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The BBC's Mark Devenport at the UN
"A number of lawyers representing Rwandan genocide suspects have demanded to see the report"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 29 March, 2000, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
Memo links Rwandan leader to killing
Paul Kagame of Rwanda
The Rwandan Government denies the allegations
The UN has confirmed that it has found an internal memorandum in its files which suggests that Rwanda's interim president, Paul Kagame, may have been involved in the assassination in 1994 of the former president, Juvenal Habyarimana.


One individual committed to paper his thoughts as well as information conveyed to him

UN spokesman Fred Eckhard
Mr Habyarimana, a Hutu, was killed when the plane he was travelling in was hit by two rockets on April 6, 1994.

His assassination is believed to be the catalyst that provoked the genocide which resulted the killing of about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

It has generally been thought that Hutu hard-liners organised his assassination in opposition to his attempts to broker a power-sharing settlement with the then Tutsi-led rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front of Mr Kagame.


Rwandan skulls
Nearly 1 million died in 1994 genocide
But a Canadian daily, the National Post, recently revealed that UN investigators had interviewed three unidentified members of an "elite covert strike team", who confirmed the attack had been sanctioned by RPF leader and current interim Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

The Rwandan government has rejected the accounts.

Hutu accusations

Exiled Hutu groups have frequently accused the RPF of the rocket attack on the plane.

They suggested the RPF leadership wanted to use the ensuing mayhem to seize power directly, abandoning the power-sharing agreement it had forged with the Habyarimana government.

The UN says the document was written by an Australian investigator, Michael Hourigan, who's no longer with the organisation, and was not himself sure of the veracity of his information.


UN spokesman Fred Eckhard
UN spokesman Fred Eckhard: Memo sent to tribunal
"The secretariat did not find a report but a three-page internal memorandum," said UN spokesman Fred Eckhard.

"One individual committed to paper his thoughts as well as information conveyed to him and that went into a file," he added.

The UN has sent the document to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, where leading Hutu genocide suspects want to use it for their defence.

The Rwandan Government has strongly denied the accounts saying the reports are propaganda by Hutu exiles seeking to revise history.

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See also:

24 Mar 00 | Africa
Kagame takes charge in Rwanda
18 Mar 99 | Africa
Eyewitness: Rwanda's survivors
24 Mar 00 | Africa
US deports Rwandan pastor
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