The French government announced that the National Archives will allow public access to telegrams, confidential notes, and other documents related to the Rwandan genocide, a tragic event in which 800,000 people were killed between April 7 and July 15, 1994.
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The documents also include the papers of then-President Francois Mitterrand and his Prime Minister Edouard Balladur. This decision coincides with the publication of a report commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron in which his country is exonerated from the genocide.
However, the official report notes a series of serious failures, shortcomings, and lack of foresight on the part of the Mitterrand administration, which was "unable" to perceive the obvious preparations for what was brewing in the former French colony.
Since 1994, however, Rwanda has repeatedly accused France of complicity in the genocide, alleging that the European country provided training and weaponry to Hutu Interahamwe militias that killed 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and some moderate Hutus.
On Wednesday, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame reiterated that his country will use all possible means to prosecute those who threaten "peace and security", in an apparent allusion to the trial of Paul Rusesabagina, who has been charged with terrorism for leading the genocide-linked National Liberation Front (FLN).
Kagame criticized Western countries of promoting a "worrying" trend of genocide denial.
"In 1994, people were struggling to give a proper name to what was happening in Rwanda. Today we have the same debate. It is unbelievable that we have the same discussion 27 years later," he said in an apparent reference to the United States and the United Kingdom.
In March, in an attempt to heal wounds about France's colonial past, Macron also ordered the declassification of documents from the Ministry of Defense, which were mainly related to the Algerian war (1954-1962).