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French envoy barred from Rwanda genocide ceremony

April 7, 2014

PARIS (AP) — France’s ambassador to Rwanda says he has been barred from ceremonies marking the 20th anniversary of the genocide after the Rwandan president said France bore some responsibility in the killings of more than 1 million Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Speaking in Kigali, Ambassador Michel Flesch said Monday he received a brief phone call saying he would not be accredited.

“Of course I am disappointed,” Flesch said.

The dispute started when Rwandan President Paul Kagame told the Paris-based weekly Jeune Afrique that France and Belgium helped lay the groundwork for the genocide and participated in some killings. In response, the Paris government said France’s justice minister would not come to Kigali as planned and that only Flesch would attend.

Flesch said withholding his accreditation was an extension of the dispute.

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