11.10.07 - RWANDA/ATTEMPT - KIGALI WILL INVESTIGATE THE ATTACK ON HABYARIMANA ‘S PLANE

  Arusha, 11 October 2007 (FH) - The Rwandan government decided Wednesday to entrust to Jean Mutsinzi, former president of the Rwandan Supreme Court, an investigation into the attack of 6 April 1994 which cost the life of former President Juvénal Habyarimana, sparking the Tutsi genocide, reported Thursday Rwandan national radio.   
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The cabinet presided by President Paul Kagame created a "committee" composed of seven members whose mission is to determine the causes of the crash of the Falcon 50, which had on board twelve people traveling with the Rwandan president and the Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira. In addition to the entourage of the two presidents, three Frenchmen who were part of the crew also died in the attack.
 
Mr. Mutsinzi, is currently a judge at the African Court on Human and People's Rights. He previously presided the Rwandan Supreme Court before being elected, in January 2006, among the eleven Africans. A trained lawyer, he was also an executive secretary of the judicial and constitutional committee.
 
The Rwandan government had initially estimated that the investigation into this attack was not a priority. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which is headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania, also rejected an investigation, indicating that this attack was not part of its mandate. At least one Security Council resolution had, however, requested it after the attack.
 
In November 2006, the French anti-terrorism Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, referred since 1995 by the families of the French victims, published his own investigation which concluded in the responsibility of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the former rebellion dominated by Tutsis and headed by Paul Kagame.
 
Judge Bruguière issued international arrest warrants against nine persons close to Paul Kagame. These warrants have not up to now been carried out by any country.
 
Jean-Louis Bruguière had also recommended that Kagame, who enjoys immunity due to his status as Head of State, be prosecuted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR):
 
Kigali refuted these allegations. Rwanda, on the other hand, affirmed that Judge Bruguière acted on behalf of the French government which it accuses of having played an important role in the genocide by supporting, politically and militarily, the former Hutu government.
 
Kigali has since broken its diplomatic relations with Paris. Recently a delegation of French diplomats approached Kigali to consider re-establishing relations, as stated by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner. 
 
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