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France accused of African genocide role

March 16, 2004 at 1:37 PM   |   Comments

KIGALI, Rwanda, March 16 (UPI) -- Rwandan President Paul Kagame turned the table on French investigators Tuesday, claiming the French government itself was responsible for a 1994 massacre.

Kagame was responding to an allegation Monday in the Paris daily Le Monde that he gave direct orders for the rocket attack on then-President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane. Several French citizens were among those killed when it crashed, and their deaths are under investigation by France's leading anti-terrorist judge, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, the BBC reported.

The ensuing political chaos spawned the massacre of some 800,000 people.

At the time, Kagame was head of the mainly-Tutsi rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front.

Le Monde said the accusation against Kagame is contained in a 220-page report drawn up by police, but Kagame denies it, insisting "French elements" were behind the aircraft downing, as well as arming and training rebels.

"Sooner or later they will have to account for their actions, either before a French court or the international court," Kagame said.

Topics: Paul Kagame
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