Kagame issues stern warning against France reopening investigations into downing of Habyarimana plane

Kagame warns France not to dare restart investigations into downing of Habyarimana plane
Kagame warns France not to dare restart investigations into downing of Habyarimana plane

By Staff Reporter

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has warned his French counterpart that he risks having ties between the two countries severed again if France goes ahead with the recent announcement that it will reopen investigations into the 1994 downing of a plane that was carrying the then leaders of Rwanda and Burundi, Gen Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira respectively, on 6 April 1994. Ironically the presidential plane crashed bang in the gardens of the presidential palace where members of Habyarimana’s family saw the fateful end of their loved ones. The crash then ignited the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

Furthermore, Kagame ordered his government to release a list of 22 French senior military officers it has identified as having helped plan and execute the 1994 genocide in which more than 800,000 people died. The list was released by the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG). According to a report released by CNLG, it is alleged that French actors were involved in the genocide both as perpetrators and accomplices but do not want their acts to be known despite their proofs. “This is the biggest cause explaining the persistent refusal of the French authorities to validate the ballistic investigation by French experts in Rwanda in 2010 which indicated that missiles were fired from Kanombe military barracks,” part of the report read.

The French officers who the CNLG claims were involved in the Rwanda genocide include Generals Jacques Lanxade, Christian Quesnot, Jean-Pierre Huchon, Jean-Claude Lafourcade, Colonels Gilbert Canovas, Jacques Rosier, Didier Tauzin, René Galinié and Bernard Cussac. Others are Colonels Dominique Delort, Jacques Hogard, Jacques Rosier, Patrice Sartre, and Lieutenant Colonels Michel Robardey, Jean-Jacques Maurin and Eric De Stabenrath. Captains Etienne Joubert, Paul Barril and Commanders Grégoire De Saint Quentin, Denis Roux and Marin Gillier. Rwanda has confirmed there is enough evidence to show that French officers and politicians committed very serious crimes in Rwanda. The list released by the CNLG is likely to escalate the squabble between the two sovereigns as they continue to disagree on who downed the plane, which also had a French crew.

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