France denies asylum to Habyarimana widow, blaming her for genocide role

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PARIS -- France rejected an asylum appeal from the widow of late Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana on Thursday, saying she was at the heart of the regime responsible for her country's 1994 genocide.

The French refugee agency originally rejected Agathe Habyarimana's request on Jan 4. The case went before the Appeals Commission for Refugees, which denied her appeal Thursday.

The decision came nearly three months after Rwanda cut off diplomatic relations with Paris over a French probe into Juvenal Habyarimana's mysterious assassination. The downing of his plane in 1994 sparked the slaughter of more than half a million people in less than 100 days.

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