Rwanda Gets French Report On Habyarimana Plane Disaster

Rwanda Gets French Report On Habyarimana Plane Disaster juvenal_habyarimana1



Rwanda President Paul Kagame has received a copy of the long-awaited report on the April 6, 1994 shooting down of the plane carrying Juvenal Habyarimana.

French judges Marc Trevidic and Nathalie Poux, who have been investigating the incident which sparked genocide in Rwanda, forwarded the report to Kigali on January 7.

Government immediately wired the report to Kagame’s aides in South Africa where he is attending the ANC’s 100th Anniversary celebrations, according to well placed sources in Kigali.

Details of the report, which will be made public this week, are still scanty.

The two judges have been investigating the sensitive incident following the retirement of Judge Bruguiere.

The contents of the report are so crucial given that the judges will officially indict perpetrators of the assassination and issue public arrest warrants.

Kigali is still silent on the matter, raising fears the report could be pinning RPF leaders in the shooting.

Kagame’s former Cabinet Secretary Theogene Rudasingwa shook the world late last year when he revealed the President, who was then the RPF leader, shot down the plane.

Rudasingwa said Kagame on several times told him how he blew up the plane carrying Habyarimana, his Burundian counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira and their staff.

Kagame denies the allegations.

The investigating judges in September 2010 visited Rwanda where they brought experts to reconstruct the shooting of the plane.

The judges intended to publish the report in March last year but were compelled to postpone to June 2011, fearing the publication would coincide with the sensitive month of April.

Judges further faced a serious diplomatic challenge around June considering that Kagame was planning a visit to France.

The Habyarimana case led to the severing of ties between Rwanda and France. Kigali accused French soldiers of raping Rwandese women during a humanitarian operation in 1994.

France has been investigating the assassination because the pilots of the ill-fated plane were French.

During the Rwanda trip, judges were accompanied by experts in geometry, ballistics, explosives and fires, hoping to determine the area where the missiles were fired.

The judges at the time suspected a commando squad of Rwandan Patriotic Front, the Tutsi rebel group led by Kagame, who seized power immediately after the genocide, had broken the defence lines of the mainly Hutu Rwandan Armed Forces.

Kagame’s government shifts the blame to Hutu extremists within the FAR whom it says wanted to eliminate the president in a coup d’état.

An investigation carried out by British experts shows missiles were fired from a heavily fortified FAR Military base.


Rwanda News Desk




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