Rwanda: Habyarimana Plane Crash Report Set to Be Released in November

The New Times (Kigali)

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Eugene Kwibuka

A commission of inquiry investigating the cause of the crash of the plane carrying former Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana will release its findings before the end of November this year, the committee's president disclosed yesterday.

The Falcon 50, which had on board 12 people, was shot over Kigali on April 6, 1994.

In a telephone interview with The New Times, Jean Mutsinzi , the head of the inquiry, said that the committee will compile its report in three months' time.

Rwandans and the general public will know the report's findings by the end of November. He however, couldn't give details on the current advancement of the probe until investigations are concluded.

"We have directives that we don't have to disclose anything. We don't reveal information to journalists," Mutsinzi underscored.

The Rwandan government set up the committee to carry out investigations on the crash last October and entrusted Jean Mutsinzi, a former president of the Rwandan Supreme Court, to head it.

It is composed of seven members whose mission is to determine the causes of the plane crash which occurred on April 6, 1994.

All those on board, including Burundi's President Cyprien Ntaryamira and three Frenchmen who were part of the plane's crew perished. Speculation on who may have been responsible for the attack on the plane was rife.

The United Nations discovered that an airplane "black box" at its headquarters in New York in 2004 was not linked to Habyarimana plane's crash despite the fact that it was shipped to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York by the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR).

"The cockpit voice recorder that was shipped to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York by the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) did not contain any relevant information about the crash of that aircraft," the UN News Centre wrote in June 2004.

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The crash of Habyarimana's plane triggered a100-day genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda, in which more than a million peole were brutally massacred.

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