Report clears France of complicity in 1994 Rwandan Genocide

Historian and Commission chief on the France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide, Vincent Duclert, right, gives a report to French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Friday, March 26, 2021. The findings of a commission that has spent two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide is to be made public Friday. (Ludovic Marin, Pool photo via AP)
Historian and Commission chief on the France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide, Vincent Duclert, right, gives a report to French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Friday, March 26, 2021. The findings of a commission that has spent two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide is to be made public Friday. (Ludovic Marin, Pool photo via AP)

Credit: Ludovic Marin

Credit: Ludovic Marin

A commission that spent nearly two years plumbing France’s role in 1994’s Rwandan genocide has concluded that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead

PARIS (AP) — A commission that spent nearly two years plumbing France's role in 1994’s Rwandan genocide concluded Friday that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead but cleared it of complicity in the slaughter.

The report said that France bears “heavy and overwhelming responsibilities” in the drift that led to the killings, which principally claimed victims from Rwanda’s Tutsi ethnic minority. .

Persistent claims that France under then-President Francois Mitterrand did not do enough to stop the genocide have damaged the Franco-Rwandan relationship since the 1990’s.

As a result, French President Emmanuel Macron ordered the 15-member commission in May 2019 to shed light on what happened in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994.

Officials in Macron’s office said the inquiry was not just about improving relations with Rwanda but with the whole African continent, since other countries also have questions about what France did at the time.

The commission's report apportioned blame to France for failing in its “political, institutional, intellectual, ethical (and) moral” responsibility, according to officials in Macron’s office. But the report says researchers found no evidence that French weapons were delivered to Rwanda after the start of the genocide.

It also ruled out accusations of wrongdoing by Operation Turquoise, a French-led military intervention in Rwanda that has been accused of being a failed attempt at propping up the Hutu-led government in Rwanda.

The report further excluded any “complicity in genocide” by the French, saying there was no evidence of an intention to carry out genocidal actions.

The report found “malfunctions in the process of appreciation of the situation” and the resulting French government and military decisions. But the commission made it clear that their report did not seek to vilify individuals.

It’s unclear to what extent the report would succeed in improving relations between the France and Rwanda, and in particular satisfy Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

The Rwandan government said in a statement later Friday that it welcomes the report as “an important step toward a common understanding of France’s role in the genocide.” It said an investigative report commissioned by the Rwandan government will be released in the coming weeks.

Macron hoped the document would allow a catharsis, enabling France to put to rest claims that had simmered for more than a quarter of a century.

The report on the France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide is given by Historian and Commission chief, Vincent Duclert to French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Friday, March 26, 2021. The findings of a commission that has spent two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide is to be made public Friday. (Ludovic Marin, Pool photo via AP)
The report on the France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide is given by Historian and Commission chief, Vincent Duclert to French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Friday, March 26, 2021. The findings of a commission that has spent two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide is to be made public Friday. (Ludovic Marin, Pool photo via AP)

Credit: Ludovic Marin

Credit: Ludovic Marin

Historian and Commission chief on the France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide, Vincent Duclert, foreground right, gives a report to French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Friday, March 26, 2021. The findings of a commission that has spent two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide is to be made public Friday. (Ludovic Marin, Pool photo via AP)
Historian and Commission chief on the France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide, Vincent Duclert, foreground right, gives a report to French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Friday, March 26, 2021. The findings of a commission that has spent two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide is to be made public Friday. (Ludovic Marin, Pool photo via AP)

Credit: Ludovic Marin

Credit: Ludovic Marin

FILE - In this Friday, April 4, 2014 file photo, the skulls and bones of some of those who were slaughtered as they sought refuge inside the church are laid out as a memorial to the thousands who were killed in and around the Catholic church during the 1994 genocide in Ntarama, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
FILE - In this Friday, April 4, 2014 file photo, the skulls and bones of some of those who were slaughtered as they sought refuge inside the church are laid out as a memorial to the thousands who were killed in and around the Catholic church during the 1994 genocide in Ntarama, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

Credit: Ben Curtis

Credit: Ben Curtis

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 22, 2014, file photo, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame listens to a question while participating in a panel discussion on the campus of Tufts University, in Medford, Mass. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, April 22, 2014, file photo, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame listens to a question while participating in a panel discussion on the campus of Tufts University, in Medford, Mass. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Credit: Steven Senne

Credit: Steven Senne

FILE- In this Friday, April 5, 2019 file photo, flowers are laid on top of a glass case containing the skulls of some of those who were slaughtered as they sought refuge in the church, kept as a memorial to the thousands who were killed in and around the Catholic church during the 1994 genocide, inside the church in Ntarama, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
FILE- In this Friday, April 5, 2019 file photo, flowers are laid on top of a glass case containing the skulls of some of those who were slaughtered as they sought refuge in the church, kept as a memorial to the thousands who were killed in and around the Catholic church during the 1994 genocide, inside the church in Ntarama, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

Credit: Ben Curtis

Credit: Ben Curtis

FILE - In this Friday, April 5, 2019 file photo, family photographs of some of those who died hang on display in an exhibition at the Kigali Genocide Memorial centre in the capital Kigali, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
FILE - In this Friday, April 5, 2019 file photo, family photographs of some of those who died hang on display in an exhibition at the Kigali Genocide Memorial centre in the capital Kigali, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

Credit: Ben Curtis

Credit: Ben Curtis

FILE - In this Monday, April 8, 2019 file photo, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame answers questions from the media at a press conference at a convention center in the capital Kigali, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
FILE - In this Monday, April 8, 2019 file photo, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame answers questions from the media at a press conference at a convention center in the capital Kigali, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

Credit: Ben Curtis

Credit: Ben Curtis

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1984 file photo, French President Francois Mitterrand gives a joint press conference with the Hungarian Communist Party leader Janos Kadar held at the Elysee Palace, Paris. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/William Stevens, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1984 file photo, French President Francois Mitterrand gives a joint press conference with the Hungarian Communist Party leader Janos Kadar held at the Elysee Palace, Paris. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/William Stevens, File)

Credit: William Stevens

Credit: William Stevens

FILE - In this Sunday, April 7, 2019 file photo, people attend a candlelit vigil during a memorial service marking 25 years since the genocide, at Amahoro stadium in the capital Kigali, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
FILE - In this Sunday, April 7, 2019 file photo, people attend a candlelit vigil during a memorial service marking 25 years since the genocide, at Amahoro stadium in the capital Kigali, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

Credit: Ben Curtis

Credit: Ben Curtis

FILE - In this Friday, April 4, 2014 file photo, the skulls and bones of some of those who were slaughtered as they sought refuge inside the church, are laid out on shelves in an underground vault as a memorial to the thousands who were killed in and around the Catholic church during the 1994 genocide in Nyamata, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
FILE - In this Friday, April 4, 2014 file photo, the skulls and bones of some of those who were slaughtered as they sought refuge inside the church, are laid out on shelves in an underground vault as a memorial to the thousands who were killed in and around the Catholic church during the 1994 genocide in Nyamata, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

Credit: Ben Curtis

Credit: Ben Curtis

FILE - In this Friday, April 5, 2019 file photo, the names of those who were slaughtered as they sought refuge in the church, many with the same surname indicating a family, are written on a memorial to the thousands who were killed in and around the Catholic church during the 1994 genocide, outside the church in Ntarama, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
FILE - In this Friday, April 5, 2019 file photo, the names of those who were slaughtered as they sought refuge in the church, many with the same surname indicating a family, are written on a memorial to the thousands who were killed in and around the Catholic church during the 1994 genocide, outside the church in Ntarama, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

Credit: Ben Curtis

Credit: Ben Curtis

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 19, 1996, file photo, tens of thousands of Rwandan refugees, who have been forced by the Tanzanian authorities to return to their country despite fears they will be killed upon their return, stream back towards the Rwandan border on a road in Tanzania. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 19, 1996, file photo, tens of thousands of Rwandan refugees, who have been forced by the Tanzanian authorities to return to their country despite fears they will be killed upon their return, stream back towards the Rwandan border on a road in Tanzania. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju, File)

Credit: Jean-Marc Bouju

Credit: Jean-Marc Bouju

FILE - In this Thursday, June 9, 1994 file photo, a young orphan, his legs amputated below the knee, rests on a foam cushion near his artificial limbs at an orphanage in Nyanza, about 35 miles southwest of the capital Kigali, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, June 9, 1994 file photo, a young orphan, his legs amputated below the knee, rests on a foam cushion near his artificial limbs at an orphanage in Nyanza, about 35 miles southwest of the capital Kigali, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju, File)

Credit: Jean-Marc Bouju

Credit: Jean-Marc Bouju

FILE - In this Tuesday, May 17, 1994 file photo, refugees who fled the ethnic bloodbath in neighboring Rwanda carry water containers back to their huts at the Benaco refugee camp in Tanzania, near the border with Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Karsten Thielker, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, May 17, 1994 file photo, refugees who fled the ethnic bloodbath in neighboring Rwanda carry water containers back to their huts at the Benaco refugee camp in Tanzania, near the border with Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Karsten Thielker, File)

Credit: Karsten Thielker

Credit: Karsten Thielker

FILE - In this August 21, 1994 file photo, Rwandan Hutus give the departing French troops the thumbs-up as the French army pull out of Cyangugu, in southwest Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Jean Marc Bouju, File)
FILE - In this August 21, 1994 file photo, Rwandan Hutus give the departing French troops the thumbs-up as the French army pull out of Cyangugu, in southwest Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Jean Marc Bouju, File)

Credit: JEAN MARC BOUJU

Credit: JEAN MARC BOUJU

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - FILE - In this May 31, 1994, file photo, the bodies of a woman and her child lie by a church in Nyarubuye parish, which was the site of an April 14 massacre that survivors say was perpetrated by a militia assisted by government gendarmes, about 95 miles east of the capital Kigali, in Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju, File)
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - FILE - In this May 31, 1994, file photo, the bodies of a woman and her child lie by a church in Nyarubuye parish, which was the site of an April 14 massacre that survivors say was perpetrated by a militia assisted by government gendarmes, about 95 miles east of the capital Kigali, in Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju, File)

Credit: Jean-Marc Bouju

Credit: Jean-Marc Bouju

FILE - In this May 23, 1994 file photo, a Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) rebel walks by the the site of an April 6 plane crash which killed Rwanda's President Juvenal Habyarimana in Kigali, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju, File)
FILE - In this May 23, 1994 file photo, a Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) rebel walks by the the site of an April 6 plane crash which killed Rwanda's President Juvenal Habyarimana in Kigali, Rwanda. A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France's role in 1994's Rwandan genocide concluded Friday, March 26, 2021 that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead and bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" in the drift that led to the killings, but cleared the country of any complicity in the slaughter that mainly targeted Rwanda's Tutsi ethnic minority. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju, File)

Credit: Jean-Marc BouJu

Credit: Jean-Marc BouJu

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