On 7 April 1994, one of the darkest chapters in international history opened. In Rwanda, in the space of a few months, nearly a million innocent people were massacred because they were Tutsis or because they opposed the killing frenzy of an ideology and a political system.
The Rwandan genocide was one of the worst atrocities of our time. It was committed while the world looked on, powerless to stop it. It scarred our humanity and our conscience.
We have a duty to do everything to ensure such a tragedy never recurs. The prevention of genocide has become a central element of France’s foreign policy. It has inspired both our interventions in Africa and our action at the United Nations Security Council to limit the use of the right of veto in the event of mass crimes.
On this day of commemoration, France joins the Rwandan people in honouring the memory of all the genocide’s victims.