By Asuman TERCAN (JTW) and News Agencies Rwanda has launched an investigation into allegations French troops trained the soldiers behind Rwanda's 1994 genocide. Rwanda's Tutsi President Paul Kagame, whose government came to power after the genocide, has accused France of training and arming Hutu militias. Former Rwandan ambassador to Paris Jacques Bihozagara said French involvement stemmed from concerns about its diminishing influence in Africa. They were the main force behind the 100-day slaughter that killed 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Kigali said France backed the government of Rwanda's former President Juvenal Habyarimana, providing military training for government forces, despite knowing that some within the leadership were planning to use the troops to commit genocide. After the hearings, the Rwandan panel will rule on whether to file a suit at the International Court of Justice. The panel is headed by former Justice Minister Jean de Dieu Mucyo and its proceedings, which began in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on Tuesday, are being broadcast live on local radio. It is hearing from 25 survivors of the genocide, who claim to have witnessed French involvement. "This is an important inquiry that should be witnessed by everyone interested in this important episode of our history," Mr Mucyo was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. "The French sent troops, weapons, trained killers and manned roadblocks to facilitate murderers in achieving their mission of exterminating Tutsis," Jacques Bihozagara, a former Rwandan ambassador to France, told the commission. In one case, French soldiers have been accused of facilitating the murder of up 50,000 Tutsis in Bisesero, a hilltop village in western Rwanda, by luring them out of hideouts.