Tags: Sarkozy | France | genocide | Rwanda

Sarkozy Admits Rwanda Genocide 'Mistakes'

Thursday, 25 Feb 2010 09:22 AM

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has acknowledged that France and the international community made "mistakes" during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

But he stopped short of offering a full apology, saying he hoped those responsible would be punished.

He made his comments during the first French presidential visit to Rwanda since the mass killings.

The visit is intended to symbolise a commitment by both countries to move on after years of acrimony.

Rwanda accuses France of training and arming the Hutu extremists who killed some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus - a charge denied by Paris.

During the visit, Mr Sarkozy visited a memorial for the victims of the genocide, accompanied by Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

At a joint press conference, Mr Sarkozy spoke of his regrets about the sequence of events that culminated in the genocide.

"What happened here is unacceptable, but what happened here compels the international community, including France, to reflect on the mistakes that stopped it from preventing and halting this abominable crime," he said.

Asked by a French journalist if France would offer an apology, as other Western nations have, he said France did acknowledge "serious errors of judgment" but stopped short of saying sorry.

He described: "a sort of blindness" preventing the country seeing "the genocidal aspect of the government of the president who was assassinated".

He acknowledged too there had also been mistakes in France's eventual UN-mandated intervention in the country, known as Operation Turquoise, which he said was "too late and, probably, too little".

To read full BBC story — Go Here Now.






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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has acknowledged that France and the international community made "mistakes" during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
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2010-22-25
Thursday, 25 Feb 2010 09:22 AM
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