5 December 2016

Rwanda: France Hosted Interim Govt After Leaving Rwanda

The government established following death President Juvenal Habyarimana, lost control of Rwanda in July 1994 but not its biggest ally: France; according to official correspondences from the time.

On July 19 1994, the rebel force commanded by current President Paul Kagame formed a new multiparty administration. The ousted interim government had fled to Zaire (now DR Congo) - along with thousands of troops and civilian genocide militia 'Interahamwe'.

Letters uncovered by researchers show a continued communication between the exiled government of Theodore Sindikubwabo and the French government in Paris.

The official letters indicate that the support also extended to telecommunications equipment which were delivered in December 1994 after almost six month the Genocidaire government was toppled.

Writing from Bukavu, capital of South Kivu province of DRC, Sindikubwabo directed his agent Jean Baptiste Ngabonziza to travel to Paris to collect equipment supplied by French telecom company Alcatel Telespace.

"As it had been requested by the President of Republic and the Prime Minister, it is very urgent to have telecommunication equipment as well as subscriptions independent from those of Rwandatel," a November 22 1994 letter reads, referring to the Rwanda state telecom company.

"This requires me to go to France to get materials," added Ngabonziza in the same letter requesting for permission to travel to France.

In a response letter dated November 30 1994, Sindikubwabo authorized the travel clearance.

"Mr. Jean Baptiste Ngabonziza is authorized to go to France to bring our telecommunications equipment," reads the authorization note.

Documents further reveal that Ngabonziza boarded plane on December 3 1994 and returned December 18.

He also requested for $ 3,195 to cover his trip expenses in France.

François Mitterrand was the president of France as the genocide against Tutsi unfolded in Rwanda. Paris had hundreds of elite commando troops - some of which had been in Rwanda before the start of the massacres.

More arrived as part of UN authorized mandate. They cut off west and south Western part of Rwanda for the infamous 'Zone Turquoise' - a supposed humanitarian corridor.

But details which have emerged over the years show the corridor gave exit route to the defeated retreating government troops with its militias to Zaire. They would regroup in the Kivu region bordering Rwanda.

In Zone Turquoise, according to documented testimony of survivors and perpetrators, French soldiers were supplied with selected Tutsi girls for sex. The massacre in the Bisesero region is testament of the French presence - where tens of thousands perished as French troops stationed downhill.

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