6 Aug 2008

France denies Rwandan genocide claims

8:16 pm on 6 August 2008

France has vehemently denied any involvement in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in which about 800,000 people were killed.

A two-year investigation commissioned by the Rwandan government concluded that France helped plan the genocide, and it accused French troops of direct involvement in the killings.

The 500-page report alleges France was aware of preparations for the genocide, contributed to planning the massacres and actively took part in the killing.

The report names more than 30 senior French officials, including the late president Francois Mitterand and two former prime ministers.

But Jacques Myard, an MP from France's ruling UMP, says the report's findings are ridiculous and notes it was France that drew the world's attention to the genocide.

France has previously acknowledged making "mistakes" in Rwanda, but denies any responsibility for the killing spree.