France broadened efforts Thursday to win support for military intervention in Rwanda, but Rwandan rebels said Paris shares the blame for the slaughter and rejected any French peacekeeping role.
Foreign Minister Alain Juppe detailed his intervention proposals for the Central African country in an article in Thursday's Liberation newspaper. He also called for putting those responsible for the carnage on trial."France . . . demands that the leaders of this genocide be judged," Juppe wrote. They should be "identified and excluded from all negotiations on the future of the country they helped destroy."
But France's past role in Rwanda is being criticized. And Belgium, which France would seek as a partner, appears lukewarm about sending troops to its former colony again after 10 Belgian peacekeepers were killed in April.
Belgian Defense Minister Leo Delcorix said in a radio interview that Belgium was not the "best-placed" nation to send troops, but might help with money and logistics.
Meanwhile, Tutsi rebels fired machine guns and mortar shells at government positions Thursday in a renewed effort to take control of the capital despite a cease-fire pledge from both sides in the civil war.
The rebels and government forces also postponed truce talks for a day, said a U.N. military official who requested anonymity. The reasons for the delay of the talks planned for Thursday were not clear, he said.
Leaders from the warring factions pledged Tuesday at the Organization of African Unity meeting in Tunis, Tunisia, to observe an immediate cease-fire. But the commitment has been slow in reaching soldiers fighting for control of Kigali, the capital.
The advancing Rwandan Patriotic Front rebels control most of the north and east of the country and now are trying to push the government soldiers out of the capital, which the provisional government has fled.
The fighting was less intense than during the past few days, the U.N. official said.