Macron to apologize for France’s failure to stop Rwanda genocide

President Emmanuel Macron will apologize for France’s failure to stop the Rwanda genocide on the 30th anniversary of the humanitarian disaster.

In a video message to be published on social media Sunday, Macron will acknowledge that “France, which could have stopped the genocide with its Western and African allies, did not have the will to do so.”

Sunday marks three decades since the start of the Rwanda genocide, which saw the mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people, mainly members of the Tutsi ethnic minority, by Hutu militants between April and July 1994.

Macron was invited to a ceremony in the Rwandan capital Kigali commemorating the anniversary of the genocide but will not attend. France will instead be represented by Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Séjourné and Rwandan-born genocide survivor Hervé Berville, the secretary of state for the sea.

The genocide has long been a source of tension between France and Rwanda. A report commissioned by the Rwandan government and published in 2021 found France played a “significant” role in “enabling” the bloodshed with its support of Rwanda’s regime.

A month after the report’s findings, Macron visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial honoring victims and gave a speech in which he acknowledged France’s “responsibilities” but stopped short of an official apology, insisting his country “was not an accomplice” to the violence.