In the Brussels Court of Appeal this Friday a lawsuit was launched by survivors of the Rwandan genocide against the Belgian state and three officers of the Belgian contingent of the UN force in Rwanda in 1994 to trigger the genocide.
On 11 and 12 April 1994, Belgian peacekeepers are at Kigali airport to evacuate Belgian civilians from Rwanda. But this evacuation represents the abandonment of Rwandan civilians that these blue helmets were protecting until then.
The fourteenth Belgian parachute company was stationed at ETO Don Bosco in Kigali. ETO is the official technical school, a school where more than 2000 Tutsis had taken refuge after the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana in the attack on his plane.
Around the official technical school, Hutu militias besiege and massacre civilians seeking to go out or enter. Despite the killings seen and known paratroopers, despite the pleading on their knees not to leave those who took refuge at ETO Don Bosco, the hundred of Belgian soldiers receives the April 11 order to win to rally airport.
It is this order and the execution of this order which are at the center of this process. For the survivors at the origin of the complaint, the officers of the UN and the Belgian contingent could not in any case ignore the fate awaiting those they were about to abandon.
Out of every two thousand refugees at the official technical school, only fifty eventually survived.