Future of France-based genocide fugitives, deniers hangs in the balance

The Élysée Palace (seat of French government) last Friday said it was set to build a monument to the memory of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Paris – to be located on the left bank of the River Seine not far from the Foreign Ministry.

The monument will be across the water from another memorial site to the victims of the mass killings of Armenians during World War I, which Yerevan and several Western states recognize as a genocide.

The development came two years after the French President, Emmanuel Macron, sought the forgiveness of the genocide survivors for what he admitted was his country’s “historical and political responsibility in Rwanda.” The President also pledged to not tolerate anymore a bunch of genocidaires who remain at large in his country.

Macron made the revelation during his historical visit to Rwanda, whereby he visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial- the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against Tutsi. He has since walked his talk as top genocide masterminds who had been roaming scot-free in France were brought to book.

Those genocidaires include genocide chief financier Félicien Kabuga and the former Gikongoro Prefect, Laurent Bucyibaruta, infamously known as “the butcher of Gikongoro”.

On the other hand, President Macron also established the ‘Duclert Commission’ that concluded that France had “heavy and overwhelming responsibilities” in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

Hitherto, France is home to at least 47 indicted Genocide suspects, including Agathe Kanziga Habyarimana, widow of the genocidal regime tyrant Juvenal Habyarimana and hundreds of deniers and revisionists who have been hiding in the country for years.

Many of the individuals accused of genocide and their supporters falsely claim that Rwanda “is pursuing them for political motives.” But it should be noted that the majority of these culprits have already been convicted in absentia and sentenced to life in prison for their involvement in the genocide, as repeatedly affirmed by Rwanda’s leadership.

The prospect of justice for those responsible for the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi is brighter with the current French Government’s determination to challenge the longstanding silence on this sensitive issue, which had been a taboo in the country’s political discourse.

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