Rwanda has launched an inquiry into the April 1994 attack that downed the plane of late President Juvenal Habyarimana - an attack viewed as sparking the Rwandan genocide.

Officials in Kigali said Thursday that the government has formed an independent commission charged with establishing the truth.

There are competing theories over who shot down the plane. The subject caused diplomatic tension with France last year after a French judge said Rwandan President Paul Kagame should stand trial for his alleged role in the incident.

Mr. Kagame severed ties with France, accusing Paris of arming Hutu extremists in the 1994 Rwandan conflict. The two countries have since made contacts aimed at resuming diplomatic relations.

Hutu extremists killed an estimated 800,000 people between April and July of 1994, most of them ethnic Tutsis or moderate Hutus.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.