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Rwandan army had French missiles at the time of Habyarimana's death says report


by Joseph Earnest  June 1, 2012

Newscast Media KIGALI, RwandaAccording to French public radio Radio France Internationale, a British journalist has stumbled across a UN document that discloses the existence of Mistral ground-to-air missiles as part of the Rwandan army fire power at the time of the late Habyarimana's death in 1994. (pop-up)


After the plane crash that claimed the lives of  Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana and Burindian president Cyprien Ntaryamira, a genocide was triggered in which around 800,000 Tutsi and a moderate number of Hutus were reportedly killed with a period of just 100 days.


The massacre was brought to a halt after the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebel movement, led by Paul Kagame captured Kigali, Rwanda's capital.


Earlier this year on January 12, 2012, a report probing into Kagame's  activities at the time of the plane crash, cleared President Kagame and his allies of orchestrating the death of Habyarimana.  The accusations came from the French government and a former Kagame operative Theogene Rudasingwa, who told the BBC that he heard Mr. Kagame brag in 1994 that he ordered the shooting down of the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana. (pop-up)


The January 2012 report came as a relief to Kagame and his government who published a statement saying: "Today’s findings constitute vindication for Rwanda’s long-held position on the circumstances surrounding events of April 1994", Louise Mushikiwabo, Foreign Minister and Government Spokesperson said. "With this scientific truth, Judges Trévidic and Poux have slammed shut the door on the seventeen-year campaign to deny the genocide or blame its victims. It is now clear to all that the downing of the plane was a coup d’état carried out by extremist Hutu elements and their advisors who controlled Kanombe Barracks." The entire statement from the Rwandan government can be read here. (pop-up)


This new report will now reopen old wounds, especially since Habyarimana's family was unhappy with the January report clearing Kagame.  A disappointed Jean-Luc, Habyarimana son said of the January report, "It doesn't matter where the shooting took place.  What matters is who fired the missile."


According to French new agency, Liberation, a British Journalist discovered the new document containing the list of weapons, affirming the presence of Mistral missiles in Rwanda by accident. The Liberation then asks and answers its own question: "Why is this so important? Because, since 1994, the former Rwandan officers accused by the international penal Court for Rwanda did not cease affirming that none as of them could be involved with this attack, because they did not have missiles."(pop-up)


The list has since been handed to French judge Marc Trévidic, for further probing into this matter.    Add Comments>>




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