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Last Updated: Monday, 27 November 2006, 15:58 GMT
Rwanda takes French radio off air
Rwandan President Paul Kagame
President Kagame has always accused France over the genocide
Rwanda has ordered Radio France International to halt local broadcasts, in an escalating row over events leading to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The move follows a cabinet decision to stop all activities of French state institutions, officials said.

Rwanda severed diplomatic ties with France on Friday after a French judge implicated President Paul Kagame in the assassination of his predecessor.

The act sparked a mass slaughter which claimed 800,000 lives within 100 days.

Thousands of people in Rwanda have been holding anti-French protests in the capital, Kigali.

The BBC, Voice of America and Germany's Deutsche Welle are the only international radio stations now broadcasting to Rwanda on FM.

Empty classroom at Ecole Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Kigali
Students arrived on Monday to find the French international school shut
The French ambassador left Kigali on Saturday, and all other French agencies had until late Monday to close and evacuate their staff. Rwanda has also recalled its ambassador to Paris.

Earlier, students and their parents arrived at the French international school, Ecole Antoine de Saint-Exupery, in the capital, Kigali, to find it closed.

The French foreign ministry said in a brief statement on Friday: "We regret this decision. We are making all necessary arrangements."

Arrest warrants

The move to clear French interests out of Rwanda was sparked last week when French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere called for President Kagame to be tried for alleged complicity in the killing of the ethnic Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana.

Judge Bruguiere also issued warrants for the arrest of nine aides of the Rwandan leader over the killing.

James Kabarebe, military chief-of-staff
Charles Kayonga, army chief-of-staff
Faustin Nyamwasa-Kayumba, ambassador to India
Jackson Nkurunziza, working for presidential guard
Samuel Kanyamera, RPF deputy
Jacob Tumwime, army officer
Franck Nziza, presidential guard officer
Eric Hakizimana, intelligence officer
Rose Kabuye, director general of state protocol

Mr Kagame, who under French law has immunity as head of state, has denied involvement, describing suggestions that he was behind the assassination as scandalous.

He has always accused France of having links to those who carried out the genocide.

Judge Bruguiere is investigating the case because the crew of the plane were French and their families filed a case in France in 1998.

Judge Bruguiere has said that only Mr Kagame's Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) forces had missiles capable of downing President Habyarimana's plane.

After Habyarimana's plane crashed, Hutu extremists started massacring ethnic Tutsis and Hutu moderates.

The genocide came to an end when Mr Kagame's then rebel RPF seized power 100 days later.

The RPF has always said the Hutu extremists shot down the presidential plane to provide a pretext to carry out the genocide.


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