French paper reveals more about Genocide fugitive Aloys Ntiwiragabo's support network

The new report indicates that the former head of Rwandan military intelligence and founder of FDLR militia entered France using false papers in 2001.

A French newspaper, Mediapart, has unearthed further details on the presence in France of Col Aloys Ntiwiragabo, a mastermind of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

The new report indicates that the former head of Rwandan military intelligence and founder of the DR Congo-based FDLR militia entered France using false papers in 2001.

 

At the time, according to investigation by the paper, Hubert Vedrine, a French politician familiar with the "Rwanda file" was a Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

 

As noted, though Ntiwiragabo requested asylum in February 2020, as if he entered France this year, sources in his neighborhood revealed he started living in the area 14 years ago. 

 

Mediapart noted that when asked if Ntiwirigabo had been granted a residence permit, Vedrine denied commenting on "cases that are the subject of legal proceedings."

Preliminary investigation over crimes against humanity started in France on July 24, in the case of Ntiwiragabo, 71, who was found hiding in Orléans, a city in north-central France, following lengthy investigations by Mediapart.

Théo Englebert, the investigative journalist who authored the stories by the french publication on Monday, August 10, told The New Times that "we discovered that Aloys Ntiwiragabo moved near Orleans in 2006."

Englebert added: "He only applied for asylum in February 2020, fourteen years after his arrival in France. All this formally contradicts the story presented by his lawyers."

The journalist noted that while already living in France, for years, Ntiwiragabo was "leading a contentious battle to obtain the visa he had requested 10 years earlier in Africa." This also contradicts the story presented by his lawyers, Englebert said.

The office of Serge Brammertz, the Chief Prosecutor of the Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (RMICT), which took over from the now-defunct International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), confirmed to Mediapart "that the decision to stop the investigation against Aloys Ntiwiragabo was taken in 2004."

When Ntiwiragabo visited French diplomatic representations in 2001, he was still considered a suspect by the ICTR, Englebert noted.

He added: "The end of the investigation against Aloys Ntiwiragabo is decided within the framework of the ICTR completion strategy ordered in 2003 by the UN. It is therefore a calendar imperative that precipitates the end of the investigation, not the supposed discovery of his innocence."

Hubert Vedrine and the Quai d'Orsay's hand

According to Englebert, when Ntiwiragabo went to French consulates, Hubert Vedrine was Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

The journalist added: "What is intriguing is that under his ministry, the Quai d'Orsay had already produced a 'special' residence card for Augustin Ngirabatware."

Quai d'Orsay is the seat of the French government.

Ngirabatware, a former planning minister, was found guilty on December 20, 2012 by the ICTR of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and rape.

Today, Vedrine presides over the Francois Mitterand Institute and heads his own consulting company. 

Mitterrand was president of France during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. 

France is accused of aiding the genocidal regime in Rwanda at the time and having a direct hand in the Genocide. 

In June, the country's top administrative court ruled that a researcher could consult Mitterrand's archives on the 1994 Genocide, ending a long legal battle over access.

"He (Vedrine) has great influence in France. Emmanuel Macron has appointed him to represent France in the group of experts who are thinking about the future of NATO."

As for Ntiwiragabo, it was recently report3d that from Orléans, his sphere of influence stretched 240 kilometers away to Rouen, capital of the northern French region of Normandy, where he is kingpin in an anti-Rwanda government extremists' network.

For their activities there, Rouen earned the infamous tag of the "European capital of genocidaires," as previously reported by online publication, Le Poulpe.

jkaruhanga@newtimesrwanda.com

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