Rwanda: The French Connection


November 7, 2006: The Rwandan government is "examining allegations" that a few French troops may have cooperated with radical Hutu groups during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The allegations are complex but the implication is that some of the French advisers working with the Hutu-led government aided the Interahamwe Hutu militias. The troops are alleged to have encouraged Tutsis to come out of hiding. Subsequently, the Tutsis were attacked by the radical Hutu militias.

November 3, 2006: The Burundian government granted "temporary immunity" to the leaders of the National Liberation Forces (FLN). The FLN was the last rebel group to accept the peace agreement that has -for the most part-ended Burundi's long civil war. The immunity is for actions up to September 7, 2006. That is the date the FLN agreed to terms.

October 30, 2006: The Rwandan army has begun a special military academy course that focuses on African Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (ADDR). The course is designed to prepare officers to deal with the social, political and economic reintegration into society of former soldiers and guerrilla fighters. This is a common problem in Central Africa, especially Rwanda, Burundi, Congo (DRC), Uganda and Republic of Congo (Brazzaville). The course is based on a UN-developed training program and is designed to "link" the military and civilian elements of what the UN calls "peace support operations." This may not sound like a major development, but in fact it is. The Rwandan government understands that successful demobilization and reintegration is its biggest security and developmental challenge. The UN has been encouraging officer and troop professional development programs that "focus on the real challenges" facing developing nations emerging from civil and regional conflicts. The course is a Rwandan example of what the US Dept of Defense calls "unified action" - combining security, political, and economic tools to achieve a strategic or operational goal. (Austin Bay)


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