Official speeches and statements - April 12, 2021
The President has decided, through a general exemption, to open Mr. François Mitterrand’s presidential archives relating to Rwanda between 1990 and 1994, which are now freely accessible.
In keeping with his intention, already made public, this access is extended to include the archives of former prime minister Mr. Edouard Balladur.
Finally, by the same decision, all the documents quoted in the report by the Commission chaired by Mr. Vincent Duclert have also been made publicly available, following declassification work, by the ministries concerned (Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ministry for the Armed Forces, Ministry of the Economy, Finance and the Recovery, Ministry of Culture).
This decision is in line with the President’s commitment to create the conditions conducive to the continuation of work to understand France’s role and involvement in Rwanda.
France joins the Rwandan people in commemorating the Tutsi genocide and, on this day of remembrance, expresses its heartfelt compassion and solidarity with the survivors and the victims’ families.
[translation from French]
I would like to thank Mr. Xia Huang and Ambassador Edrees for their briefings.
I would like to briefly mention three points:
First, there have been several positive developments in recent months in terms of bilateral and regional cooperation. The cooperation efforts between Rwanda and Uganda as well as Burundi must be supported. The encouraging trend we have seen since the election of President Tshisekedi should continue in order to further reduce tensions and build confidence.
Secondly, France condemns the ongoing attacks by armed groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Efforts must also be stepped up to ensure full respect for human rights, international humanitarian law, and the rule of law, as well as to promote the full participation of women in the peace process. While humanitarian needs remain considerable, particularly for the many refugees and displaced persons, France and the European Union will continue to support them, as they have done so far, notably through the Instrument for Stability and Peace. This instrument has mobilized more than 24 million euros for the region between 2016 and 2020. In addition, France’s humanitarian contributions have exceeded 10 million euros over the past two years.
Finally, States in the region and their partners must remain mobilized to tackle the root causes of these conflicts and to fully implement the Framework Agreement. The meeting at the summit of the Regional Follow-up Mechanism is essential to ensure the follow-up for this Agreement and must be held as soon as possible. The chairmanship of the African Union also provides the DRC with an opportunity to give a decisive impetus to peacebuilding and to strengthening economic and trade cooperation in the region. It is also essential that the United Nations Strategy for the Great Lakes be swiftly operationalized through the establishment of a plan of action. The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General knows that he can count on our full support in this regard.