French court confirms ban on anti-migrants group

France's highest administrative court on Monday approved the government's banning of a far-right group, Génération Identitaire, which on several occasions had tried to stop migrants entering the country.

French court confirms ban on anti-migrants group
Members of the far-right group last June deployed a banner reading 'victims of anti-white racism', during a 'Black Lives Matter' protest against racism and police brutality on Place de la République in Paris. Photo: Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

The government’s decision to ban the group was “proportionate” to the risk the group posed to public order, it ruled, confirming the government’s March 3rd decree.

Génération Identitaire (Generation Identity) had justified its actions by claiming it was contributing to the public debate on immigration and the fight against “Islamist terrorism”, the judgement noted.

But in fact it had “for several years propagated ideas … that tended to justify or encourage discrimination, hatred or violence towards foreigners and the Muslim religion”, it added.

Génération Identitaire spokesman Thaïs d’Escufon denounced the ruling as a “political decision”.

READ ALSO: France aims to shut down far-right anti-immigrant group

But Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who published the March decree ordering the group’s dissolution, welcomed the ruling in a tweet Monday evening.

The court’s position was clear, he wrote: “Géneration Identitaire promotes an ideology inciting hatred and violence.”

One of the group’s last operations was in January, when about 30 members gathered at the Col du Portillon pass on the border of France and Spain in what they called a surveillance operation to “defend Europe”.

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France arrests, charges Rwanda ex-official over 1994 genocide

France has arrested and charged a former top Rwandan regional official over the country's 1994 genocide, a source close to the case said on Saturday.

France arrests, charges Rwanda ex-official over 1994 genocide

Pierre Kayondo, who was prefect of the Kibuye region and also a former MP, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity, the source, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

The Rwandan suspect has then been remanded in custody, the source added.

Kayondo had been targeted by an investigation in France since 2021 after a complaint was filed against him by a victims’ association. He was believed to have been living in the northern port city of Le Havre.

France has been one of the top destinations for fugitives fleeing justice over the Rwandan massacres in which around 800,000 people, most of them ethnic Tutsis, were slaughtered over 100 days.

A group representing genocide survivors in Rwanda told AFP it welcomed the “long-awaited” arrest of Kayondo. “It marks a crucial step towards justice for the atrocities committed during the genocide,” said Naphtali Ahishakiye, executive secretary of the Ibuka association.

“Kayondo’s involvement in the genocide, including his abuse of governmental positions to incite violence, is well-documented,” he added.

“We implore the authorities to ensure swift and impartial justice in this matter, so that the survivors and their families can find closure and healing.”

Rwanda under President Paul Kagame has on occasion accused Paris of not being willing to extradite genocide suspects or bring them to justice. But France has tried and convicted a former spy chief, two ex-mayors, a former hotel chauffeur and an ex-top official since 2014 while a former military policeman is currently on trial.

Relations between the two countries have also warmed considerably since a historians’ report commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron and released in 2021 recognised France’s “overwhelming” responsibilities in failing to halt the massacres, having backed a genocidal regime.

In their complaint, the Collective of Civil Parties of Rwanda (CPCR) accused Kayondo of taking part in the organisation of massacres and helping to set up armed groups.

CPCR co-founder Alain Gauthier expressed satisfaction that the “complaint was followed by the opening of an investigation and that justice took an interest in Mr Kayondo. It’s good.”