Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ICTR Accused and Political Prisoners in Arusha Respond to the Mutsinzi Report

Posted 02.24.2010, via World News Journal.

ICTR Accused and Political Prisoners in Arusha Respond to the Mutsinzi Report.
Arusha, 18 February 2010

(Edited by Michael Collins)

ICTR Detainees
United Nations Detention Facility (UNDF)
Arusha, Tanzania

The President of the UN Security Council,
The UN Secretary General,
The President of the ICTR,

Subject: An independent inquiry into and prosecution of the
perpetrators of the terrorist attack against the airplane of Rwandan
President Juvénal Habyarimana on 6th April 1994.

Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned detainees of the ICTR, have the honor of sending
you, herewith attached, our reaction to the report by a Committee[1]
established by the Rwandan government to investigate the attack on
President Habyarimana’s airplane. As you will notice, we have
demonstrated, on the basis of evidence, the falseness of the report
produced by this so-called independent Committee.

Actually, this committee of Experts, composed of eminent RPF members,
was given, by the current President of Rwanda, General Paul Kagame,
the mission of fabricating exculpatory evidence in order to absolve
him and his henchmen, who took part in the murders of the Heads of
State of Rwanda and Burundi, seven of their collaborators, as well as
the three French crew members of the presidential Falcon 50 airplane.
This Committee was also put in place to block the international arrest
warrants issued by the French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière after his
eight year inquiry into the terrorist attack of 6 April 1994. In the
Mutsinzi Report, we see the RPF’s final attempt to completely silence
the truth of its responsibility in the Rwandan tragedy, in general,
and in the assassination of President Habyarimana, in particular.

Given its creator, its composition, and its real mission, the Mutsinzi
Committee can hardly be independent. It can not produce an objective
report because from the first outline of its methodology, it
considered a priori that the RPF is innocent and reflexively charged
“the Hutu extremists within the former regime” with being the
perpetrators of the attack. This is the postulate that prevailed
throughout the drafting of the report.

Aside from Paul Kagame’s sycophantic admirers, most commentators, from
the moment it was published, described the Mutsinzi Report as partial.
Prof. Filip Reyntjens, the Belgian researcher, said that “it is an
opportunistic political report of highly dubious quality.”[2] Belgian
Colonel Luc Marchal, former UNAMIR officer and the Commander of the
Kigali Sector, said: “We had the feeling of having been an audience to
a parody of an investigation, the script of which had been written in

In the long preliminary section about its methodology, the Mutsinzi
Committee indicated that it interviewed a large number of witnesses
and read hundreds of documents from different sources, including those
available from the ICTR. Actually, after reading the report, one
discovers that the Mutsinzi Committee systematically excluded all
relevant witnesses and documents that were likely to contradict its

Concerning the motive and circumstances of the attack, the Mutsinzi
Committee did not hesitate to repeat, in its conclusions, the outdated
theory of a planned genocide of the Tutsi by the former regime, a
theory the ICTR Prosecutor has failed, up to now, to demonstrate
despite his tremendous efforts and the vast material means at his

With regard to the technical part of its report, the Committee
commissioned a pair of British experts to clarify two points: i.e., to
determine the place from where the airplane was fired on, and to
identify the type of weapon fired on the airplane. Concerning the
place from where the missiles were fired, the two experts were content
to read testimony handed to them by the Committee. Without any
critique or cross-checking, they concluded exactly what the Committee
wanted them to conclude. However, the Committee had excluded all
testimony given by the local residents of Masaka and Kanombe that did
not support its theory. With respect to the identification of the
weapon that was used to perpetrate the crime, the British experts
brought nothing substantial to the Mutsinzi Committee. In short, one
must conclude that the report of the two British experts is rather
fanciful. It is colored by a troubling feebleness that suggests a
complicity in the lies and intoxication of public opinion. In our
Reaction to the Mutsinzi Report, we demonstrate clearly that the
missiles were fired from the Masaka farm and that those missiles were
part of the RPF arsenal.[6]

In our reaction, we looked particularly into those responsible for
the attack. Our conclusion is irrevocable: in the face of Judge
Bruguière’s overwhelming evidence against Kagame and his accomplices
in the attack of April 6, 1994, the Mutsinzi Committee has made every
possible effort to fabricate elements that might impede, however
momentarily, the French judicial proceedings. The publication of the
Mutsinzi Report fits right into the political stratagem launched by
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner with an aim toward renewing
diplomatic relations between Paris and Kigali. As Professor Filip
Reyntjens[7] quite aptly stated, it is frightening that justice can be
so cynically sacrificed on the altar of politics.[8]

The Mutsinzi Committee indicates, without credible basis, that some of
those under indictment at the ICTR are the perpetrators of the attack
against President Habyarimana’s airplane.[9] These false accusations
are nonsense. All those named by the Committee have been in the
custody of the ICTR Prosecutor for many years. Despite the fact that
the attack against President Habyarimana’s airplane is regarded by the
international community as the event that triggered the genocide, the
Prosecutor has never charged any of them with that attack. On the
contrary, he has continuously avoided arguments on this important
factor in the Rwandan tragedy. By so doing, he has prevented the ICTR
Judges from hearing evidence in the case. It is in the same attitude
that the Prosecutor vehemently opposed the oral motion recently filed
by the defense for Joseph Nzirorera in Trial Chamber III, on 18
January 2010.

Since the memorandum on the assassination of President Habyarimana
sent you in a letter dated 3 June 1999, the ICTR detainees have
constantly reminded you, in their numerous correspondences, of the
necessity for an independent inquiry into this terrorist attack.
Various commissions of inquiry created to look into the tragic events
in Rwanda 1994 have issued recommendations to that effect.[10]

Whereas they have been called upon many times to investigate the
assassination of President Habyarimana, the ICTR Prosecutors
invariably claimed that this terrorist attack does not fall within
their mandate. This position was once again strongly affirmed by ICTR
Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow at the Symposium on the ICTR held in
Geneva from 9 to 11 July 2009:

“All the Prosecutors, I believe, have taken a similar position with
regard to the
shooting down of the aircraft, and this is that it is not a matter
which falls within
the mandate of the ICTR.” [11]

However, there is a notable exception: Mme Carla Del Ponte was
dismissed from her position as ICTR Prosecutor because she had
expressed an inclination to prosecute the RPF, notably on the basis of
the investigation conducted by the French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière.
Previously, she had publicly stated:

“If it is the RPF that shot down the plane, the history of the
genocide must be rewritten.”

ICTR Prosecutor Hassan B. Jallow put a stop to all the inquiries that
might implicate Kagame and his henchmen. Obviously, he takes advantage
of the indifference of the UN toward the assassination of two sitting
Heads of State. However, the UN Security Council did not hesitate a
single moment in setting up commissions of inquiry into the
assassinations of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri or
the former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Various independent personalities and NGOs have continuously denounced
the impunity granted by the ICTR to RPF members responsible for
serious violations of international humanitarian law. They rightly
consider that such impunity irreparably compromises the reconciliation
of the Rwandan people.

Therefore, we fervently request that an inquiry by a genuinely
independent commission be initiated to determine those responsible for
the 6 April 1994 attack carried out in an area under UNAMIR control,
and that the perpetrators be duly prosecuted. This is the only way to
counter the dictatorial Kagame regime’s last desperate attempt to bury
the truth of the RPF’s responsibility in the Rwandan tragedy. Should
the ICTR not be willing to deal with this matter that falls well and
truly within its jurisdiction, the UN Security Council and the UN
General Assembly are duty bound to come up with a mechanism for
entrusting the case to another independent international tribunal.

Yours sincerely,
The signatories: [See the attached list.]

[1] Independent Committee of Experts charged with the investigation
into the crash on 06/04/1994 of the Falcon 50
aircraft, registration number 9XR-NN. That Committee was created by
Prime Ministerial Decree no. 07/03 of
16/04/2007 (hereinafter called Mutsinzi Committee).

[2] Filip Reyntjens : Rwanda : Analyse du Mutsinzi Report sur
l’attentat contre l’avion présidentiel, p. 25 [non official translation]

[3] Rwanda: Analysis of the MUTSINZI Report By Luc Marchal & The
Collective for the Truth [translated from French by CirqueMinime/
Paris], January 31, 2010.

[4] We demonstrated this manipulation in Sections 2 and 3 of our
Reaction to the Mutsinzi Report.

[5] We demonstrated the falseness of these allegations made by the
Mutsinzi Committee on that subject in Section 1 of our Reaction to the
Mutsinzi Report.

[6] See Sections 2 and 3 of our Reaction to the Mutsinzi Report.

[7] Filip Reyntjens : Rwanda : Analyse du Rapport Mutsinzi sur
l’attentat contre l’avion présidentiel.

[8] The visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Kigali, scheduled for 26
February 2010, will mark the normalization of diplomatic relations
between the two countries.

[9] These individuals are : Théoneste Bagosora, Anatole Nsengiyumva,
Aloys Ntabakuze, François Nzuwonemeye, Joseph Nzirorera and Matthieu

[10] The Special Rapporteur of United Nations Committee for Human
Rights, Mr. René Degni Segui (Report of 28/08/1994), the Commission of
Experts (Report of 09/12/1994), the Inquiry Commission of the Senate
of Belgium, the Information Commission of the French Parliament and
the International Group of Prominent Personalities designated by OAU.

[11] Geneva Symposium, Session 5, p. 12.

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