Monday, November 5, 2018

Finally its here

I thought you may need to read this.

Rwanda: Habyarimana killed by his own army, UK experts report

Nairobi (Kenya) — Rwanda is this week expected to release the findings of an investigation by UK defence experts into the causes of the April 6, 1994 air crash that killed president Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart Cyprian Ntaryamira, triggering off a 100-day genocide in which nearly a million Rwandans, mainly Tutsi, died.

The presidential jet carrying Habyarimana and his entourage was brought down on the evening of April 6, 1994, as he returned from a heads of state summit in Dar es Salaam where he had made a commitment to integrate fighters of the Rwanda Patriotic Front into the armed forces and to hold elections for a new all-inclusive national government.

This commitment would fulfil the final requirements of a peace agreement arrived at in talks that started in 1992, to return peace to the country which had been at war since October 1, 1990 when exiled Rwandans launched a guerrilla campaign from neighbouring Uganda.

After it was hit by two missiles at about 20.30hrs local time, the jet, which was on the final approach to Kigali International Airport, burst into flames before crashing just outside the compound of the presidential residence.

Although Habyarimana's assassination has often been projected as the trigger to the mass killings that left nearly a million Tutsi dead and moderate Hutu dead, the inquiry report, a copy of which The EastAfrican has seen, paints a picture of a system that was imploding from within as disgruntled elements from the president's inner circle turned on him, to plot his death.

Coming more than 15 years after the event, it is the first open inquiry into the events and broader circumstances surrounding the death of president Habyarimana.

In the absence of physical and technical evidence such as flight data recorders that would have aided the investigation, the report's findings are largely based on eyewitness accounts and the analysis of those accounts and remnants of physical evidence by experts from the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom based at Cranfield University -- who conclude that the projectiles that brought down the Dassault Falcon 50 plane registration 9XR-NN came from areas controlled by Habyarimana's own forces.

The inquiry also finds evidence of a plot to assassinate the former president, going back months before the actual event as a number of print and electronic media houses allied to the extremist wing of the ruling party predicted the act.

The experts from Cranfield University were commissioned by the inquiry team to draw technical conclusions from analysis of whatever remained of the wreckage, specifically to determine if the tri-jet was brought down by a missile and if possible the type of missile involved. It had been alleged immediately after Habyarimana's death, that his jet was shot down by Russian-made SAM 16 missiles from a valley in the vicinity of the airport by operatives of the Rwanda Patriotic Front led by then rebel leader Maj Paul Kagame.

However, eyewitness accounts rule out this possibility as the area was heavily patrolled by Habyarimana's presidential guard.

Though not naming the specific type of missile, the British experts rule out the possibility that a SAM 16 missile was used in the attack.

Over the course of the 15-month investigation that began on December 1, 2007, members of the inquiry team recorded testimonies from eyewitnesses, many of them former members of the presidential guard as well as members of the Belgian peacekeeping contingent who were within the crash zone and either witnessed the attack, or its immediate aftermath. The inquiry also relied on testimonies extracted by French judicial authorities from indicted masterminds of the genocide, now in detention at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha.

Witness number one, codified as GM who was part of the Belgian contingent of Unamir, places the launch of the missiles that brought down the aircraft at the military camp just below the airport.

"On April 6, 1994 towards 20.30 while I was on duty in the radio room, I noticed that the lights on the runway had just lit up. The runway was only lit up during the landing manoeuvres of the plane. I therefore left the control tower and leant on the guardrail of the platform to watch the plane come in, to land.

"At the moment where the plane approached the airport, we did not know which plane it was. I saw a luminous point leave the ground. The direction of the start of this point was the Kanombe camp. One could have thought that it was a shooting star by virtue of its configuration.

"When I saw the point take the direction of the plane, I realised that it must be missile fire. At that moment, the lights of the plane went out but the plane did not explode following the first shooting. The theory of the missile fire was reinforced when I saw a second luminous point, the same as the first coming from the same place, taking the direction of the plane. The plane exploded at that moment and fell more or less 500 metres from the president's residence, which was in line with the landing runway," he told the inquiry.

His account is corroborated by several other witnesses who were within the airport precincts at the time.

For their part, the British experts concluded: "Analysis of the possible metal fragments both free standing and embedded recovered from the wreckage and detailed above has been carried out in the UK. The conclusion of the analysis is that the embedded fragments are not consistent with having come from a SAM 16 warhead of Russian manufacture. The embedded material may have originated from a missile manufactured by another source or may have been generated as a result of the explosion of the aircraft.

"On the basis of the evidence both provided by way of witness statements and as a result of the authors' examination of possible missile launch locations contained within these statements it may be concluded that the aircraft was destroyed by one or more surface to air missiles fired from a position within the envelope marked by the authors on the attached map at Annex G."


Will Peace prevail?

Will peace prevail when we still have people who do and act the way it is happening all over?

Will peace prevail when some people think that other people’s lives mean nothing?

Will peace prevail when people don’t value lives?

Will peace prevail when killings continue to be the Breakfast, lunch and dinner to some people?

Will peace prevail when we still sleep under terror?

Will peace prevail when we still hear grenades?

Will peace prevail when we can see the tears of children crying for their beloved ones?

Will peace prevail when we still hear the sounds of bullets?

Will we ever achieve peace in our world today?

Will we ever achieve human rights?

Will we ever achieve tolerance in our hearts?

Will we ever get rid of thirst and hunger for power?

Will we ever get the satisfaction of our hearts to end violence?

Will people ever stop their greed and learn to leave with others instead of elimination?

Will we ever learn to be human before we become Human Rights Activists?

Will Peace prevail?

Will peace prevail when we still have people who do and act the way it is happening all over?

Will peace prevail when some people think that other people’s lives mean nothing?

Will peace prevail when people don’t value lives?

Will peace prevail when killings continue to be the Breakfast, lunch and dinner to some people?

Will peace prevail when we still sleep under terror?

Will peace prevail when we still hear grenades?

Will peace prevail when we can see the tears of children crying for their beloved ones?

Will peace prevail when we still hear the sounds of bullets?

Will we ever achieve peace in our world today?

Will we ever achieve human rights?

Will we ever achieve tolerance in our hearts?

Will we ever get rid of thirst and hunger for power?

Will we ever get the satisfaction of our hearts to end violence?

Will people ever stop their greed and learn to leave with others instead of elimination?

Will we ever learn to be human before we become Human Rights Activists?

Promoting Education for the Future

As UNESCO is celebrating World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April by highlighting the need to preserve creativity from piracy. The Day also marks the launch of celebrations in Ljubljana (Slovenia), World Book Capital for 2010.

I was thinking of what this date means to Rwandans after the week of mourning and the continued 100 days of commemoration of the 1994 Genocide, I was imagining the meaning of World Book and Copyright Day and I thought I could visit some schools around to see what it really means.

One thing that I believe for my Rwanda is that education is a necessary step in Rwanda’s reconciliation work from the 1994 genocide. Rwanda’s current population is about 9 million, but it is estimated to double by the year 2020 with 60% of the population below the age of 20. Rwanda is the most densely populated and the most impoverished country in Africa, in order to grow from poverty to middle income, Rwanda’s poor must benefit equally to the upper classes. Over half the population (56.9%) lives under the poverty line and 36.9% live in extreme poverty. One opportunity for equal success is through equal education. Education initiatives must be developed and enforced now in order to combat this foreseeable challenge.

Over the past 5 years, primary school attendance has slightly increased. Eight out of ten of the official primary school age is enrolled. Secondary school attendance, on the other hand is severely low. Only three out of ten children among secondary school age is enrolled. This is due to the fee discrepancy between the school levels:

As stated in the EDPRS document (a government’s second medium term strategy towards attainment of the long-term Rwanda vision 2020 objectives) which aims at consolidating and extending the strong achievements in human development while promoting three flagships programmes: sustainable growth for jobs and exports, vision 2020 umurenge (integrated rural development program to eradicate extreme poverty and release the productive capacities of the poor) and good governance.

As indicated in the EICV2 surveys, the primary enrollment rate increased from 74% to 86% between 2000/01 and 2005/06 (appendix1: table 9); the Ministry of Education’s management system data reports an increase in net primary enrolment from 75% to 95%. The improvement has been seen in both rural and urban areas.

When I was talking to the students and pupils in the schools they indicated lack of peer leadership and role models in writing and reading. They requested that libraries and sensitization about the culture of reading and writing should be emphasized. So Rwandans it is up to us to help and support our brothers, sisters, children, aunts and uncles by writing and reading so that we can observe the World Book and copy right day. Congratulations to scholars and individuals who have inspired us by producing books.