Kigali, April 1, 2011(FH) – While praising President Nicolas Sarkozy for his efforts to improve bilateral relationship between the two states, Rwandan President Paul Kagame has strongly criticized Alain Juppé, new France minister for Foreign affairs, saying he ” insulted” Rwandans.
“His position, even involvement in matters relating to genocide and the history of it here in Rwanda are well known”, said the president in his monthly press conference on Thursday.
“He has not even attempted to rectify his negative stance in such a situation,” added President Kagame, who had been accusing some French officials of participating in the 1994 genocide against Tutsis. He said that Rwandans’ view about him and his position “has not changed”.
“I think Rwandans have been insulted by his attitude and position and they are not short of ways to express themselves about this,” he said. Mr Juppé was French minister of Foreign Affairs during the genocide.
However, the president said Rwandans “were taking into consideration the fact that there were positive trends in France starting with the Head of State President Sarkozy”. He praised Sarkozy’s efforts to leave the matter ” behind in our part and to focus on moving forward”. “His position is well known and valued”, Kagame stressed.
In its report released in 2008, A Rwandan commission of inquiry concluded that Juppé was actively supporting the interim government which was in power during the genocide.
President Sarkozy made an official visit in Rwanda in February 2010, whose objective was to seal reconciliation between the two countries. In November 2006, Rwanda broke off diplomatic relations with France after its judiciary issued arrest warrants against nine personalities of Kagame’s entourage. The diplomatic ties were restored in November 2009.
During his official visit, President Sarkozy had recognized that France had committed “serious errors in Rwanda.”