Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) - Rwandan newspapers on Monday gave wide coverage to the 17th commemoration of the genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994.
The New Times, which headlined its story "We must teach our youth about the genocide," suggested that students should be told the story, saying that "Once the youth have acquired formal knowledge about genocide, they will be able to take concrete action towards sustainable reconciliation."
The online daily "igihe.com" reports the testimony of former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, during his recent visit to Rwanda to mark the 17th commemoration of the genocide.
According to the paper, Kouchner has been looking for an opportunity over several years to to finally break the silence and convince French officials that there was actually genocide in Rwanda.
Relating testimonies gathered at the French Embassy in Kigali, the newspaper adds, however, that at least 16 employees of the French Embassy were killed in the genocide of 1994.
Citing sources close to associations of genocide survivors, the online newspaper reports that despite the move by France to 'remember' its employees killed in the Rwandan genocide, there was always the need to apportion blame to some "French personalities in the 1994 genocide. "
The paper says that while the French ambassador to Rwanda, Laurent Contini, pointed to the lapses on the part of his predecessors at the time of the genocide, particularly the failure to assist a person in danger, "it is not enough because the diplomatic mission should also provide assistance to relatives of victims of these tragedies, including widows and orphans ."
Referring to statements by a French diplomat in Kigali, the newspaper stressed the need for the reconciliation between France and Rwanda to be formalized.
"Hope allows us to say that never again will a genocide be perpetrated in Rwanda or anywhere in the world," the newspaper said.
The government bi-weekly "Imvaho Nshya" expressed the same optimism, highlighting a recent statement by a former senior Rwandan official, said to be the mastermind of the genocide, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora.
Bagosora is currently serving life jail as sentenced by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UNICTR).
"The fact that it took 17 years for this former high-ranking officer to admit that there was a genocide in Rwanda begs the question of how the UN court could be so 'slow'," the Rwandan bi-weekly says.
"It's a shame that the United Nations have waited so many years to deliver justice. This is because some judges of the UNICTR deliberately prolong the proceedings in order to get a renewal of their contracts," the newspaper said.
-0- PANA TWA/TBM/CEA/VAO 11April2011