19.11.07 - RWANDA/FRANCE - THE RWANDAN COMMISSION INTO FRANCE'S ROLE PRESENTS ITS REPORT

   Arusha, 19 October 2007 (FH) - The Rwandan commission into the alleged role of France in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda presented Friday its report to President Paul Kagame who will decide on a convenient period to make it public, reports Monday the Rwandan press.   
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In receiving this 500-page report from the hands of the commission president, the former minister of justice, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, the Rwandan head of state was surrounded by the president of the senate, Vincent Biruta, the Prime Minister, Bernard Makuza and the president of the Supreme Court, Aloysie Cyanzayire.
 
"I must announce that we are through with our assignment. We have submitted the report to its lawful recipients and it's them who will decide when to release it for public consumption", declared the president of the commission, quoted by the pro-governmental newspaper, The New Times.
 
"It was a difficult job. The report contains the testimonies that you heard during our public hearing sessions", Mucyo continued, stating that there is evidence of French responsibility, still according to the newspaper.
 
The Minister of Justice, Tharcisse Karugarama, did not give any further detail than the president of the commission.
 
"The report is very exhaustive. It covers a wide range of issues and a period spanning seventeen years, from 1990 up to the time of its submission", indicated Karugarama, also quoted by The New Times.
 
This commission was officially "charged to gather the evidence of France's implication in the genocide" in Rwanda in 1994. It had organized in Kigali public testimonials of witnesses, including soldiers of the former Rwandan army and European journalists, blaming France.
 
In February, the French ministry of defence had denied any legitimacy or competence of this commission, which then planned to bring its investigation to France.
 
Kigali broke, at the end of November 2006, its diplomatic relations with Paris after the French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere had brought forth criminal proceedings against President Kagame for his "alleged participation" in the attack against the plane of the former Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana on 6 April 1994, which preceded the beginning of the genocide.
 
The relations between Paris and Kigali have always been tense since the genocide. France is accused by the current Rwandan government of having trained and armed the persons responsible before the massacres, which Paris denies.
 
At the beginning of August, the new head of French diplomacy, Bernard Kouchner, stated that he was ready to go "as soon as possible" to Rwanda, as soon as "a certain number of things are settled". A French diplomatic mission recently stayed in Kigali.
 
ER/PB/MM

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