France made serious errors that contributed to the Rwandan genocide that killed 800,000 people in 1994, President Nicolas Sarkozy said yesterday. Sarkozy, on a visit to the African nation to build closer ties, stopped short of formally apologizing or addressing accusations that France helped train the Hutu militias that slaughtered Tutsis, the Independent reports.
"What happened here is a defeat for humanity," said Sarkozy, the first French leader to visit Rwanda since the genocide. "What happened here left an indelible stain. What happened here obliges the international community—including France—to reflect on the errors which prevented us from foreseeing, or stopping, this appalling crime." He vowed that France would track down and punish the estimated 100 militia leaders who fled to France after the genocide.