World Bulletin/News Desk
France said on Saturday it had cancelled plans to attend a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide following accusations of French involvement in the massacre by Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
The African weekly Jeune Afrique quoted Kagame last month as saying in an interview that both France and Belgium had played a "direct role ... in the political preparation of genocide and participation in its execution".
The French Foreign Ministry said France was "surprised by the recent accusations made by the Rwandan president", and that French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, who had been due to travel to the Rwandan capital Kigali on Monday, would no longer attend the commemoration.
"These accusations are in contradiction with the process of dialogue and reconciliation that has gone on for several years between our two countries," the ministry's statement said.
The armed forces of Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front defeated government troops in 1994, stopping a three-month wave of bloodletting by ethnic Hutu extremists in which more than 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed.
Before the genocide, France was Rwanda's main Western backer. But in its aftermath, their relations collapsed as Kagame accused France of training and arming the Hutu militias who were the main force behind the slaughter - an accusation Paris always denied.
Latterly he had appeared to drop the issue, however, as France acknowledged mistakes and created a genocide investigation unit as the two countries began to rebuild their relationship.
Last month, a Paris court sentenced a former Rwandan soldier to 25 years in jail for his role in the genocide in the first such trial to be held in France.
‘Schoopreneurship’ scheme aims to remedy education crisis in Nigeria’s Boko Haram-ravaged northeast region
The superintendent and deputy superintendent of the Clinton Correctional Facility in northern New York state have been put on administrative leave after two inmates escaped
Germanwings offers emotional damage payments to crash victims' families of those killed in the March 24 plane crash
The opposition have vowed to put aside differences and impose a single candidate to run against Museveni
Bosnia was trying to obtain new financial support from the IMF. Finance Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda says Bosnia's arrangement with the IMF has been endangered
The statement came hours before Athens was set to default on a loan to the IMF. It was unclear how creditors would respond.
Dutch prosecutor leading the investigation of MH17 says until the end of 2015 the case will be concluded
Serbian president has also opposed an expected UN resolution on the Srebrenica genocide
The French ecology minister, Ségolène Royal, has called on those in charge of air-conditioned public spaces, such as libraries, cinemas and shopping malls, to let in the public for respite from the heat.
Sixty-five out of 74 parliamentarians voted to support the government
Russia has warned that it will respond to the Canadian sanctions which includes sanctions against Gazprom.
Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic said that the 17 hours of EU-facilitated dialogue talks with Pristina delegation, ended no deal.
Pope Francis will address Congress and meet with Raul Castro on his trip to the US and Cuba
Despite wideranging calls for boycott Burundi's electoral comission claims 70 percent attendance
Asked whether she was aware of a last-minute offer to Greece from European Commission, Merkel responded: "All I know is that the last offer from the Commission that I'm aware of is from Friday of last week."