Kigali, 29 June 2009 (FH) - The Rwandan Minister of Defence, General Marcel Gatsinzi, who was the interim chief of staff of the army during the first 10 days of the 1994 genocide, asked for forgiveness from the Rwandan people for not having dissociated himself from the ‘'forces of the evil'', reported on Monday the newspaper Izuba Rirashe (Rising Sun).

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"I did not have the necessary courage, I did not have the needed courage to dissociate myself and to publicly condemn those who, among them were my colleagues and neighbours who prepared big plans which lead to the extermination," confessed the general, quoted by the tri-weekly.

The minister made this statement during a meeting on the week-end with the high ranking officials of the country and their spouses, according to the newspaper.

"I admit having worked a long time for an evil regime, without dissociating myself from it. For that, I request forgiveness from Rwanda and Rwandans and I asked others who, in their hearts and conscience, feel to have played an unspecified part (in the genocide), to break their silence and ask for forgiveness, as an example for the youth", continued the Rwandan general.

Also present at the meeting, President Paul Kagame welcomed the confession of the minister, adds Izuba Rirashe.

General Gatsinzi is one of the rare senior officers of the former regime to join the new Rwandan army, as of 1994.


© Hirondelle News Agency