Rwandan panel says army shot down president's jet

The death of President Juvenal Habyarimana helped key off the 1994 genocide

By Associated Press
Published January 12, 2010 1:44PM (EST)

A Rwandan government-commissioned inquiry has concluded that soldiers shot down the president's plane on the eve of the 1994 genocide.

The panel, which released its findings late Monday, interviewed hundreds of people who were on duty at the time.

The plane of President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, was shot down on April 6, 1994. Rwanda recognizes the next day as the start of the genocide unleashed by Hutu extremists on Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus.

The killings spread across the country and lasted 100 days, until a Tutsi, Paul Kagame, led his rebel army to victory.

Rwanda formed the panel in response to a French judicial investigation into the crash. The plane's crew members were French.

Associated Press

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