French President Emmanuel Macron has asked Rwandans to forgive France for its role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus died.
Speaking at the genocide memorial in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, where more than 250,000 victims are buried, Macron said France had not heeded warnings of impending carnage and had for too long valued silence over examination of the truth.
President of Rawanda Paul Kagame said, his words were something more valuable than an apology.
In March, a French expert commission found that France under the late President François Mitterrand had borne heavy and overwhelming responsibility for the genocide but had not been complicit.
In 2015, then-President François Hollande announced that the Rwanda archives would be declassified but two years later, after a researcher sought permission to study them, France’s Constitutional Council ruled that they should remain secret.
President Macron launched the new inquiry, allowing experts to study French official files from the time.