By David Himbara
Wonders never cease. In 2006, General Paul Kagame set up a commission to establish France’s role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The commission carried out its investigations from April 2006 to April 2007. The outcome was the Report of an Independent Commission to Establish the Role of France in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. The report established that France committed the following acts, among others:
- Contribution to the perpetration of the war, including direct participation in the Rwandan civil war in 1990–1993.
- Direct participation in the Rwandan genocide, including execution of prisoners of war.
- Support and assistance in perpetration of violent acts including sexual assault and rape.
These are obviously serious accusations about crimes against humanity. In normal circumstances, these alleged crimes would be further investigated by an appropriate independent authority. Justice would then be rendered.
Forget France’s involvement in crimes against humanity in Rwanda. Kagame has only one in genocide. Kagame uses it to extract favours. And Kagame just cashed substantial genocide cash from France.
To Kagame, genocide is a powerful weapon with which he extracts favors from donors by intimidating them using guilt. This time around, Kagame just used genocide to extract from France the post of the head of the Francophonie. To France and its clever head of state Emmanuel Macron, this is a rather cheap bargain. Throw to the African dictator a mere bone to stop the endless noise about France’s role in genocide. For Kagame, he just received a genocide cheque — a glorious moment when the news splash around the world that Rwanda is heading the Francophonie. Now that Kagame has received his genocide cheque, say bye bye to The Report of an Independent Commission to Establish the Role of France in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.