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Audition de M. Jean-Michel Marlaud, ambassadeur au Rwanda (mai 1993-avril 1994)

Card Number 74

Quil├Ęs, Paul
13 mai 1998
Audition de M. Jean-Michel Marlaud, ambassadeur au Rwanda (mai 1993-avril 1994)
Extracted from
MIP, Tome III, Auditions, Vol. 1, pp. 287-314
88752 bytes
Pages nb.
Public records
According to Jean-Michel Marlaud, the morning of April 8, 1994 was notably marked by the arrival at the French Embassy of several ministers. The latter then held a meeting during which they set three guidelines: to replace ministers or officials who had died or disappeared, to try to regain control of the presidential guard with a view to stopping the massacres and, finally, to reaffirm their attachment to the Arusha Accords. They nevertheless refused to appoint Mr. Faustin Twagiramungu Prime Minister to replace Mrs. Agathe Uwilingiyimana.
Interviewed by the Parliamentary Information Mission, Jean-Michel Marlaud, French Ambassador to Rwanda in 1994, stated (page 10) that several Rwandan ministers arrived at his embassy on 8 April 1994 and that they held a meeting there to discuss the replacement of deceased ministers and choose a new prime minister. They refused to appoint Faustin Twagiramungu to this post, who had nevertheless been appointed by the Arusha Accords. See Arusha Peace Agreement, August 4, 1993, article 6. The ambassador claims that the participants in this meeting reaffirmed their attachment to these agreements, while they turned their backs on them by refusing the post of Prime Minister to Twagiramungu and keeping for the MRND (the former single party of Habyarimana) the five ministerial portfolios which were intended for the RPF. See Power-sharing agreement, January 9, 1993, articles 55-56. This government was to be put in place within 37 days after the signing of the agreement on August 3, 1993. Cf. Arusha Peace Agreement, August 4, 1993, article 7. Ambassador Marlaud also claims that the objective ministers was to stop the killings. However, with the defense attaché, Jean-Jacques Maurin, he contacted Colonel Bagosora the day before, who was recognized by the ICTR as the organizer of these massacres. The government that orchestrated the massacres after April 8 was formed under Bagosora at the Ministry of Defense and Marlaud at the French Embassy. Marlaud betrays his role in the formation of this government when he writes in Paris: "Rwandan leaders are oblivious to the situation on the ground and reason as if they have plenty of time" (page 11). It is clear that the only political solution envisaged by the authors of the coup was the seizure of power by soldiers grouped around Colonel Bagosora. In doing so, they would have designated themselves as the perpetrators of the attack against Habyarimana. Therefore, the United Nations Security Council would have denounced a coup. It is Ambassador Marlaud who saves them the day. He convinces Bagosora to form a civilian government with him. What they do in a single day, April 8, 1994, when the soldiers and the militiamen were killing the Tutsi, hunting down the supporters of the peace agreements and spreading terror in Kigali. This government is presented by France as a legal government even though it is constituted in violation of the Arusha Accords. Without the intervention of Ambassador Marlaud and French diplomacy headed by Alain Juppé, the Security Council would not have recognized this government and Rwanda's seat in this same council would have become vacant. The action of the United Nations Security Council would not have been paralyzed by the presence within it of the representative of a government which was organizing a genocide.