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