “suffering it inflicted on the Rwandan people by too long valuing silence over the examination of the truth”.
Macron is the first French leader since 2010 to visit the central African country, which has long accused France of complicity in the mass killings of Rwandan Tutsis.
In his speech at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Macron said France “was not complicit” in the genocide.
“France has a role, a story and a political responsibility to Rwanda. She has a duty: to face history head-on and recognise the suffering she has inflicted on the Rwandan people by too long valuing silence over the examination of the truth”.
While some had been hoping for a full apology, Macron’s comments went further than his predecessors and he said that only those who had survived the horrors “can maybe forgive, give us the gift of forgiveness.”
The French president arrived in the capital, Kigali, early Thursday and was welcomed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
SOURCE: FRANCE 24