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Analyse du rapport Mutsinzi sur l’attentat du 6 avril 1994 contre l’avion présidentiel rwandais


  • Reyntjens, Filip


The report of the Mutsinzi commission attempts to show that President Habyarimana’s airplane was not downed by the RPF, as the French investigating judge Bruguière tried to demonstrate, but by Hutu radicals who were close to the main victim of the attack. The report raises a number of serious questions. The committee claims to be independent, but all the commissioners are members of the RPF, which means that it is both judge and party. This is made abundantly clear throughout the report, which treats as solid evidence testimonies showing the complicity of Hutu extremists, but shows total disregard for the evidence pointing in the other direction. While the committee claims to have interviewed hundreds of witnesses, the validity of their testimonies raises serious doubts. Of those identified, dozens are members of the former government army FAR, all of them interviewed under extreme pressure, in full awareness of what they were expected to say, and of the price to be paid if they did not. As this analysis shows, the committee generally proceeds by first presenting unsubstantiated hypotheses or even downright untruths as facts; the accumulation of these “facts” then allows to establish the “truth”. There are now two radically opposed versions of the truth as to who is responsible for the shooting down of the presidential plane: one is inscribed in the findings of the Bruguière inquiry, the other in the Mutsinzi report. They both point fingers at suspects, albeit different ones, and they both indicate that a crime has been committed. The natural way of dealing with such findings is to conduct a contradictory debate before a court of law. However, it would seem that both Rwanda and France, in their attempt to improve their relations, are intent on sacrificing justice on the altar of political expediency. The Rwandan people deserve better than such a cynical outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Reyntjens, Filip, 2010. "Analyse du rapport Mutsinzi sur l’attentat du 6 avril 1994 contre l’avion présidentiel rwandais," IOB Working Papers 2010.01, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
  • Handle: RePEc:iob:wpaper:2010001

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