The French Betrayal of Rwanda

The French Betrayal of Rwanda

Daniela Kroslak
Distribution: North America and Japan
Publication date: 9/21/2007
Format: paper 322 pages
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21974-9
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After the Holocaust, the victorious Allies pledged "never again" and enshrined their promise in the UN Convention on Genocide. Daniela Kroslak explores what the responsibility to prevent genocide entails by asking the following questions about what happened in Rwanda in 1994: To what extent can external actors, such as the French government, be held responsible for not preventing or suppressing genocide? Why did outsiders remain passive while Hutu extremists perpetrated genocide against their compatriots? How can the French government's responsibility be evaluated? What was France's role in the chilling events that took place in Rwanda? Focusing on three key themes—French awareness of the impending disaster, French involvement before the genocide, and French diplomatic efforts and military capacity to change the tide—Kroslak concludes that "never again" must be upheld by action and accountability.

Author Bio

Daniela Kroslak is a conflict analyst at the United Nations Mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo.


"This book significantly contributes to literature that documents duplicitous and disreputable policies still denied in Paris. . . . Essential." —P.G. Conway, Suny College at Oneonta, Choice , October 2008

"This book goes much further than just explaining the disaster of French policy and proving French responsibility. It presents a fundamental set of questions regarding international responsibility and action against mass murder which are still relevant [today]." —François Grignon, former Central Africa director, International Crisis Group

". . . [Kroslak] expertly marshals the evidence . . . and she has provided a valuable contribution to the study of the events of 1994." —Nicolas Van De Walle, Africa reviewer,
Foreign Affairs , Jan/Feb 2009

". . . both succinct and comprehensive, as well as poignantly written. Her chapter on 'What the French Could Have Done' (chapter 9) once the genocide had started is particularly devastating, because she shows clearly that they could have done a great deal with resources that were not only available but also already present in Rwanda . . . . It is difficult to read such passages and remain unmoved." —Eugenia Zorbas, Centre for International Policy Studies, University of Ottowa,
H-Genocide , Sept. 2009

"Daniela Kroslak provides a systematic analysis of the French involvement in the Rwandan genocide... Kroslak’s conclusions are incontrovertible: while France was not a perpetrator of the genocide, it 'can be held responsible for acts of commission and omission.' —Emmanuel Viret, Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI), Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris [Sciences-Po]" —

"[The athour] Kroslak demonstrates extraordinary familiarity with the primary sources in this excellent study." —Mac Dixon-Fyle, DePauw Univeristy, HISTORIAN , 7/1/2010

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Table of Contents

1. The Rwandan Genocide and French Responsibility
2. What Led to the Genocide: A Historical Background
3. The Complexity of French Policy in Africa
4. Preparing for the Unimaginable: What the French Knew
5. The "Chapitre Noir " of French African Policy
6. Prevention Possible? What the French Could Have Done
7. "We Know but We Won't Tell"
8. Too Little Too Late
9. What the French Could Have Done
10. Facing Responsibility
Appendix 1: Chronology
Appendix 2: Genocide Convention