Tribune. Let us first of all salute this historic step long awaited by the survivors, the survivors, the orphans of the genocide, which marks the generations of today and will mark those of tomorrow.
Yes, President Macron is the first French president to have had the courage to say on Rwandan soil, in front of millions of Rwandans on their TV screens or suspended listening to their transistor, in front of the international community: “I come to recognize the overwhelming responsibilities of France in the genocide perpetrated in Rwanda against the Tutsi. “
In his speech, the president often compares the genocide to the night. To the general surprise of Rwandans, he begins his speech in these terms: “Only those who have been through the night can tell it. “ Did he know that he was thus quoting a proverb well known to Rwandans: “You count the night and the one who sleeps. » That I translate exactly as: “Only the one who has passed through the darkness (of the night) can tell it. “ Rwandans know the meaning of the proverb which finds a relevant application in President Macron’s speech: he did not come to Rwanda with the intention of speaking in place of the victims and survivors but, as we say in Kinyarwanda, “Hold us back”: “To support our backs”.
There are words that are good to hear
Apologies, sorry, so much controversy in France over these words! And to put forward with arrogance the defense of honor, the loss of the honor of the army, of President François Mitterrand, of France.
President Macron has chosen with humility to say: “It is up to the million victims to give us the gift of forgiveness. “
We Rwandans, what did we want to hear from President Macron’s mouth? What President Macron has made it possible to achieve is the work of truth carried out by the Duclert commission [commission de recherche sur les archives françaises relative au Rwanda et au génocide des Tutsi], we survivors and survivors of the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda, we have been waiting for it for so long, for twenty-seven years.
There are words that are good to hear, they have the effect of a balm that soothes pain. It depends on how these words are said. There is this word repeated three times by President Macron: “I watch” (“I remember”) or « ibuka » (” remember “). What did the president really say? Saying “I watch”, “I remember”, does he want to share, make the pain and the memory of the survivors his own? Or does it use the term generally used, « ibuka », “Remember”, the memory of the genocide having to preserve its repetition?
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