Rwanda broke off diplomatic ties with Paris in November in protest at a French judge's call for Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president, to stand trial over the killing of Juvenal Habyarimana, the former president, who died in 1994 when his aeroplane was shot down by anti-aircraft missiles.

   

This is widely regarded as the trigger for the genocide.

   

The accusations infuriated Kigali, which calls them a cover-up for what it says is France's role in training soldiers who carried out the massacre in which 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

   

France, which sent in soldiers under a UN-authorised operation, has always denied any involvement in the killings.

   

As the row continues, with Kagame blaming France for some of Africa's woes, a Rwandan commission has conducted hearings into allegations that French troops supported soldiers behind the genocide, carried out by Hutu militia.

   

Kagame has blamed France for the political turmoil in its former colony, Ivory Coast, split into a rebel-held north and government-controlled south.

 

Relations between Paris and Ivory Coast have been tense since the start of a civil war in 2002.