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French Judge: Rwanda's Kagame Should Be Tried for Triggering Genocide


Rwanda has rejected calls from a French judge to indict President Paul Kagame for alleged involvement in the shooting down of his predecessor's plane in 1994.

News agencies quote the country's justice and foreign affairs ministers as dismissing the recommendation and accusing France of trying to cover up its alleged role in Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

On Monday, French investigators said there was evidence that a Tutsi-dominated milita led by Mr. Kagame, the Rwanda Patriotic Front, was behind the attack that killed Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana in April of 1994.

Habyarimana's death sparked the genocide in which extremist Hutus killed an estimated 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus.

Mr. Kagame's forces took power in July 1994. He has always denied involvement in the downing of the plane.

Paris, which gave financial and military aid to Rwanda prior to 1994, has strongly denied abetting the mass killings.

On Monday, French prosecutors approved arrest warrants for nine of Mr. Kagame's aides, including Rwanda's army chief, James Kabarebe. They also said Mr. Kagame should stand trial at the international war crimes tribunal in Tanzania.

The international tribunal has convicted at least 26 people of involvement in the Rwanda genocide. Five suspects have been acquitted. Trials are under way for 25 others.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
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