Rwanda, accusations of rape by French soldiers resurface

They are three women talking to the camera, three survivors of the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994. Marie-Jeanne, Concessa and Prisca not only survived the extermination planned and implemented by the Rwandan regime at the time , but they also claim to have been raped by French soldiers from Operation Turquoise: the military intervention launched by Paris on June 21, 1994 to “stop the massacres” in Rwanda – but not their perpetrators – and rescue the victims.

There is nothing clumsy, voyeuristic or indecent in the way the two authors of the documentary, director Michael Sztanke and songwriter Gaël Faye, report on the speech and the crime suffered by these women. The sobriety and sweetness that emerges from their film in no way abolish the horror of the subject.

You have to hear Concessa recount her rape in a trench, see her arms wrapping around her head as if to protect herself when she finds the place of her torture in Nyarushishi. And Prisca remembering those soldiers in Murumbi who passed among the Tutsi to choose “the ones they wanted”. In a voice from another world, we hear him say: They ordered us to get on all fours, or with our legs in the air, and we complied. In 2004 and 2012, they filed a complaint against X for rape. Complaints deemed admissible in 2010 by the French courts. The investigation is still in progress, twenty-eight years after the facts.

The cross had met these women in 2011 and published the long and trying testimony of one of them. They were accompanied by the French doctor Annie Faure, Doctor of the world in 1994 in Rwanda. In 2004, it was she who collected their stories and launched the legal proceedings in France.

Asked by The cross in 2011 on these accusations, General Tauzin, head of the first French detachment sent to Nyarushishi in 1994, claimed to have never heard of rapes: “With the paras of 1er RPIMa, we stayed a week before being relieved by Colonel Hogard’s legionnaires. Nothing has reached mehe assured. I highly doubt that happened. We were surrounded by journalists. None of them reported such information. »

And Colonel Hogard, for his part: “I know the value of the captain and the legionnaires present in Nyarushishi. I find it very hard to believe that they would have participated in such actions or would have covered them up. It is impossible that such systematic acts could have taken place without being reported to us.. Once this film has been seen, it is up to French justice to take all the necessary means for the manifestation of the truth.


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