April 8, 2015 / 7:59 AM / 5 years ago

France's Hollande to declassify Rwanda genocide documents -source

Preserved skulls are spread out on a metal shelf in a Catholic church in Nyamata April 9, 2014. REUTERS/Noor Khamis

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande has decided to declassify documents related to the Rwanda genocide that killed over 800,000 people in 1994, a source close to the president’s office told Reuters on Tuesday.

The documents from between 1990 and 1994 include minutes from secret defence meetings and files from advisers to then-president Francois Mitterrand relating to the genocide in the central African state, the source said.

The documents will be available to researchers and historians if they make a request to Dominique Bertinotti, a former minister and custodian of Mitterrand’s archives.

More than 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed in a three-month rampage by ethnic Hutu extremists in 1994 while the world largely stood by.

France - an ally of the Rwandan government that ruled before the genocide - stayed away from last year’s 20-year commemoration after rebel-turned-President Paul Kagame renewed accusations of a direct French role in the killings. [ID:nL6N0N02XJ]

While Paris has acknowledged mistakes in its dealings with Rwanda, it has repeatedly dismissed accusations that it trained militias to take part in the 1994 massacres.

Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Michel Rose; Editing by James Regan/Mark Heinrich

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