World
Rwanda and France hold talks in Gabon in tense times
Publish Date: May 23, 2014
Rwanda and France hold talks in Gabon in tense times
Kigali (middle) hosted African leaders before flying off to Gabon.
  • mail
  • img
newvision

LIBREVILLE - Rwanda's President Paul Kagame went into private talks with France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Friday in the wings of a development forum in Gabon, a source close to the Gabonese presidency said.
 
The two men shook hands following weeks of newly strained ties two decades after the Rwandan genocide, according to an AFP journalist attending the third New York Forum Africa in Libreville.
 
Relations between Paris and Kigali soured -- not for the first time -- when Kagame early in April accused both France and the former colonial power Belgium of playing "a direct role in the preparation of the genocide" in 1994, in an interview.
 
Kagame, who was the rebel leader of the mainly ethnic Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) when the mass killings of mostly minority Tutsis at the hands of Hutu troops and militias began on April 7, 1994, has blamed France for providing military assistance to the Hutu regime that launched the killings.
 
The small central African country last April staged a series of special commemorative events 20 years after the start of three months of massacres in which at least 80,000 people were slaughtered.
 
But in light of Kagame's renewed accusations, after a reconciliation in 2010, France cancelled a ministerial visit and Rwanda in turn barred the French ambassador from attending ceremonies.
 
French troops had intervened from 1990 to 1993 to help the Rwandan army fight Kagame's RPF, which is in power today. Then in June 1994, France single-handedly sent troops back in "Operation Turquoise", with a UN mandate to protect civilians from the bloodshed.
 
However, the Kigali government has charged that under cover of this military operation, officials responsible for the genocide were able to flee the RPF across the border into Zaire, today the Democratic Republic of Congo, with impunity.
 
Kagame has effectively run Rwanda since the RPF put an end to the bloodletting, first as vice-president and defence minister from 1994 to 2000, and since as head of state, winning his first presidential election in 2003.
 
The New York Africa Forum has brought several hundred participants from varying backgrounds including the arts, economics and academic posts to Gabon's capital for a series of conferences on the future of the continent's development.
 
AFP
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Police investigate death threats to BBC boss
British police were on Sunday investigating death threats against BBC director-general Tony Hall following his decision to popular "Top Gear" presenter Jeremy Clarkson....
Crash captain shouted
French officials say the plane''s black box voice recorder indicates that the co-pilot locked the captain out of the cockpit....
Somali forces battled overnight to end a deadly gun and bomb siege on a Mogadishu hotel by al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants....
Saudi pounds Yemen rebel camps, Arab allies gather
Saudi-led coalition warplanes bombed rebel camps in Yemen for a second day on Friday, as President Barack Obama said the United States shared a "collective goal" with its regional ally to see stability in the war-torn state....
Crash pilot told ex
The Germanwings co-pilot who crashed his Airbus in the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, told his ex-girlfriend that "one day everyone will know my name", according to German newspaper Bild....
Germanwings co-pilot suffered depression: report
The Germanwings co-pilot said to have deliberately crashed his Airbus with 149 others aboard into the French Alps suffered serious depression six years ago, German daily Bild reported Friday....
Will the ban of food vendors help eliminate typhoid?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter