A look into the assassination of President Habyarimana and the attack on his plane on the 6-7th April 1994!
“The attitude of these military personnel can be understood insofar as they have always been pampered by the regime of President Habyarimana. For this reason, they remain impervious to the current political changes and are looking to use any means whatsoever to hold onto their master, who, despite his florid entreaty to the Rwandan people to uphold the Peace Treaty, is in fact the instigator of a diabolical scheme to sow disorder and desolation amongst the population. The events that occurred recently in Kirambo, Mutura and Ngenda are sufficient testimony to this” (Re: Machiavellian plan by President Habyarimana, 03.12.1993, To: The Commandant, United Nations Mission for Assistance to Rwanda, MINUAR, Kigali).
Here is also a prequel to the killing of President Habyarimana… which should not be overlooked as the arms trade and ammunition delivery from China would be substantial, together with another one, I will not show is the way the Rwandan Government order to get Technical Service from Brazil. After this I will look into the aspects of the killing and witnesses to the murder of an Executive of Rwanda 1994.
There is also a Secret Loan and Arms deal with the Chinese Government:
“The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Rwandan Republic sends its compliments to the Embassy of the Popular Republic of China in Kigali and, following the verbal memo n°0083/16.00/CAB of 01 February 1992, has the honour of sending it in annex the list of weapons and munitions requirements within the framework of the long-term concessionary loan already accepted by the Chinese party. The Ministry asks the Embassy to send it the draft agreement for this loan for examination and observation. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Rwandan Republic thanks the Embassy of the Popular Republic of China in Kigali, in advance, for its friendly intervention and would like to take the opportunity to reiterate the assurances of its highest consideration” (Rwandan Government – ‘N° A56/15.00/CAB’ 24.02.1992, Embassy of the Popular Republic of China in Kigali).
The now deceased, Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana that went down in 1994 and was one of the actions that sparked the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda. As I have looked through some documents that says certain things and certain eye-witness reports and such, that gives an in-depth look and fresh stance on the matter, as there still unclear about it. Like there are still uncertainty about the plane, that was carrying Dag Hammarskjöld, the then United Nation Secretary General who lost his life in a plane crash around Ndola, Zambia in 1961.
Thierry Charlier said this: “I would also point out to you that I learned from a Belgian living opposite the residence of the Prime Minister, “Agathe” in Kigali that the Rwandan press agency filmed the serious beating of 3 Belgian soldiers on the property of the Prime Minister…I did not have time to speak further with this individual. I report that European civilian witnesses told me. That in Kigali roadblocks and soldiers were already in place at certain intersections within the city before the attack on the presidential aircraft. These intersections were not usually occupied at normal times. I can add that a soldier of the 2 Bn Cdo told me that he had seen that the markings on the runway had been extinguished just before the landing of the presidential aircraft. During the afternoon, Mr. Charlier notified us of the name of the French Vice-Consul in Butare: BOUSSAC” (Gendarmerie, 16.05.1994).
For report No. 684: “Serubuga, Bagasora, Buregeya, Rwagafilita and others played a role in the attack. I don’t know anything about the assassination of our paratroopers. Nothing allowed us to think that such a thing could happen. I did not hear the communications of the Paras who were killed. With regard to radio RTLM, I only listen to it rarely, but I heard the translations made by the staff because the essential part of the broadcasts were in Kinyarwanda. Comments have been broadcast in the style: “the Belgians have money, it’s from them that we should take it”, “The Belgians killed your president, you should kill a Belgian at this or that place” or things of this kind. I did not hear them personally. As far as I’m aware, the FAR shouldn’t have had missiles” (Report 684, 1994).
From the witness Herman Trog said this: “on 06/04/94, during the afternoon, it was announced on the radio that the President would return from DAR ES SALAAM” (…)”One of their acquaintances, Mrs. BOVEN (of Zairean origin) was at the swimming pool of the Hotel “VILLAGE URUGWIRO” in KACYIRU on 06/04/94 around 17:00, when she was warned by a captain of the Rwandan army that it was advisable for her to go home since serious things were going to happen” (…)”Behind the CND on the road towards DEUTSCHE WELLE, there was a large area somewhere owned by the President, where the INTERAHAMWE carried out its training” (…)”During the period when the disturbances had begun, an anonymous pamphlet had circulated which stated that the Belgians were going to “turn Rwanda into a Somalia” (…)”During the broadcasts of RTLM, on the day following the attack, a type of debate took place between HABYMANA and a woman. This broadcast was rebroadcast several times on that day. It stated that the FPR had shot down the presidential plane with the collaboration of the Belgians. The Rwandans should take revenge and defend themselves. This information was broadcast in the local dialect” (…)”In another broadcast, it was mentioned that people should not ask themselves who the whites were that they had seen. It was observed that it was Belgians who were in the process of pillaging around GISOZI and GACULIRO” (…)”On RADIO KIGALI, between 07/04 and 11/04, Mathieu GIRUTZI (MRND) had cried that it was the 10 paras’ own fault if they had been killed because they themselves had initiated the attack” (Pro Justitia, 1995).
Then this was being reported by Maurice Timsonet said this: “During a security meeting with the authorities of the Rwandan gendarmerie, chaired by the Gen-Chief of staff of the gendarmerie NDINDILYIMANA (the 5th (?) at 14:00)” (…)”had the impression that this latter party, whom I had previously met (CTM between 1980 and 1983 and visit in November 1992), avoided advertising the fact that he knew me in the presence of his officers. At this meeting, it was decided that the weapons search activities carried out by the Rwandan gendarmerie in collaboration with UNCIVPOL, should take place starting from the night of 7/8 April. I also had the impression that this type of operation. On the evening of 6 April, I found myself at PEGASUS. I remember that initially there was confusion and that the sector thought that a munitions depot had exploded on the KANOMBE side. The communications deriving from the airport group soon clearly indicated that it was a small aircraft which had been shot down with missiles. At this point I also said that if it was not a coup d’état, it bore a strange resemblance to one. The confirmation of the assassination was given by VITAMINE, who had contact with the spouse of the pilot of the presidential aircraft. on disturbed a fair number of officers of the gendarmerie present at this meeting” (…)”During the night of 6 to 7 April, an order was received from K9 cancelling all escorts, including the permanent ones, hence that of AGATHE. The message announcing this decision derived from S 14 (Captain SCHEPKENS) who received it from the commander of the sector, Colonel MARCHAL. At this point, this decision was notified to the teams in question, including Y6. This measure seemed logical to me in view of the events. I am not aware that it was the fruit of coordination between KIBAT and the sector. It was simply announced by radio. Some time afterwards (18 minutes according to the campaign journal), the permanent escorts were re-established. The escort for AGATHE is a permanent escort. In the same fashion as the cancellation message, this latter order was broadcast and I could not say what the motivation for it was. By permanent escort, one should understand that the staff carrying out this type of mission makes itself available to a designated individual and ensures the safety of his/her movements until this individual dismisses them” (…)”During the AGATHE mission, the problems faced by Lt. LOTIN, difficulties in finding an open route, problems at the domicile of the minister herself, were serious but did not seem to us to be exceptional relative to other situations experienced in other places” (Report 985/94, 13.06.1994).
The witness report from Jean Turatsinre has said this: “On 6 April 1994, around 21.00, I received the order from Lieutenant-Colonel Bavugamenschi to reinforce the security of Agathe Uwilingiyimana and Faustin Twagiramungu” (…)”On arriving at the presidency, we were stopped by the presidential guards who were in an armoured vehicle and who prohibited us from continuing and passing to reach the residence of Agathe Uwilingiyimana” (…)”The presidential guards entered Agathe’s property two or three times without finding her there, until they discovered the hole in the fence. The presidential guards first searched Agathe’s house but without finding her there” (…)”The gendarmes had hidden her with the Senegalese (PNUD)” (…)”I think that by acting in this way, Agathe wished to protect their children, who were refugees and were also with the United Nations volunteers (PNUD). Agathe and her husband were killed on the spot” (…)”The Prime Minister Agathe was one of the threatened ministers and since 7 April 1994 at midnight/midday?, the Rwandan gendarmerie and hence I myself also knew that three ministers had been assassinated (the information minister, the agriculture minister and Landuald, Chairman of the Liberal party). The commander of the Presidential Guard assigned on another occasion to the gendarmerie was a witness to these three assassinations” (…)”Before dying, Agathe attempted to reach General Dallaire to obtain assistance” (…)”The presidential guard, the Para- commandos stationed at the camp in Kanombé, The Recce Battalion (composed of men from the president’s region) and the FAR battalion stationed at Mont Kigali in HUYE took part in the massacres. The last named FAR battalion carried out the first massacres in the centre of the city” (Pro Justitia, 10.05.1995).
The Witness of Andre Renouprez said this: “This aircraft circled around the airport after the attack waiting for authorisation to land. As it did not have authorisation and was beginning to have fuel problems, it was diverted to NAIROBI. On the radio CAPT. VANDRIESSCHE reported that he found it strange that the firemen from the airport who had come for the burning aircraft seemed to be leaving rapidly in the opposite direction. He also reported that he had tried to approach the aircraft but that this was not possible because of the heat” (…)”I explained to them having found out in the meantime that it was the aircraft of the PRESIDENT of RWANDA that had just exploded” (…)”I report on questioning that at the time of the aircraft crash, in the minutes that followed, I did not hear shooting around our position. Only the following day did we hear shooting quite loudly from the side of the CKD. These shots were from automatic firearms and artillery shooting” (Record 780/94, 31.05.1995).
What the witness Marc Ferdinand Beyens said: “Two or three weeks before the attack on the President, the wing received from on high the order to be on its guard and to dig in. Rifleman’s trenches had to be dug. They were waiting for something. They were very nervous. We felt there was something in the air and something was going to happen. During the night of 6 to 7 April 1994, at about 00.30 hours, I was informed where I was by the Second Captain of the C.T.M. of the attack on the President. The following day, during the briefing, more details were given to us about the attack and the death of the President was confirmed. Despite the fact that the Rwandan army was expecting something, the attack on the President was, for them, a complete surprise” (…)”During the night of 7 to 8 April 1994, while I was on duty, I was informed between 04.00 hours and 06.00 hours by the Chief Warrant Officer Charlier from Kigali that 10 Belgian servicemen had been killed. He gave me no more information about this. Later I learnt that the men, at the time of their capture, had to hand over their weapons. With regard to the arms of the Rwandan army, and more specifically the firearms, I know that they were equipped with Fal, AK 47 and R4. These weapons had bayonets, however these were not placed on the weapons. The servicemen wore them in the belt or kept them in their backpacks.” (Pro Justitia, 10.05.1994)
Here is what the witness Jean Birara said this: “Mr Birara pointed out that he saw together with 6 persons, on 20.02.94 the list of people who were to be massacred. General Nsabimana who he presented to us as a “moderate” managed to have the start of the massacres postponed three times but it was a Presidential decree. President Habyarimana had to give the signal” (…)”At the end of the month of March (30 or 31), President MOBUTU telephoned the HABYALIMANA residence and found him absent; he spoke with Agathe.H. and told her that attack was being planned and would be perpetrated on the return of President HABYALIMANA from Dar-Es-Salaam” (…)”In any event, with the postponement of the massacres, the President seemed decided this time to apply the ARUSHA agreements; convinced finally by the minister DELACROIX. On 4/04/1994, Easter Monday, Colonel RUSATIRA, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence for 15 years, then the Director of School of Officers, replacing BUREGEYA, came to me at midday. He told me that the President had just requested his Chief of Staff, RUHIGIRA Enoch, to prepare everything for the service of swearing in deputies and government, on his return from ARUSHA. When the in-laws and the officers were informed they summoned BAGOSORA back who was on holiday in Gisenyi, he got back to Kigali on 5/04/1994 in the evening. He took the decision to attack the President’s aircraft and to recall SERUBUGA, BUREGEYA and RWAGAFILITA (the three discontented officers)” (…)”The firing came from the Kanombe camp (near to the President’s residence and the airport); after the aeroplane had crashed, from the same camp, the President’s residence was fired on to be certain that the guard soldiers who were there (generally: 200 soldiers with 3 armoured cars) would not counter attack. (The Presidential Guard includes 1,200 soldiers; during the war, 200 guarded the Residence)” (…)”1) After the death of the President, Agathe.H. personally gave (assisted by the two sisters of the President who are nuns) the order to execute:
– NDASINGWA Landward, a Tutsi Minister of Employment
– RUCOGOSA, Minister of Information.
– KAVARUGANDA, President of the Supreme Court.
– UWILINGIYIMANA Agathe, Prime Minister. The soldiers who arrived at the house of UWILINGIYIMANA Agathe telephoned Mrs. HABYALIMANA to ask for instructions; they were told to force the domestic staff of the Prime Minister to rape her, then to kill her. “And the Belgian UN Peacekeepers?”, the Rwandan soldiers asked. Reply: “if they saw everything, they must be discretely removed1… Furthermore, it was Belgium that assassinated my husband.” (Report 734, 26.05.1994).
This is what the witness Rene Marcel Ghislain Chataine said this: “Personally, I would not be surprised if General Nsabimana, the former Colonel Serubuga (retired), Colonel Baransalitse and Colonel Bagasora were implicated as backers in this attack. Furthermore, I have heard it said that after the events Col. E.R. Serubuga took his office back…” (…)”As far as I am aware the FAR did not have Ground-Air missiles. With regard to individual arms, I cannot give you much information given my position. I know that there were kalaschnikovs, FAL, R 4, G7, MAG and FALCOS” (Report 677, 09.05.1994).
Here is what the witness Benoit Roger Ghislain Michael Daubie said this:
“The number of munitions removed was very large. I take for example the distribution of 1000 120 m/m mortar shots over Gitarama. There remained about 20 % of the munitions in the warehouse. This happened about 1 month before the attack and a week was needed for the transport A FAR lieutenant told me that it was in anticipation of an FPR attack. . .” (Report 685, 10.05.1994)
Then this is what the witness Christian Joseph Jean E. Defraigne said this:
“I was in the Belgian Military village of Nyarutarama. I was blocked at this place. I have nothing in particular to say about the attack and the murder of our 10 paras. What surprised me was the speed of action of the FAR. In less than 20 minutes after the attack the entire town was under control and blocked off. It seemed to me that all these soldiers were aware before the attack of what was going to happen and about what had to be done. We were in the FPR lines and I can say that I was impressed by their good manners” (Report 682, 10.05.1994)
The Witness Athanase Dushimiliana, the inspector of the criminal investigation department at the Regional Court of Kigali said this: “I would like to add here, that the day before on Thursday 7 April in the morning, long periods of shooting resounded in the “French village”. I found out subsequently, from Mr. NKUBITO, current Minister of Justice, who lived in the same district as me, that it was the family of Justin NYONGIRA from the Ministry of Public Works that had been massacred while fleeing. As we had seen the various movements of the killers in uniform wearing a black beret and armed with Kalashnikovs from our garden, we had the feeling, shared by our boy, that these movements were directed from the house of the military neighbour in plot 2. The information was confirmed later by Mr. NKUBITO himself” (CRIM/DA-KK/KGL/95 Case n° 57/95, 05.05.1994).
This here is some witness’s form the day that France is planning to yet again open. The mysterious killing of the President Juvénal Habyarimana that we’re never solved even as there we’re many witness reports. Here are even some other ones as well.
SGR Bastien’s Report:
“There are ± two [illeg] (end of March, shortly after the visit of Mrs CLAES to RWANDA) [illeg] a. the Belgians were planning an attack against President HABYARIMANA b. 5 Belgian paras were preparing to go to Rwanda soon, they had told somebody [illeg] in LIEGE that they had received, instructions to do everything to get President HABYARIMANA” (…) “On 07 April in the morning, a Rwandan inhabitant in the Belgian and who was loyal to President HABYARIMANA [illeg] a. “that the rumours started 15 days earlier [illeg] b’ “that formal proofs of the involvement and even of the instigation of the Belgian government [illeg], that is to say: (1) the statements of the 5 soldiers in LIEGE (see para 1b above (2) the missile that hit the presidential aircraft was fired from KANOMBE camp guarded by Belgian soldiers and that soon after the attack, the blue helmets from Bangladesh [illeg] 5 Belgian paras and they took them to the prison where they were [illeg]” (G. Bastien, 10.04.1994).
Reactions from another Military Intelligence days after Bastien’s affidavit:
“It transpires from them that the place where the missiles were probably fired from is located on the topographical map of Rwanda 1:500000, Kigali region series Z721 pages 16 -17 – 23 – 24 between coordinates 190800 and 190820 from South South East to North North West at a minimum distance of 1 kilometre to a maximum of 5 kilometres. This location was provided by one of the eyewitnesses above who was at coordinates 192812. As regards remark 2.b. (2) of the confidential report from Major-General Bastien – SGR – of 10 April 1994, I can formally assure you that that did not happen in any way” (M. Peeraer, Military Investigator, 13.04.1994 – Letter to MINUAR, Military Investigator on the ground).
Memo – Attack on the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi:
“In Kigali, the presidential guard began the hunt for the attackers. Information, as yet unconfirmed, cites arrests of ministers and well-known personalities, Hutu and Tutsi, political adversaries of President Habyarimana. A confrontation in the capital between the Rwandan army and the FPR seems inevitable. The interior of the country seems calm at the moment. The transition institutions have not yet been set up, so the death of the president leaves the country without any recognised authority (the government and parliament have not been established). A military coup is feared” (Bruno Delaye, 07.04.1994).
Testimony of Inspector of Judicial Police:
“Around two in the morning, I got a call from Colonel Bagosora who told me that I had been appointed temporary Chief of Staff of the Army. We had been informed in the meantime, by telegram, that the President and Chief of Staff were dead.” (…) “During the meeting on the evening of the 7th, I felt some antagonism between Bagosora and the rest of the team, in that Bagosora wanted to take over as president of the crisis committee although it was a military committee. We did not agree to him presiding, as he was retired military and was a politician in his capacity as Director of Cabinet. We wanted the most senior military person to preside, that is, Augustin Ndindiliyimana. He was there during that meeting” (…) “We learned afterwards that Bagosora had a radio network with him, parallel to the normal military network. Via this network he had direct contact with the GP, the para-commando battalion and the reconnaissance battalion. Through this network he was certainly able to issue orders to these units without the military authorities knowing” (Kibibi Kamanzi, Report No. 0142, File No. **/CRIM/KK/KGL/95 File 57/95, J. I. Vandermeersch, 06.07.1995).
Belgium official defense:
“More than a fortnight before the attack on the presidential aircraft, Habyarimana was already being accompanied by a Rwandan or even foreign personage. This would explain the presence of the President of Burundi in President Habyarimana’s plane. A few minutes before the attack, when the presidential aeroplane had received the order, issued by the control tower, to circulate around the Kigali airfield, the Presidential Guard had taken out its heavy arms and started taking up positions in the city. Less than ten minutes after the crash, “Thousand Hills Radio” was giving out the names of the persons killed in the crash, on air” (Belgium – Ministry of Justice, Department of State Security, R. Froyen, Subject: RWANDA: the “Amasasu” Association).
A defense for General Basogora:
“I would like to add that the anti-Belgian campaign at the end of the Habyarimana regime was organised underhandedly by President Mobutu and the French authorities. In fact, when President Habyarimana was in the favour of the Belgians and King Baudouin in particular, Mobotu hoped to use him as an official intermediary between him and the Belgians. However, from the time of his fall from grace, the Rwandans became anti-Belgian in the same way as Mobutu in order to please him. On the other hand, most of the leaders of the opposition had privileged relations with the Belgians, especially the PSD (Democratic Social Party), whether it was Félicien Gatabazi or Dr Gafaranga, former ULB members, without forgetting the great Rwandan scattering in Belgium and the FRP, whose co-ordination office was in Brussels. As the opposition was sure that it would win the elections after the Arusha agreements, it was very likely that the influence of Belgium would supplant that of France in Rwanda, as is currently the case despite certain Belgian areas reticent to the regime. The highest Rwandan authorities are more in Brussels than in Paris. Finally, I will add that the FAR cannot fight the FPR in military terms, and because the elections were uncertain for the MRND and the CDR, it is probable that certain French areas suggested the scorched earth policy that led to the genocide, in order to safeguard their influence within the region” (Joseph Twahirwa, 01.12.1994, Pro Justia, Brussels King’s Prosecutor Apostil: 30.99.3959/94).
Even with all of this there is hard to have all the answers to the brutal killing of the President. How and where they shot-down the airplane, where it the Belgian, was it the Presidential Guards? Was it a mutiny under General Basogora?
We can even question it more as there are plans by the French government to settle the score and clean their hands with new rounds in courts in France. They want to take the case and settle it. They will never take if they we’re involved, as much as the Belgians did what they could do. This here is just some witnesses and their affidavits of the actions they saw in the day and the days after.
And if they used Russian/Soviet weapons imported from China to shoot it down wouldn’t be surprising as the sale of that around the world is something we could imagine. The ones using it could be the Presidential Guards or other wishing to bring down the Rwandan Government, this together with the sentiments against the Arusha Agreement. There are enough pieces and soldiers who could be behind it or act with their skill-set to achieve their goal of getting rid of a President.
I don’t believe the French Government wants the true answer, as they are implicated and was part of donor-community who liked to control and “assist” the Central Government in Kigali and wouldn’t like how they turned to Brussels. Peace.
GENDARMERIE, Judicial Detachment, Military Auditorat1, Palais de Justice, 1000 BRUSSELS (02/508.60.11) Report. No. 687
Dossier No. 02.02545N94/CAB.8 Military Auditorat in BRUSSELS (15.12.1995) – Pro Justitia No. 1008/94
Military Auditorat At the Council of War – Pro Justitia (10.05.1995)
Annex No. One To the Report No. 985/94 – Of the Judicial Detachment – BRUSSELS (13.06.1994)
Judicial Detachment of Brussels (10.05.1994) Report No. 684
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS 71716 Annex n°….01 ………………. of the
Record n°…780/94…… of…31.05.94 of the Gendarmerie Unit JUDICIAL SECONDMENT OF BRUSSELS
GENDARMERIE Judicial Secondment Judge Advocate’s Department Palais de Justice 1000 Brussels ——- N° 676 – Pro Justitia (10.05.1994)
GENDARMERIE Judicial Secondment Judge Advocate’s Department Palais de Justice 1000 BRUSSELS 02/508.60.11 – Report n° 734 (26.05.1994)
GENDARMERIE Judicial Secondment Judge Advocate’s Department Palais de Justice 1000 BRUSSELS 02/508.60.11, Report n° 677 (09.05.1994)
GENDARMERIE Judicial Secondment Judge Advocate’s Department Palais de Justice 1000 BRUSSELS 02/508.60.11, Report n° 685 (10.05.1994)
GENDARMERIE Judicial Secondment Judge Advocate ’s Department Palais de Justice 1000 BRUSSELS 02/508.60.11 Report n° 682 (10.05.1994)
PRO JUSTITIA 1st sheet Report 0011 / Case n° /CRIM/DA-KK/KGL/95 Case n° 57/95 J.I. VANDERMEERSCH (05.05.1994)