A racist cartoon by controversial French paper Le Monde has drawn the ire of Rwandans and many others, as the African nation continues to mourn and commemorate the 1994 Genocide amid France’s role in the horrific event.
Soon after the cartoon's publication on Friday, it was pulled down and the newspaper issued an apology, which was received with mixed feelings.
The paper indicated that the drawing on Rwanda, published in Le Monde on April 12, shocked many readers who expressed their indignation, especially on social media. They admitted that the drawing was totally inappropriate and should not have been published in its faulty form.
“When I saw the racist cartoons by @lemondefr and @CharlieEbdo, it is a reminder that accomplices of #GenocideAgainstTutsi in #Paris are busy trying to rewrite the world's indelible history,” said Tom Ndahiro, a genocide researcher.
Yann Gwet, a Cameroonian entrepreneur among others, noted that the cartoon's publication in the middle of 25th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda pointed to “the same stupidity, the same dehumanization, the same racism assumed.”
Alain Ngirinshuti noted that the cartoon was "the very negation" of the Genocide against the Tutsi, by referring to it as the interethnic massacre.
Meanwhile, Jérôme Fenoglio, the Director of Le Monde, apologized "for the misleading publication of this totally inappropriate drawing, which in no way reflects its position on the genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda and the many articles we have devoted to it."
His apology did not clarify that the 1994 Genocide was committed against the Tutsi.
It is known that France used both its military and political weight to support the genocidal government before, during and after the 1994 Genocide when more than one million lives perished.
In the recent past, sections of the French media - including Le Monde - carried stories of the past French government's complicity in the 1994 Genocide, especially the government and military.