sábado, 18 de setembro de 2010


A notícia foi publicada hoje pelo jornalista Hereward Holland, da Reuters.

Segundo a reportagem, musgo cresce sobre a carcaça retorcida do Dassault Falcon 50 em que o presidente Juvenal Habyarimana viajava quando o avião foi abatido momentos antes de pousar no aeroporto de Kigali, há 16 anos. A morte do presidente deu inicio ao genocídio que causou a morte de aproximadamente 1 milhão de pessoas da etnia tutsi em Ruanda, país da África Central.

Desde o dia 6 de abril de 1994, grandes pedaços dos escombros do avião permanecem próximos à dilapidada mansão de Habyarimana, monumentos desfigurados do episódio que levou ao rompimento das relações diplomáticas com a França há quatro anos.

As relações foram parcialmente restabelecidas no ano passado e agora um grupo de investigadores franceses está em Ruanda para reexaminar uma dúvia de depoimentos de testemunhas e tentar identificar de onde os dois mísseis que derrubaram o avião foram disparados. E, esperam, determinar quem foram os responsáveis pelo atentado.

Abaixo segue a íntegra do texto, em inglês.


By Hereward Holland

KIGALI (Reuters) - Moss is growing on the twisted carcass of Juvenal Habyarimana's Dassault Falcon 50 plane that was shot down 16 years ago, killing the former Rwandan president and triggering genocide in the central African country.

Since April 6, 1994, large chunks of debris have lain were they fell near the grounds of Habyarimana's dilapidated mansion, disfigured monuments to the recriminations that prompted Rwanda to sever diplomatic ties with France four years ago.

After patching up relations late last year, a team of French investigators is now in Rwanda re-examining a dozen eyewitness testimonies to work out where the two missiles were fired from -- and, hopefully, determine final responsibility.

The row erupted in 2006 when a French judge accused rebel leader Paul Kagame and a coterie of allies of orchestrating the assassination. Kagame, now Rwanda's president, in turn accused Francois Mitterrand's administration of training and arming the Hutu militias that killed 800,000 people in 100 days.

A probe by the Rwandan government in January 2010 blamed extremists within Habyarimana's inner circle for downing the plane, saying the murder was designed to scuttle a planned power-sharing deal and act as a pretext for the genocide.

"We asked for these experts to come to Rwanda. It is very important for the truth of the story to be known," said Lef Forster, the lawyer of Kagame's close ally Rose Kabuye.

Kabuye was arrested in Germany last year on an Interpol warrant in connection with the plane crash. She has since been released and is back in Rwanda.

"For years everything has been done to find them guilty and nothing has been done to find the real actors of this accident," Forster told Reuters at a Catholic mission 22 km (14 miles) outside Kigali, where a United Nations witness claims to have seen the trajectory of the missiles that downed the plane.

Behind Forster, the crimson spheres of a pair of binoculars held by one of the investigators scour the horizon for planes landing at Kigali's Kanombe airport, while geometry experts use maps and survey equipment to confirm the origin of the missiles.


According to the Rwandan inquiry set up by Kagame -- known as the Mutsinzi report -- Rwanda Armed Forces (FAR) stationed in the Kanombe barracks near the airport fired the surface-to-air rockets, the culmination of months of planning.

"(The) assassination of Rwandan President Habyarimana was the work of Hutu extremists who calculated that killing their own leader would torpedo a power-sharing agreement known as the Arusha Accords," the report said.

French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere's 2006 report said Kagame was responsible, on the grounds he wanted to trigger reprisal killings between ethnic Tutsi and Hutu and give his RPF rebels and allies the legitimacy to take power by force.

Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama said the new French inquiry should have happened long ago, because Bruguiere's report did not include evidence gathered on the ground.

Karugarama said he believed the validity of the Mutsinzi report, but added that an independent investigation would lend more credibility to the Rwandan findings.

"We now have a judicial inquiry by a judge that is not Rwandan so the findings should have more weight in terms of political interpretation of what is on the ground than the Mutsinzi report," Karugarama told Reuters.

The team is headed by French judges Marc Trevidic and Natalie Poux and includes French public prosecutor Jean-Julien Xavier-Rolai, eight experts in civil aviation, ballistics, missiles and geometry, along with two Rwandan prosecutors.

Xavier-Rolai told reporters the report could be complete by March 2011 and that his team had received full cooperation from Rwandan authorities.

As the investigators prodded the dented fuselage, where birds nest in part of the nose cone, hopes are growing that the 16-year-old murder mystery may soon be solved once and for all.

(Editing by David Clarke)

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