The complicity role of French Military in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi

French actors were involved in the genocide both as perpetrators and accomplices, and do not want their acts to be known despite their proofs. This is the biggest cause explaining the persistent refusal of the French authorities to validate the ballistic investigation by French experts in Rwanda in 2010 which indicated that missiles were fired from Kanombe military barracks. The role of twenty-two (22) French military officers below testifies it.

1) General Jacques Lanxade

He was the Special Chief of Staff of President Francois Mitterrand from April 1989 to April 1991 and Army Chief of Staff (from April 1991 to September 1995).    The French army under Jacques Lanxade, played in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994, the role of a real occupation force, involved in serious crimes.

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2) General Christian Quesnot

Special Chief of staff of President Mitterrand from 1991 to 1995, Christian Quesnot is one of those responsible for alluring unreserved support to the Habyarimana regime. He was the main informant of the Chief of Staff regarding any interventions; both official and secret, that the French army carried out in Rwanda. In all his notes to President Mitterrand, Christian Quesnot advocated for immoderate support to the Habyarimana regime and its armed forces.

3) General Jean-Pierre Huchon


General Jean-Pierre Huchon

He was the deputy to General Quesnot from April 1991 to April 1993 and head of the military cooperation mission from April 1993 to October 1995.  He upheld the manipulation of ethnicity and coordinated the delivery of arms, munitions and military equipment to the FAR before and during the genocide. These weapons were used to carry out massacres of innocent civilians killed by the army and paramilitary militias.

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4) Lieutenant-Colonel Michel ROBARDEY

Michel Robardey came to Rwanda in September 1990 and left in April 1994. Robardey led a team of four French gendarmes who developed and installed, between 1992 and 1994 in a tormenting center known “CRIMINOLOGY”, a computerized data system to provide lists of wanted persons and those to be   tortured or massacred. These lists targeted primarily Tutsi and Hutu political opponents.  

5) Colonel Gilbert Canovas

Gilbert Canovas was from October to November 1990, the operational assistant to the Defense Attaché and Advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Rwandan gendarmerie. He was actively involved in the implementation of the plans to establish roadblocks on which several civilians were killed.

6) Colonel Jacques Rosier

Jacques Rosier was head of Military Support Detachment and Instruction (DAMI) between June 1992 and November 1992.  It is in this year 1992 that the DAMI emerged in Gabiro, Gako, Mukamira and Bigogwe military bases, emphasizing on training of Interahamwe. Jacques Rosier was the coordinator of the training. The two waves of killings that took place in Bugesera, early March 1992 targeting Bagogwe Tutsi between November 1992 and January 1993, were committed by Interahamwe militiamen trained by French instructors of DAMI.

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7) Captain Etienne Joubert

He was the head of DAMI called Panda of 23 December 1992 to 18 May 1993.  Etienne Joubert led training of Interahamwe in Gabiro military camp. In this camp, Etienne Joubert and his men trained three distinct groups namely    Burundian Hutu, Rwandan soldiers and Interahamwe militia. During Turquoise, Etienne Joubert returned to Rwanda, Gikongoro, initially as head of Special Operations Command (SOC) and at the same time intelligence officer and Chief Operating Officer. SOC officers he commanded were the first French soldiers to arrive in Gikongoro on 24 June 1994.

8) Colonel Didier Tauzin


Colonel Didier Tauzin

Military adviser to President Habyarimana from 1990 to 1993, head of DAMI Panda and Chimère operation (22 February-28 March 1993), then after, commander for a short time, of Turquoise Gikongoro. He contributed towards training of the militia men and fought the RPF in 1993. He boasted of his acts in these terms: “We have given hard time to the RPF! (…) We broke the momentum towards Kigali. (…) No favors.” He was strongly opposed to the Arusha peace agreement, which he called “totally unrealistic, outrageous and despicable, a desertion and treason “that allowed “the intrusion of RPF militia in the country”.

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9) Colonel René Galinié

He was the Defence Attaché and head of military assistance to Rwanda (August 1988-July 1991), Commander of the Noroît Operation (1990-July 1991 except November 1990): Defense Attaché to the Embassy of France in Rwanda and head of military cooperation mission (July 1991-April 1994), Noroît commander from July 1991-December 1993 except February and March 1993. He was aware of all the massacres committed by the Habyarimana regime, he covered them, and kept on providing assistance and logistical support to the regime.

10) Colonel Bernard Cussac

Defence Attaché and Chief of cooperation mission at the Embassy of France in Rwanda (July 1991-April 1994), Commander of Operation Noroît (July 91 to December 93, except for February and March 93). He participated in the interrogation of RPF prisoners of war and the so-called civilian accomplices of the RPF. Most of them were killed. In his report of April 5, 1993, he clearly mentions to the possibility of genocide.

11) Lt Col. Jean-Jacques Maurin

Operations assistant to the Defence Attaché of the Embassy of France in Rwanda from 1992 to 1994 and Advisor to the Chief of Staff of Rwanda. He had to advise the chief of   Staff of the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR), colonel Serubuga in conducting operations, preparation and training of troops; they met frequently.

He participated as he says himself:”the development of the daily battle plans and was involved in decisions” taken by FAR. Maurin also co-led Operation Amaryllis with Colonel Henri Poncet in which Tutsi were killed especially at Kigali airport.

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12) Commander Grégoire De Saint Quentin

Lorient. Morbihan. Le gÈnÈral GrÈgoire de Saint-Quentin, depuis le 1er ao˚t 2013 ‡ la tÍte du commandement des opÈrations spÈciales (patron des forces spÈciales), en visite chez les commandos marines.

Commander Grégoire De Saint Quentin

Technical Adviser to the Commander of the Para-commando battalion, Major Aloys Ntabakuze and training officer of aerial troops, August 1992-12 / 04/1994.   He was present at Kanombe military barracks and led the checking of aircrafts. He trained the killers of the Para-commando battalion which oversaw the operations that took place in Kanombe on the evening of 06/04/1994.

13) Colonel Dominique Delort

He was Noroît Commander. In February-March 1993, he also became commander of DAMI in Bigogwe and Mukamira military camps where he trained the Rwandan army and militia.  In February 1993, he set up an identity check mechanism to Kigali entries on Ruhengeri-Kigali, Gitarama-Kigali and Rwamagana-Kigali axes. Civilians were arrested on ethnic grounds, some went missing and others killed.

14) Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Louis Nabias

On March 03, 1992, he replaced Colonel Chollet, head of DAMI PANDA. His job was to provide training to regiments of the FAR, putting much of his efforts on their weakest areas such as night infiltration missions or learning bypass techniques. These trainings were held in Gabiro and Bigogwe military camps. At the same time, the training was also given to Interahamwe militia.

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15) Commander Denis Roux

From November 1991 to February 1993, he was the head of DAMI Presidential Guard. This DAMI trained Presidential Guards and the Interahamwe who eventually spearheaded the genocide. One of his trainers, Warrant Officer Thierry Prungnaud acknowledged with remorse on 22 April 2005 to France Culture: “I am certain; the French formed the militia in 1992. This occurred several times. The Presidential Guard was involved in several assassinations, especially between 1992 and 1994. ”

16) Captain Paul Barril

In 1990, before the RPF offensive, Barril conducted an audit of the Rwandan army. He presented himself as adviser to President Habyarimana. During the genocide, he was paid by the genocidal Government to train elite soldiers as part of “Insecticide,” operation meant to eliminate the Tutsi. He himself reported to have been present in Rwanda on 7th April 1994, he displayed on France 2 TV in June 1994, a device that he claimed to be the black box of Falcon 50 of Habyarimana.

17) General Jean-Claude LAFOURCADE


General Jean-Claude LAFOURCADE

Jean-Claude Lafourcade was the top commander of the French forces engaged in Turquoise from 22ndJune to 22nd August 1994. Those French military officers cooperated with the authorities involved in the genocide. The testimonies of French officers collected by journalists during Turquoise prove that French officers well knew who they were dealing with in deciding to work with these genocidal authorities. For example, Captain Marin Gillier confirmed to journalist Christian Lecomte in July 1994: “We know that the mayors and sous-prefets of the region are mostly involved in the massacres of Tutsi or their instigators. We have accumulated evidence to prove it. But for now, they are our only contacts with the million and a half Hutu refugees who poured into the area”.

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18) Colonel Jacques Hogard

Jacques Hogard was the commandant of Turquoise in Cyangugu. He allowed his subordinates to commit the killing of Tutsi, rape and sexual violence. In Cyangugu, French soldiers gave weapons to Interahamwe militia, encouraged them to hunt down Tutsi and kill them. At Nyarushishi camp of the internally displaced, guarded by French soldiers, Tutsi from outside were intercepted by Interahamwe militiamen before they could enter the camp. Tutsi refugees, pushed by hunger that attempted to go out of the camp were killed by the Interahamwe positioned on these roadblocks in view of French soldiers. 

19) Colonel Jacques Rosier

In June 1994, Jacques Rosier returned to Rwanda as head of Special Operations Command (SOC) from 22 June to 30 July 1994 in the Zone Turquoise. The massacre of the Tutsi in Bisesero emanates from his individual decision. Jacques Rosier was in Kibuye on June 26, 1994 where he inspected the deployment of Lt Colonel Jean-Rémy Duval (aka Diego) and his 35 CPA-10 men at the Kibuye Technical School (ETO Kibuye). It was from there that he refused to order for any intervention to save Tutsi survivors of Bisesero even though he had just been informed that they would be killed immediately.

20) Col. Patrice Sartre

Patrice Sartre was Head of Turquoise Gikongoro from 05 to 16 July 1994 and Kibuye from 16 July to 21 August 1994. During these periods, a series of attacks followed by murder, rape and other inhuman treatment, were directed against civilians. For example, in Rubengera, under his instructions French soldiers   collaborated with local authorities actively involved in the genocide. French soldiers ordered the killing of Tutsi who had gathered behind classrooms in Rubengera College.

21) Commander Marin Gillier

Le Contre Amiral Marin Gillier (chef des Commandos Marines) qui a commande l'operation de liberation des otages du "Ponant", avec Herve Morin, ministre de la defense. Djibouti, 16 avril 2008

Commander Marin Gillier

Marin Gillier commanded the French military detachment based at Gishyita commune offices. He was informed on June 26, 1994 by foreign journalists of the existence of surviving Tutsi in Bisesero and that massacres of civilians were taking place. He went there with his   colleague Diego and his detachment. They met Bisesero survivors and left them unprotected.

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22) Lieutenant Colonel Eric De Stabenrath

Eric De Stabenrath led Turquoise in Gikongoro from 16th July to 22ndAugust,1994. After their settlement in Gikongoro, French soldiers directly collaborated with administrative and military authorities of the prefecture who executed the genocide.


The analysis of these facts demonstrates that senior French officers and politicians committed very serious crimes in Rwanda. The refusal to end the judicial investigation and pronounce a dismissal against Rwandan leaders who ended the genocide is an attempt of concealing their responsibilities. They only are carrying on the war they undertook against the RPF since 1990.

It is not a coincidence that Kayumba Nyamwasa has the same lawyer; Veronique TRUONG, as General Quesnot, one of the strongest supporters of the Rwandan genocidal regime.

The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG)

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