International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

France declassifies papers detailing involvement in Rwandan Genocide

As this week marks 21 years since the start of the Rwandan Genocide, the government of France has began declassifying crucial documents detailing its involvement in one of the greatest human rights abuses of all times. While this move sounds like a positive gesture by the government, many do not see it as such. Some of the more notable backlash is that this is another form of victor’s truth, in which France is passing off something incomplete as being the whole truth. In doing such, it could absolve the government from actual liability. That liability, or lack thereof, then translates to concerns of impunity and begs the question of what to do. If France were to admit to obvious, grave human rights violations, what would and could be done? Similar questions have to be asked for situations around the globe, such as the United States’ involvement via the United Fruit Company in the Guatemalan conflict. As the international community aims to eliminate impunity gaps, they must begin to deal with those who may, albeit indirectly, may in fact be “most responsible” for the atrocity.


One response to “France declassifies papers detailing involvement in Rwandan Genocide

  1. natreid7 April 10, 2015 at 11:03 am

    As France begins to declassify documents pertaining to their involvement in the Rwandan Genocide, it will be interesting to see if these documents prove to revolutionize the current public opinion surrounding international involvement in the genocide. It is impossible to believe that France’s President is releasing these documents out of the betterment for society. It can be viewed as a potentially political move. With Rwandan and French relations being strained as is, the release of documents might prove to help relations between the two. As mentioned in the original post, France might also use this release of documents as a chance to publish their version of the truth and in effect remove themselves from suspected culpability. It is interesting to consider French as well as US involvement in the Rwandan Genocide that happened over 21 years ago. It will be interesting to see if the US feels the need to formally release documents as well, for they have also been accused of being culpable for a lack of action in stopping the genocide.

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