The Muse Report: France’s history of obstruction

09 Jul 1994, Rwanda --- Operation Turquoise in Rwanda --- Image by © Charles Caratini/Sygma/Corbis

The Government of Rwanda today released The Muse Report by Washington, DC, law firm Cunningham Levy Muse LLP documenting the role and knowledge of French officials in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The report, which has been shared with the Government of France, is part of wider efforts by Rwanda, announced in November 2016, to thoroughly investigate the responsibility of French officials in respect of the Genocide.

The Muse Report, which is based solely on information available in the public record, indicates there is evidence to substantiate allegations of foreign involvement in the Genocide, including that of French officials. The report also identifies evidence suggesting the accountability process has been, and continues to be, undermined by French actors.

The Muse Report finds that:

– French officials facilitated the flow of weapons into Rwanda in the buildup to the Genocide, despite knowing about violent attacks against the minority Tutsi group in the country;

– Despite this knowledge of recurring massacres of the Tutsi during the early 1990s, French officials allowed génocidaires to meet within the French Embassy in Kigali and begin to form the interim government that presided over Rwanda during the Genocide;

– Private communications between French officials reveal that Opération Turquoise, which was presented as a humanitarian mission, in
fact had the military objective of propping up the interim government responsible for the Genocide, and preventing its removal by the Rwanda Patriotic Front, who eventuality halted the atrocities in July 1994.

– French officials provided safe harbour to suspected génocidaires and obstructed attempts to bring them to justice at various points during the 23 years since the Genocide;

– French authorities have refused to declassify and release documents that are vital to a full understanding of the activity of French officials at the time of the Genocide, and to allowing the public to finally learn the truth;

– France has failed either to extradite or to prosecute the majority of the dozens of Genocide suspects residing within the country;

– The 1998 French Parliamentary Commission’s investigation into the role of French officials was neither transparent nor complete.

Rwanda has accepted the Muse Report recommendation that these facts merit a full investigation into responsibility of French officials in the Genocide against the Tutsi.

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