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And then, there’s Rwanda and France…

November 12, 2008

From today’s New Times, Rwanda’s English-language daily: the Rwandan government is going to indict French officials named in the Mucyo Report, an investigation of the French role in the genocide. The report does not give a flattering picture of France (though my French is too bad to understand the whole 300 pages or so). But then, neither have honest historians. There’s a subset of French historians eager to peddle revisionist histories–I take this on the good authority of Gerard Prunier, a historian of the region, but I don’t know the ins and outs of it.

In any case, there will soon be warrants in both hemispheres. Which is no small thing. Much has been made recently of Rwanda’s decision to educate students in English; as a rebuke of France, it is said, it marks a turning away from post-colonial power structures. These warrants would take that even further, and put the power of the international justice system in the hands of a country that, like so many African countries, is usually the object of, and not an agent in, the system.

Which is to say, things are going to get really interesting.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 12, 2008 1:17 pm

    I had an interesting conversation with an older gentleman in Rwanda last year. I asked him about the increasing use of English versus French, and he reacted with great emotion. He told me through clenched teeth that “French is dead here.”

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