“Pursuing justice and truth”, late President Habyarimana family

…Reflections on the Rwandan Terrorist Attack

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (06-04-2024) – The persistence of falsehoods and manipulation of history not only perpetuate injustice but also obstruct the healing process for survivors and their families.

According to the statement issued on behalf of the Habyarimana family and signed by Léon, Bermard, and Jean-Luc Habyarimana, challenges and obstacles will not prevent the truth about the events of 1994 in Rwanda from coming to light.

“It is imperative that the masterminds and perpetrators behind the attack are identified and brought to justice, not only for accountability but also to prevent such atrocities from recurring,” the statement reads in parts.

As we solemnly commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Rwandan terrorist attack, the trio recommits to pursuing truth, justice, and reconciliation. Only through steadfast dedication to these principles can we honor the memories of the victims and forge a more just and peaceful future for generations to come.

April 6, 1994, marks a somber anniversary in the history of Rwanda and the broader Great Lakes region of Africa.

The statement on this day that a terrorist attack claimed the lives of President Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda, President Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi, their delegations, and the French crew of the Falcon 50.

“This event, though initially perceived as a tragic incident, would go on to spark one of the darkest chapters in modern African history,” the statement reads.

The aftermath of the attack saw the eruption of ethnic violence, leading to the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda and subsequent massacres in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the statement adds.

Despite the significant role this attack played in triggering these horrific events, the trio suggests, the truth surrounding what exactly happened remained shrouded in mystery for three decades.

“Investigations into the attack have suggested connections to broader crimes in the DRC, hinting at the possibility of genocide,” the statement states.

The statement regrets that the pursuit of justice has been marred by political influence and a lack of impartiality.

“The Kigali regime’s sway over national and international courts has led to a disregard for the principles of fair trial and the presumption of innocence,” it states.

“President Habyarimana was known for his advocacy for unity, development, and peace in Rwanda and its neighboring countries,” it adds.

Yet, the quest for justice in his assassination has been mired in controversy, with innocent individuals facing persecution without credible evidence.

It is the considered view of the trio that prolonged investigations, tainted by bias, serve only to prolong the suffering of those seeking closure and accountability.

“True reconciliation in Rwanda hinges on impartial justice, not justice imposed by the victors of a tragic conflict.”

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