RealNews

Findings Reopen Rwanda's Wounds

French Judge Says Kagame’s Orders Triggered Genocide. Ever since an airplane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi was shot down late on the night of April 6, 1994, the mystery behind the incident has been this Central African country’s equivalent of the JFK assassination. Hutus blamed Tutsis, Tutsis blamed Hutus. But at the time, no one was interested in talking. Answering the question is essential to unraveling the history of this impoverished country as it tries to recover from one of the world’s bloodiest genocides. The death of Rwanda’s president, Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, launched the 100-day slaughter of nearly 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. But a recent investigation by a French judge offers a controversial explanation for the killing. It accuses Rwanda’s current president, Paul Kagame, of giving the command to shoot down the plane. The accusation prompted a fiery response from Kagame, who was then the military chief of a mostly Tutsi rebel force, the Rwandan Patriotic Front. Kagame accused the French, who backed the Habyarimana dictatorship, of trying to cover up their own complicity in the killing spree. Full Story

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