--Last week a French investigation led by French judges Mark Trévidic and Nathalie Poux came to the same conclusions as those of the Mutsinzi Report two years ago. The missiles that brought President Habyarimana’s plane down came out of the Kanombe Military Camp.
The Government of Rwanda has used up a lot of time and energy to convince the world that President Habyarimana was assassinated by his own camp when they realised that he was caving to international pressure to share power with political parties opposed to him as well as the then rebels, the RPF.
It would have saved time and been cheaper for everyone if the Mutsinzi report had been taken up as the authoritative account of what happened that evening of April 6th 1994 but then again how much credibility was the world willing to give a report coming out of a small and poor African country. Everyone knew that the arrest warrants issued by Judge Brugiere in 2006 were based on what was essentially revisionist rumour.
However, as it was coming from a judge in France (the same judge who investigated into the notorious ‘Carlos the Jackal’ no less!) mainstream media tended to give his allegations the benefit of doubt.
Brugiere’s allegations became a source of comfort for genocide revisionists everywhere. No one stopped to ask why a French judge was repeating what the extremist radio RTLM was saying the morning after the crash.
The perennial critics are seething now that one of their favourite props has been knocked away. Some claim that the Trevidic report was influenced by the prevailing diplomatic considerations between Paris and Kigali.
A tool to normalise relations between Rwanda and France. When pressed on the details, some have accepted the premise that the missiles came out of the Kanombe military camp but latch on the fact that the report does not mention who launched them to conclude that RPA soldiers sneaked into the camp and did the deed.
It’s a tale straight out of an action movie. There is no need to go out and watch the new Mission Impossible. All you need to do is read the fantastic theories that some are trying to sell to the general public.
We are supposed to believe that a band of RPA soldiers infiltrated the largest military camp in the country undetected, acquired Surface to Air Missiles that had been previously captured by French forces during Desert Storm in Iraq, intercepted tower to plane radio chatter, shot down the plane and then made a clean escape.
These are feats worthy of Chuck Norris and he had teams of script writers, stunt men and special effects to back him up.
Also interesting for me was that RNC President Theogene Rudasingwa was not pleased by the report. He had already declared that the President had boasted to him about the shooting down of the plane so his credibility may have been dented by this report hence the displeasure.
Nonetheless, he could have created some novel explanation for his story and wriggled out of the jam he had created for himself.
Instead he stuck stubbornly to his guns forgetting that the RNC also had a reason to celebrate the Trevidic report as Kayumba Nyamwasa was now cleared of involvement in assassinating Habyarimana.
Kayumba, though, still has to deal with a warrant issued by Rwanda but at least that’s one warrant less to worry about.
At the RNC it seems that it is alright to have an international arrest warrant hovering over a member for something s/he could not have done as long as the warrant also covers your political enemies. I wonder what that does for party morale.