By Joan Karera
Julie d’Andurain, an individual billed as “a historian” that has been made member of Paris’s ‘Duclert Commission’ has been exposed by a French newspaper, Le Canard, for her revisionist views about the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi. The Duclert commission is a team composed of fifteen historians, academics, lawyers and researchers, that was created in April last year and tasked by President Macron to consult all France’s archives relating to the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, and analyzing the role of France in Rwanda before and during the genocide.
Le Canard, however, has reported about d’Andurain following her writings praising France’s intervention in Rwanda during the genocide period in the so-called Operation Turquoise with the claim it is what stopped the genocide. Factual history, however, is clear: French President (at the time) Francois Mitterrand sent Operation Turquoise to assist the genocidal government, and the ex-FAR as well as Interahamwe militias that were getting heavily routed by the RPA.
It is therefore “astonishing”, in the view of France-based survivors, that Paris has included in its commission someone that claims Turquoise “saved Rwandans” while claiming it was the Rwandese Patriotic Front responsible for the Genocide!
Diaspora circles know d’Andurain as a genocide revisionist with an agenda against the RPF administration.
In her publications, d’Andurain claims that “Operation Turquoise had a humanitarian purpose.” She further claims that, “several tens of thousands of Tutsis as well as Hutus had their lives saved thanks to the French presence.”
Yet, this is a narrative that has been debunked by individuals like Guillaume Ancel, a retired French soldier who was part of the Operation Turquoise and later broke the silence about the real acts and mission of the operation when he published his book ‘Rwanda la fin du silence’.
Ancel, alongside other well-known social media users, have already raised their voices and started to question the credibility of what will be included in the Duclert Commission’s report. “I have just read the publication of the historian Julie D’Andurain on Operation Turquoise. It is a tissue of lies which takes up revisionist theses!” Ancel said. “How can she even sit on the Duclert Commission on Rwanda? What to expect from her participation? Have the conclusions of this commission already been written?” he asked on his Twitter account.
“The two main sources cited by d’Andurain are negationist author Pierre Péan, and the former secretary general of the French presidency Hubert Védrine. This in itself is a huge problem, Ancel says.
“The presence of a person that cites such sources on the Commission potentially discredits the upcoming report and raises fears of yet another rewriting of history in an attempt to exonerate France,” remarks the well-known investigative journalist Theo Englebert. In other words, Paris is attempting to whitewash and exonerate itself, many agree.
It is expected that the work of the Duclert Commission will lead to a report that will be made public in late March or early April 2021.