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France making archives on Rwandan genocide open to public

In 2019, the French president announced the creation of a fact-finding commission to research and preserve the history of France's role in Rwanda's genocide. 

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French President Emmanuel Macron reacts as he meets Portuguese ortuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 in Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19, the presidential Elysee Palace announced on Thursday. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)I

The archives on the Rwandan genocide will be made available and open to the public in France, President Emmanuel Macron announced Wednesday. 

The archives with information from 1990-1994 will be made freely accessible in an effort to understand France’s role in the Rwandan genocide, Reuters reported. 

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A statement released by President Macron’s office said the decision was made as part of Macron’s commitment to “create favorable conditions for the continuation of the work of understanding the role and commitment of France in Rwanda.”

The statement also said the country joins the people of Rwanda to express its compassion and solidarity. 

“France joins the Rwandan people in commemorating the genocide of the Tutsi and, on this day of meditation, expresses all its compassion and solidarity with regard to the survivors and the families of the victims.”

During the Rwandan genocide, members of the Hutu majority murdered up to 800,000 people, most of the Tutsi minority. 

In 2019, Macron announced the creation of a fact-finding commission to research and preserve the history of France’s role in Rwanda’s genocide. 

Investigative website Mediapart alleged that Paris was aware that suspects involved in the genocide were hiding in a French-army controlled safe zone in Rwanda. 

After the creation of the commission, Macron said the country must look at the past without concealing it. 

“We owe it to ourselves to look at our past in its entirety, without any desire to conceal or self-flagellate,” he told The Africa Report.

Officials in Rwanda marked the 27-year-anniversary of the genocide with commemoration events Wednesday, including a flame of remembrance. 

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