Three rights groups have filed a lawsuit accusing France’s biggest bank of complicity in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, for allegedly helping Rwandan authorities purchase weapons despite a U.N. arms embargo.
The three organizations — Sherpa, Ibuka France and CPCR — said in a statement Thursday that BNP Paribas is suspected of authorizing transfers worth $1.3 million from the Rwandan state bank to an arms dealer. The dealer is believed to have provided weapons to the Hutu-led government.
The lawsuit was filed in a Paris court Wednesday. BNP said it would not comment until it has further information.
More than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists in the Rwandan genocide. It remains a sensitive subject in France, which long supported the Rwandan government.
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