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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Rwanda welcomes closing investigation of Rwandan officials
into ex-president’s plane crash on eve of 1994’s genocide

KIGALI Rwanda (Ximnhua) -- Rwandan government on Monday said it welcomes French judges’ decision to close the investigation of nine Rwandan officials for former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane crash.

The crash occurred in April 1994, which triggered the 100-day genocide.

The Rwandan government has learned of the decision by judges Jean-Marc Herbaut and Nathalie Poux who handle the case to definitively close the “politically-motivated” investigation without charges due to lack of evidence, it said in a statement.

The Rwandan government welcomes the decision which brings to an end a “brazen attempt” to obstruct justice for the Rwandan genocide and prevent accountability for both the perpetrators and their willful accomplices, Rwandan foreign minister and government spokesperson Richard Sezibera said in the statement.

1994’s Rwandan genocide claimed about one million people, mainly ethnic Tutsis.

Rwanda severed diplomatic relations with France in 2006 following the issue by a French judge of nine arrest warrants against Rwandan officials in the case of the attack on the aircraft.

Even with the restoration of the diplomatic ties in 2009, the long-running case has been hindering the relationship between Rwanda and France.

France’s role during the genocide has for years been the subject of intense scrutiny and much controversy, with both Paris and Kigali trying to pin responsibility on the other for the genocide.

While Rwanda has repeatedly accused France of backing the genocidal regime government, allegedly arming and training the Hutu ethnic group perpetrators responsible for the mass murder during genocide, France has denied the accusations of murder, insisting its forces worked to protect the civilians.

             

 

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