Tribune. After the publication, on March 26, of the Duclert report on the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda (April-July 1994), French support for the extremist Hutu regime is no longer in doubt. It does not conclude on complicity in genocide, but demonstrates and dismantles heavy responsibilities: indeed, in the 1990s, a narrow circle of political and military actors, located at the peaks of power around President Mitterrand, decided in the name of of France, but without its knowledge, effective national diplomatic choices, those which fall within the pragmatic actions and not in the official declarations.
During the same 1990s, this same circle – the same names of senior political and military officials – was also at work in the French management of the wars that destroyed France. Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1999: one day, inevitably, a France-ex-Yugoslavia 1990-1999 report will be able to lay down the precise data of the links between Paris and Belgrade during all this tragic decade which marked the return of crimes against humanity in the heart of Europe.
If it is practically impossible for the French power to deny the genocide against the Rwandan Tutsi perpetrated in 1994, it was much easier for it to be in the denial of the crimes against humanity committed by its ally in Yugoslavia. This European conflict so close has not been inscribed in French collective memories to the extent of its tragedy. We are not going to resume here this story, now well described over time, but which has remained outside our textbooks, our official commemorations, our collective conscience, our insomnia.
“The abyss of the genocide in Rwanda is immense, but, paradoxically, this immensity goes in the direction of an unconscious racism of the French elites”
This erasure plays on the weak inscription of its history: the Balkans were too wild, too complicated, and all cruel, this confusion prevented the collective understanding of the political gravity of their situation in real time. Better than forgetting, there is the non-existence of something to forget! The enormity of the figures for these small nations (around 10,000 civilians dead only in Sarajevo, over 100,000 dead counted, more than two million displaced) remains as of little weight, and the digital vertigo is not at the rendezvous in front of the screen. Even if we know that the genocidal intention is linked to the meaning of the action and not to the number of victims.
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