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BNP Paribas faces fresh accusations over involvement with Rwandan genocide

Neil Hodge | July 18, 2017

Banks have been used to having mud slung at them over the past decade for rigging markets, ripping off customers, committing fraud, and generally flouting the law. But there is one activity that they really do not want to be associated with—complicity in war crimes.

At the end of June, however, three French non-governmental organisations (NGOs) filed a legal action against BNP Paribas, alleging that France’s largest bank was complicit in genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.

The suit alleges that in June 1994 Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP)—as the bank was known before its merger with Paribas in 2000 to become BNP Paribas—“participated in financing the purchase of 80 tonnes of arms,” including AK-47 rifles, ammunition, hand-grenades, and mortars, that “served to perpetrate the genocide” despite the fact “that the bank could not have doubted the genocidal intentions of the authorities of the country for which it authorised the... To get the full story, subscribe now.