Monday, November 27, 2006

No word for 'diplomacy' in French?

'This is a fine mess you've gotten us into', says the Ambassador to the Foreign Ministry:

KIGALI, Nov 27, 2006 (AFP) - Thousands of Rwandans staged anti-French protests here Monday while the last French diplomats flew out of Rwanda amid a growing diplomatic row centered on the central African nation's 1994 genocide.

In remarks that could further erode bilateral relations, Rwandan President Paul Kagame suggested Monday evening that Paris was deliberately trying to hinder the country's recovery from the horrific massacres.

Indeed, in an interview on Rwanda's national television, Kagame asserted Rwanda was in better shape than it had ever been in its history.

"Some enemies of Rwanda are not happy with that," he added. "The French, I believe, didn't want to see us develop. Their whole objective is to push us back. We have done what we humanly could."

Meanwhile, the last French diplomats and civil servants posted in Kigali took an evening flight to Uganda where they were to later transfer to another flight for Brussels. France's ambassador to Rwanda, Dominique Decherf, left Saturday.

....Relations between Rwanda and France soured in the recent months over recriminations in the 1994 mass slaughter that claimed an estimated 800,000 lives within a space of 100 days.

Rwanda accuses French troops deployed at the height of the genocide of training and arming Hutu Interahamwe militia blamed for the mass murder, and has established an inquiry panel to probe those claims.

...."We had warned Paris several times that this (Bruguiere) report would be negatively received here and that the Rwanda government would break diplomatic relations," a French diplomat said earlier, as he finalized his departure from Rwanda.

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