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Brussels, March 7, 2007 – The trial of Bernard Ntuyahaga scheduled for next April 19 in Brussels could shed light on the mystery of the Akagera mission in which Belgian Blue Helmets participated the day before their assassination, the first day of the Rwandan genocide. Demands for complementary investigations concerning this mission that no one could explain had been addressed to the Court of Assises of Brussels by the families of 10 Blue Helmets killed in Kigali on April 7, 1994 and by the lawyer for the Rwandan officer Bernard Ntuyahaga. On April 6, 1994, Lieutenant Lotin and 5 members of the mortar squad of the Belgian contingent KIBAT of UNMAR (United Nations Missions for the Assistance of Rwanda) established an escort mission of soldiers from the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) from the building of the National Center for Development (CND) in Kigali to the National Park in Akagera on the Ugandan border, in the northeast of the country. A battalion of the RPF was stationed at the CND, the Rwandan parliament, on the terms of the Arusha Accords signed on August 4, 1993. These demands of complimentary requests follow new elements furnished by the testimony of a Belgian soldier, the only survivor among those who had participated in the mission. “This had always been a black shadow for the families. No one could explain to us what they went to do with the RPF in the Akagera park. On this subject, anything and everything had been told and we think all light should be shed, even if it turns out that there is nothing to reveal and that there was nothing other than a “tourist” mission for which they made 495 kilometers,” declared Martine Debatty, spokesperson for the families of the 10 paratroopers. Bernard Ntuyahaga’s defense also stated that the “responsible persons for the escorts are all unanimous in saying that they were not in the know about this mission, even Colonel Luc Marchal, the Number 2 of the UNMAR. How is it possible that an unknown mission was made unbeknownst to UNMAR?” Mr. Luc de Temmerman claims to establish a link between this team and the bombing on April 6 against the aircraft of President Juvenal Habyarimana, fried by missile shots whose origin is still the subject of controversy: “I recall that the Belgians were killed as the result of a rumor implicating them in this bombing.” On April 7, first day of the genocide, Lieutenant Lotin and 9 other soldiers of the mortar squad – of which certain were returning from Akagera – in charge that day of escorting the Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana were killed at a Kigali military camp. Their death set in motion the withdrawal of Belgium’s contingent in the UNMAR. Bernard Ntuyhaga, aged 55 years, responsible in 1994 for logistics in the Kigali military camp, is accused by the Belgian justice system of the assassination of ten Blue Helmets as well as several other murders committed in Kigali and Butare. Among the murders are notably that of the Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana. The trial of the major of the ex-RAF (Rwandan Armed Forces) will open before the Court of Assies in Brussels on April 19. BF/PB/KD © Hirondelle News Agency