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France should be tried for genocide not Rwanda – Kagame fires at hint of retrial

Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has responded to hints by French investigators to reopen investigations into the death of former leader Juvenal Habyarimana.

The downing of Mr Habyarimana’s plane over two decades back helped trigger the genocide in which hundreds of thousands mainly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

Habyarimana was the third president of Rwanda, from 1973 until his death in 1994. Kagame was at a time leader of a rebel group. He has maintained that he does not have a hand in the shooting down of the plane.

Kagame however insists that it is France that needs to be standing trial with relation to the Rwandan genocide. He added that the judicial system of his country was not subordinate to that of the French.

“After investigating the case for 2 years,not finding anything,they want to start all over again. I have no problem with that, If starting all over again is a show down, then we will have a show down.


‘‘France should be the one being tried for genocide, not Rwanda, I am asking those embassies that delivered services on behalf of French embassy to prepare to do that,’‘ he added.

Reports indicate that the reopening of the investigation is to allow fresh evidence that points to culpability of Mr Kagame. The latest evidence is from a dissident general, Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa.

In 2006, twelve years after the 1994 genocide, Rwanda cut ties with France for three years after a judge called for Mr Kagame to stand trial.

The Rwandan leader was speaking in Parliament on Monday during the launch of country’s judicial year. He charged judicial workers to maintain the trust that the citizens had in the institution.

‘‘The 2015 Citizen Report Card (CRC) published by the Rwanda Governance Board has shown that 88.02% of Rwandans have trust in the country’s Justice System,’‘ his statement read.

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