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The French connection: complicity in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda

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Hazel Cameron

School/Research organisations


This article explores the French government’s political and military relationship with Rwanda since 1975, with a particular focus on the period from 1990 and throughout the genocide of 1994. An argument is made that the French state, through its behavior in Rwanda before and during the genocide of 1994, is complicit under international criminal law. As a concept, complicity provides a lens for understanding the scope of liability of states as responsible actors within the international system. The article argues that that the knowing participatory role played by the French throughout the period of the Rwandan genocide can be construed as complicity in genocide. This is a criminal breach of international law.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-119
Number of pages24
JournalAfrican Security
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

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