Rwanda genocide survivors urge France to reopen case

Their deaths came nearly three months into the 100-day killing spree that left an estimated 800,000 people dead, most of them members of the Tutsi ethnic minority.

Fabrice Tarrit, one of the leaders of Survie, an anti-colonial activists’ group which is a plaintiff in the case, said at a press conference that it was “premature” to close the case.

“The lines of inquiry were not sufficiently investigated to allow investigators to determine (France’s) military and political responsibilities,” he said.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed a request urging investigators to take further action despite the case being closed, including seeking testimony from soldiers and journalists who were nearby on June 27.

Olivier Foks, a lawyer for Survie, said French troops’ handling of events could be seen as “complicity in genocide”.

“French military authorities were aware that from the afternoon of June 27 onwards, civilians were being killed,” he said.

Even though keeping civilians safe had been their mission, “no measure or order was taken to allow them to be brought to safety,” he said.

On Thursday, the investigative website Mediapart published a video filmed on June 28, 1994, showing the head of France’s special operations in Rwanda, Colonel Jacques Rosier, being told that Tutsis had been massacred at Bisesero.

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