“Only those who went through that night can perhaps forgive, and in doing so give the gift of forgiveness,” French President Emmanuel Macron has said on a visit to Rwanda’s genocide memorial, where more than 250,000 victims are buried. The first visit of a French leader since 2010 follows the March release of a French inquiry panel report that says a colonial attitude blinded French officials, close to the Hutu-led government of the time. About 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus died in the genocide in 1994. But Macron’s admission stopped short of an apology, with Rwandan opposition leaders criticising him for overlooking Rwandan President Paul Kagame alleged human rights abuses, including the imprisonment and ‘disappearances’ of politicians.
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