But in a Rwandan courtroom in Kigali, there are charges that French troops actually assisted Hutus in their genocidal work by ferrying the murderers to a region where Tutsis were taking refuge.
French military trucks ferried extremist Hutu militiamen to a mountain hideout in Rwanda to slaughter thousands of ethnic Tutsis during the 1994 genocide, an ex-member of the militia said Tuesday.French UN troops are now taking part in the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon, supposedly to disarm Hizballah and keep them from initiating a new round of hostilities against Israel. Who's the genius that came up with that plan?
Testifying before a government-appointed panel probing France's alleged complicity in the massacres, he said French troops brought hundreds of Interahamwe to the Bisesero mountains to kill Tutsis seeking refuge there.
The man, identified only as "witness one on day two," told the commission that the Tutsis in the mountains of western Rwanda had been resisting Hutu efforts to overrun the area and had killed two Rwandan gendarmes.
"The French were very upset when they saw the bodies," said the 35-year-old who admitted to killing "many Tutsis." "They immediately offered us their trucks to transport our men to the mountains to provide reinforcement."
Referring constantly to the killings as 'work' — a popular euphemism during the genocide, the witness said he and other Interahamwe fighters with the help of the French had broken through the Tutsi defenses and "killed very many."
Update: 12 Dec. 2006 @ 22:36
France may have trained and equipped Interahamwe Hutu militiamen, as well.
France armed and trained radical militia blamed for most of the killings in Rwanda's 1994 genocide, two Rwandan ex-soldiers have told a panel probing alleged French complicity in the massacres.
As the government-appointed inquiry commission resumed public hearings Monday after a month-long break following Rwanda's severing of ties with France in a major diplomatic row, the pair said French troops had worked closely with the former Rwandan army and members of the Interahamwe militia.
"The training of Interahamwe was held discreetly at the Gabiro military base," said Isidore Nzeyimana, a former military instructor, referring to a facility in northeast Rwanda where French troops were stationed.
He said his relations with the French instructors was that of "very close colleagues, some were even close friends. At some point they even brought some of their trainees from France to hold joint sessions with us."