At Rwandan Genocide Memorial, Macron Hopes for Forgiveness

On a one-day state visit to Rwanda, French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged France's role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide and said he hoped for forgiveness. Speaking alongside Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the Gisozi genocide memorial in Kigali, Macron said, "I hereby humbly and with respect stand by your side today, I come to recognize the extent of our responsibilities."

The vist is seen as a step towards normalising relations between the two countries after a quarter century of tension, Radio France Internationale reports. Macron is the first French leader since 2010 to visit Rwanda, which has long accused France of being complicit in the mass killings of 800,000 Rwandan Tutsis between April and July 1994. In March, the French government accepted the conclusions of a commission of historians, which accused France of being "blind" to the Hutu regime's preparation of the massacres. The report said that France bore "serious and overwhelming" responsibility for the genocide. On a visit to France in May 2021, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who led the Tutsi rebellion that ended the genocide, said the report had paved the way for the two countries to have "a good relationship".

InFocus

French president Emmanuel Macron, right, with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame in Paris on May 17, 2021. Macron is due to meet Kagame in Kigali on May 27, 2021, as part of the continuing reconciliation between the two countries.

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