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Published on April 8, 2010
Commemoration of the sixteenth anniversary of the start of the genocide against the Rwandan Tutsis – Statement by Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

Paris, April 7, 2010

As Rwanda commemorates the sixteenth anniversary of the start of the genocide against the Rwandan Tutsis, my thoughts go not only to the victims and their bruised and battered families, but also to the survivors and, more widely, the whole Rwandan people who united to confront that barbaric chapter in their history.

The resumption of our diplomatic relations with Rwanda now allows our embassy to give its full support in Kigali to the survivors’ organizations which ensure that the duty of remembrance owed to the victims and their families is discharged. I also want France to be able to honour the victims of the genocide through the creation of a special place of remembrance.

As President Sarkozy had the opportunity of saying in Kigali, France is more committed than ever in the fight against the impunity of the genociders on her territory and throughout the world. I reiterate here France’s wholehearted support for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. France calls on every country harbouring those wanted for genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to hand them over as soon as possible in order for justice to be done.

I have fought and will continue fighting to get the truth about the genocide established so that the historical facts cannot be distorted or misrepresented. I encourage all French, Rwandan and international initiatives which will help the historical truth of these events to be revealed.

Today France also wants to express her heartfelt sympathy to Rwanda’s neighbouring countries which also bear the scars of the genocide against Rwanda’s Tutsis.

These are the messages M. Joyandet, who is representing France at this commemoration in Kigali, is conveying./.

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