Mr Macron said France was not complicit in the genocide.
“The killers who stalked the marshes, the hills, the churches, did not have the face of France. France was not an accomplice, ”he declared.
While a group of Rwandan genocide survivors told AFP they regretted the absence of a “clear apology” from the French president, his words went further than his predecessors when he declared that only those who had survived the horrors “may perhaps forgive, grant us the gift of forgiveness.” “
Rwandan President Paul Kagame praised the speech, saying: “His words were something more precious than an apology. It was the truth. “
“France and Rwanda will relate much better to the benefit of our two peoples, economically, politically and in terms of culture,” he declared.
“But the relationship between our two countries will never be entirely conventional. There is a special familiarity resulting from the complex and terrible story we share, for better or for worse.
“We have chosen to do better. We want to forge a strong and lasting relationship, based on priorities that are important to both Rwanda and France. “
In his speech, Mr. Macron said: “France did not understand that in seeking to prevent a regional conflict or a civil war, it was standing de facto in the face of a genocidal regime. By ignoring the warnings of the most lucid observers, France bore an overwhelming responsibility in a spiral that led to the worst. ”