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A Rwandan government-commissioned report on the 1994 genocide has accused France of “enabling” the slaughter, going further than a recent French report that held the country responsible but stopped short of judging it complicit.

France holds “significant” responsibility for “enabling a foreseeable genocide,” states the 600-page Rwandan report, which was published on Monday. It documents the role of French authorities prior to, during, and after the massacre, which saw an estimated 800,000 people killed between April and July 1994.

It contends that France “did nothing to stop” the killings, mainly of the ethnic Tutsi minority, and, in the years since, has attempted to distort truths and cover up its role, and even extended protection to perpetrators, drawn from extremists in the majority Hutu population.

It also accuses former French president François Mitterrand and his administration of supporting, funding, and training the government of then-Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana, despite “warning signs,” and being aware of the preparations being made for the slaughter.

“The French government was neither blind nor unconscious about the foreseeable genocide,” opines the new report, which comes less than a month after a French report concluded that France had “heavy and overwhelming responsibilities” but cleared it of complicity in the killings.

“Is France an accomplice to the genocide of the Tutsi? If by this we mean a willingness to join a genocidal operation, nothing in the archives that was examined demonstrates this,” it stated.

Commissioned in 2017, the French report accused the authorities of pursuing their “own interests, in particular, the reinforcement and expansion of France’s power and influence in Africa.” Even at the height of the killings, they “did nothing to stop” the massacres, it said.

However, the authors found “no evidence that French officials or personnel participated directly in the killing of Tutsi during that period.” Nonetheless, they strongly criticized the French government for not having declassified documents about the genocide. The Rwandan government had submitted three documentation requests between 2019 and 2021 that were “ignored”, according to the report.

“Maybe the most important thing in this process is that those two commissions have analyzed the historical facts, have analyzed the archives which were made available to them, and have come to a common understanding of that past,” Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta told the Associated Press news agency. “From there, we can build this strong relationship,” he added. - RT

Migori Governor Okoth Obado addresses journalists at his Rapogi home on September 9, 2020.  File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The case had been scheduled for hearing from March 16 last year but was halted following the scaling down of court activities to curb the spread of the disease.

The murder trial of Migori Governor Okoth Obado resumes in July after more than a one-year hiatus occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Mr Obado (right) is charged alongside his aides—Michael Oyamo and Caspal Obiero—with the murder of former Rongo University student Sharon Otieno. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has lined up 37 witnesses to testify against the accused.

The case had been scheduled for hearing from March 16 last year but was halted following the scaling down of court activities to curb the spread of the disease.

Sharon was brutally murdered and her body dumped in a thicket in Oyugis, Homa Bay County, in September 2018. She was stabbed eight times while seven months pregnant. Her parents, Douglas Otieno and Melida Auma, yesterday said they were hopeful justice would prevail.

“Let us wait and see. We are almost getting to the third year since our daughter and her unborn child were murdered. We are hoping she will get justice,” said Mr Otieno.

What happened

Sharon was a second year student pursuing a degree in medical records and information. During the second anniversary of her death on September 4, 2020, her family urged the prosecution and the courts to fast-track the hearing to put the matter to rest.

Sharon and journalist Barrack Oduor were abducted moments after being lured out of a hotel in Rongo Town and bundled into a waiting car.

 The journalist, however, acted fast and jumped out of the speeding vehicle at Nyangweso market on the Homa Bay-Kisumu Road.

A post-mortem report indicated that Sharon had been stabbed four times at the back, three times on the neck and once on the left side of her abdomen. 

Mr Obado admitted that the slain student was his girlfriend. A DNA test confirmed that the murdered infant was Mr Obado’s.

“There are 99.99+pc more chances that Zacharia Okoth Obado is the biological father of the ... child,” detectives said.

Mr Obado is out on a Sh5 million bail. By Ruth Mbula, Daily Natiion


The fire destroyed the Reading Room of the Jagger Library at the University of Cape Tow [Mike Hutchings/Reuters]

The students ran along the main road as flames – fanned by strong winds – consumed the university’s historic library with its collection of rare books, and other campus buildings on Sunday.

Cape Town’s mayor Dan Plato said at least one firefighter was being treated for burns in hospital.

The fire started early on Sunday near a memorial to politician Cecil Rhodes, located on Devils Peak, another part of Cape Town’s mountainous backdrop, before spreading rapidly up the slopes.

Heavy smoke could be seen from kilometres away, some roads were closed and fire alerts were sent to all mountain hikers.

“All UCT students have been evacuated from campus by emergency services support staff,” the university said in a statement.



Firefighters carry a colleague who collapsed due to the smoke and the heat as they battled an out of control fire on the slopes of Table Mountain [Rodger Bosch/AFP]
The university, ranked among the best in Africa, is largely built on the slopes of Devil’s Peak and is close to where the fire started. Ujala Satgoor, the executive director of UCT Libraries, said on Facebook that the Reading Room of the library had been gutted but that fire shutters had been triggered preventing the flames from spreading to other parts of the building.

“Some of our valuable collections have been lost,” Satgoor said, adding that the library would only be able to assess the full extent of the damage after the building had been declared safe.

“This is indeed a sad day for UCT and UCT Libraries! Although this loss will be felt deeply, we will weather this storm and rise from the ashes.”

Private homes and historical structures such as the Mostert’s Hill windmill had also been damaged in the fire, city authorities said. 

Three helicopters were deployed to battle the inferno with video and photo shared on social media showing students milling around on the main road, amid billowing smoke and the night sky illuminated in orange flames. Aljazeera

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