17 Feb How to Sue the French Army
A group of Rwandans has filed a suit in France accusing French soldiers of complicity with the 1994 genocide of Tutsis. The French government probably bears the greatest responsibility (other than the Hutus themselves, obviously) for what happened in Rwanda given France’s longtime support for the Hutu government there and its relatively large military presence in the region. If any single foreign country could have intervened in time to make a difference in 1994, it was France. (The current Rwanda government would go farther, essentially accusing the French of enabling the genocide to occur and of allowing war criminals to escape.)
According to this report, the lawsuit was filed in a special court with jurisdiction over French soldiers. There are some ugly allegations of French soldiers tossing Tutsis out of French helicopters.
If the Rwandans don’t make any progress in this court, they probably should petition the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Additionally, they should have no serious problem coming to the U.S. to file a civil lawsuit under the Alien Tort Statute, which allows lawsuits by aliens against other aliens for violations of international law. I don’t think France has ever been sued in an Alien Tort case, but I doubt the Rwandan plaintiffs will have a difficult time finding a sympathetic jury.