French had role in Rwanda president's death in 1994 says current president, himself indicted by France





Senior Hutu commanders backed by France shot down the plane carrying Rwanda's president in 1994, killing him and touching off a genocide, Rwandan President Paul Kagame told Reuters on Saturday.

Kagame also said in an exclusive interview that France harboured former government officials who masterminded the slaughter of 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus during the 100 days of bloodshed which followed Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana's death in the plane crash.

"The ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda) has information pointing to people who were responsible for gunning down Habyarimana's plane, and these are Hutu extremists including senior commanders at the time of that government with the support of France," Kagame said, at times visibly angry.

Kagame made his comments a day after Kigali severed diplomatic ties with Paris, furious at a French judge who issued arrest warrants for nine of Kagame's associates and called for Kagame to face trial over the downing of Habyarimana's plane.



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