For the first time, France has opened to the public key archives relating to Rwanda in the four years up to 1994, 27 years from the start of the genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
They include the archives of former President François Mitterrand and Prime Minister Edouard Balladur.
A commission of historians – who were given prior access in March – have already published their report, describing France’s role during the killings as a “monumental failure”.
It said the French authorities remained blind to the preparations for genocide by Hutu extremists.
But it cleared them of complicity in the slaughter that left over 800,000 people dead.