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Rwandan President Willing to Cooperate With Probe into Former Leader's Death

Rwandan President Paul Kagame says he is ready to cooperate with an international investigation into the death of former president Juvenal Habyarimana.

Mr. Kagame has dismissed accusations that he ordered the plane carrying the former Rwandan president to be shot down in 1994. The assassination is blamed for triggering the slaughter by Hutu extremists of an estimated 800,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

A French judge has accused President Kagame and nine of his aides of involvement in the downing of the plane.

In an interview with VOA English to Africa service, Rwandan Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama said it is wrong to blame Mr. Habyarimana's death on President Kagame. He said the government has always been willing to cooperate with an international inquiry into the death. The justice minister also denied that the incident led to the country's genocide.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.