Sunday, January 21, 2007

Objective HIstory Catches Up To France:

While France advises select nations on the salutary moral uplift of recognizing their dark histories, she is incapable of owning up to her own.
No, for France everyday -- past, present, and to come -- was, is, or will be another shiny day of rayonnement français.

PARIS April 7, 2004 (AFP) - France does not share any extra blame in Rwanda's 1994 genocide and its troops were in no way involved in helping those who carried out the massacres, officials here said Wednesday, as the world marked the 10th anniversary of the bloodshed.

MARSEILLE April 9, 2004 (AFP) - French junior foreign minister Renaud Muselier has described charges by Rwanda's President Paul Kagame that France was complicit in the 1994 genocide as "unacceptable, humiliating and lying".
... "I regret that memories and polemics have been mixed up. There are individual and collective responsibilities (for the Rwandan genocide), but time will enable the history of it to be told objectively."
Yes, well, objective history is fast catching up with French humiliation.

KIGALI December 12, 2006 (AFP) - French military trucks ferried extremist Hutu militiamen to a mountain hideout in Rwanda to slaughter thousands of ethnic Tutsis during the 1994 genocide, an ex-member of the militia [Interahamwe] said Tuesday.
... The witness also testified that six French soldiers watched the murder of about 50 Tutsis at the Camp Gisenyi military barracks in northwest Rwanda where they were military advisers.
... The ex-Interahamwe member said on Tuesday that he had participated in transporting weapons from a French military plane in the former Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo, to the north Rwanda province of Gisenyi.
"These guns were distributed to different military units and militias manning roadblocks", he said, adding that the shipment was "escorted into Rwanda by French soldiers."

KIGALI, Dec 13, 2006 (AFP) - A female survivor of Rwanda's 1994 genocide on Wednesday told a panel probing alleged French complicity in the massacres that French troops had gang-raped her and others multiple times.
[This news story contains graphic descriptions of brutal rape by French soldiers.]
Another protected female witness testified that she had been raped by a Rwandan employed by the French in the presence of a French soldier.
"I thought he would save me," the woman said.
The women's testimony followed that of the former mayor of Karama district, where French troops had one of their camps, who described the atmosphere there as "scandalous beyond imagination".

KIGALI December 14, 2006 (AFP) - Two more female survivors of Rwanda's 1994 genocide on Thursday accused French troops of raping them, in new allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers that France had in the country at the time.
[This news story contains graphic descriptions of brutal rape by French soldiers.]
"[The French soldiers] destroyed me," [the witness] said through tears. "They killed me. I thought the white men were going to save me."
Another witness, a soldier in the former French-backed Rwandan government's army, said he and colleagues had brought young Tutsi girls from Nyarushishi refugee camp and nearby hideouts to French troops in exchange for canned meals.
"On one occasion, they refused to pay me and my friends for a girl we were bringing them," he told the panel. "We threatened to kill her. They told us to go ahead. We did it before them."

KIGALI December 18, 2006 (AFP) - French troops deployed in Rwanda at the height of the country's 1994 genocide lured thousands of minority Tutsis from their hideouts to be killed by extremist militia, a witness told an enquiry Monday.
... Last week, a former primary school teacher told the probe team that as an interpreter he had accompanied a French contingent to the Tutsi enclave to deliver the evacuation promise.
A former Belgian military officer on Monday told investigators that days after the genocide started, French troops refused to evacuate hundreds of Rwandans and other Africans who had sneaked into evacuation convoys.
"They were sending back these people on only the basis of what appeared to be their colour," said Lieutenant Colonel Jean Loup.
The picture that emerges of France in Rwanda is monstrous. It is no longer tenable that France did not know what was going on in Rwanda, what France had abetted and was abetting. France did not discover horrors in Rwanda, she engineered them.
Even if France asked us to believe she is the stupidest nation on earth, only a fraction of France's complicity can be chalked up to stupidity outright. Of course, France is not asking us to believe her stupid, quite the contrary. So how did enlightened France come to embrace such unenlightened, such horrific policy?
One theory posits Anglophobia.

January 11, 2007 (Guardian) - France went on backing the killers even as the bodies piled up in the streets, churches and football stadiums. "France wants to blame us, the ones whose families were murdered, the ones who put a stop to the murderers; they want to blame us for the genocide because they cannot face their own guilt," says Rwanda's foreign minister, Charles Murigande. "The French armed the killers and they trained them even when they were saying they were going to kill the Tutsis, and France supported the genocide regime right up until the end, even helping the killers to escape." Why? "Because they have this obsession with Anglo-Saxons."

... Africa has traditionally been considered such a special case in Paris that France's policy is run out of the presidency. At the time, the "Africa cell" was headed by Mitterrand's son, Jean-Christophe, a close friend of the Habyarimanas. He later said that there could not have been a genocide because "Africans are not that organised". France's president did not deny what had happened, but took a view no less racist:
"In such countries, genocide is not too important."

Gérard Prunier, a French historian who advised the French government during the later stages of its intervention in Rwanda, has characterised Paris's view of its former African colonies not as foreign countries but as "part of the family".
Paris's African "back yard", he wrote in a history of the Rwandan genocide - in which he made clear his disaffection with French support for the Hutu regime - "remains its back yard because all the chicks cackle in French.
There is a high degree of symbiosis between French and Francophone African political elites. It is a mixture of many things: old memories, shared material interests, delusions of grandeur, gossip, sexual peccadilloes."
He added: "Of course, the arch-enemy in this cosy relationship, the hissing snake in the Garden of Eden, is the 'Anglo-Saxon'."
Prunier said French governments viewed "the whole world as a cultural, political and economic battlefield between France and the Anglo-Saxons ... It is the main reason - and practically the only one - why Paris intervened so quickly and so deeply in the growing Rwandan crisis."
The explanation we favor is that France is not enlightened at all. Wherever she arrives she is preceded by her thuggish reputation. Wherever she stays, she enlarges it. And wherever she exits, she bequeaths it to sympathetic locals.
Not content with yesterday"s shame, France, with no friendly Francophone government to support, spites the current Anglophone government.
Rwanda's foreign minister, Murigande, accuses France of spending more than a decade punishing the RPF for its victory: "In all international forums - the World Bank, the IMF - France not only voted against any development programme that these institutions would want to undertake in Rwanda but it even went out of its way to mobilise other countries to vote against them." Before the genocide, France was the largest donor of any country to Rwanda. Today, it is the smallest.
Via pave France

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