KIGALI - The Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) has welcomed the report into the April 6, 1994 plane crash that killed former President Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart, Cyprian Ntaryamira.
Allegations from various circles had over the years accused senior members of the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A) now RDF, of shooting down the plane using missiles.
However, the reports reveals that Habyarimana was killed by his own henchmen who were against the idea of sharing power with the RPF.
Speaking to The New Times, Defence and Military Spokesperson, Maj. Jill Rutaremara, said that it was good the truth had finally come out.
“There are two things – one is that, it is good that the truth is finally out and, secondly, all those who have been making false allegations are now proved wrong,” he said.
In November 2006, thousands of infuriated Rwandans thronged city streets protesting indictments issued by French magistrate, Jean Louis Bruguiere against RDF officers accusing them of being behind the assassination of the former president.
As detailed in the report, Habyarimana was actually in the know about a plot hatched by his inner circle to assassinate him and, the masterminds included architects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi such as Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, Anatole Nsengiyumva, Mathieu Ngirumpatse and Joseph Nzirorera.
The four and many others were opposed to reconciliation and power-sharing arrangements with the RPF and, were committed to their plan to totally exterminate the Tutsi neighbours, states the report.
The team which compiled evidence in the report interviewed close to 600 witnesses in addition to employing the services of ballistic experts from the United Kingdom’s National Defence Academy for advice and analysis.