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May 13, 2024 French

Audition de Georges Martres, ambassadeur au Rwanda (1989-1993)

Card Number 75

Quil├Ęs, Paul
22 avril 1998
Audition de Georges Martres, ambassadeur au Rwanda (1989-1993)
Extracted from
MIP, Tome III, Auditions, Vol. 1, p. 119
46085 bytes
Pages nb.
For Georges Martres, ambassador to Rwanda from 1989 to 1993, "The genocide was foreseeable from this period, without however one being able to imagine its scale and atrocity".
Georges Martres, French Ambassador to Rwanda, is heavily involved in the preparation of the Tutsi genocide. However, he does not try to disguise the reality during his hearing by the Parliamentary Information Mission. He recalls that the massacres of Tutsi began in 1959 and resumed in 1973 (page 1). There was no defense agreement between Rwanda and France. The genocide was foreseeable, according to him, as early as October 1990, Colonel Serubuga had welcomed the RPF attack "which would serve as justification for the massacres of Tutsis". He acknowledges that the shooting on the night of October 4 to 5, 1990 was staged by the Rwandan army. France did not support Habyarimana's dictatorship to the end, he underlines. He recalls the break of the CDR party with Habyarimana when it accepted the ceasefire agreement of March 7, 1993 in Dar Es-Salaam which involved the withdrawal of French troops (page 5). The support of France that he brings to this CDR party in his telegram of March 11, 1993 and which will be expressed in full Security Council on April 5, 1994 does not make it possible to doubt that the replacement of Habyarimana was decided by Paris. And in Paris, decisions concerning Rwanda are taken only at the Élysée (page 11). Habyarimana was overwhelmed by those around him who did not want the Arusha Accords. He had understood this well since he had mentioned his withdrawal on April 25, 1993 (page 6). The ingredients of the genocide are exposed by Georges Martres. Peace agreements difficult to implement and rejected by the president's entourage and by the CDR party supported by France, FAR soldiers, all Hutu, "more inclined to massacres than to open combat", impunity protecting the perpetrators of the massacres, maintenance of ethnic mentions on identity cards (page 6). He assures that he had foreseen ethnic violence after the withdrawal of French troops (page 12). Finally, he states that if the Hutu extremists are the authors of the attack against the president, they could only have done it with "European assistance" because they "already had a good difficult to fire mortars and cannons".