UDPR, PSR object to testimony of a witness to Habyalimana’s air crash

By Elias Hakizimana

Democratic Union of the Rwandan People (UDPR) and The Rwandan Socialist Party (PSR) have revealed that the testimony of Jackson Munyeragwe ablut the air crash which claimed the life of Juvenal Habyalimana, the then president of Rwanda was fully controversial.

Both parties said that Jackson Munyeragwe, whose real name is James Munyandinda, is among the half dozen of former RDF deserters who paraded at the Saint –Eloi Gallery of ‘Palais de Justice’ in Paris from Rwanda since 2001 and adhered to opposition factions in exile.

UDPR and PSR told the media on this Monday November 6, 2017 that James Munyandinda used pseudonym Jackson Munyeragwe to deliver fake witness on the crash against the Falcon 50 Aircraft  of the then President Juvenal Habyarimana.

The previous testimonies before the one Munyandinda involved Aloys Ruyenzi who confirms that the missiles had been put in a wooden package before being concealed under a pile of firewood in a Mercedes.

The second of Emile Gafirita ascertains that they had been packaged in a blanket, camouflaged under a mattress and cloth rags, while James Munyandinda indicates they had been packaged in two original boxes bearing their Rusian origin references “SA-16 IGLA” and other imprints in Cyrillic (Russian language).

According to Pie Nizeyimana, UDPR’s Chariman, all these testimonies are controversial due to the different dates of accuracy and none is true.

“We cannot trust that what they say is not the hungry-based rumors to gain some profits from France. We all know the intervention of French people in the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in 1994 which decimated over one million people,” Nizeyimana said.

He said that all the testimonies incriminating Paul Kagame and his major collaborators in the attack of 6 April 1994 are false as they were not accompanied by any material evidence.

However, according to the statement by UDPR and PSR, the real perpetrators of the bombing of the then President Habyarimana’s Falcon-50 was revealed by Colette Braeckman, a renowned journalist of the Brussels’ Journal “ le soir” in her sensational article.

“She had received reliable testimony that the attack against the then President Habyarimana’s plane was perpetrated by two French soldiers from DAMI (Military Detachment to Instruction,” the statement says.

“She even indicated the nickname of the one of the two soldiers: Etienne who was deployed in Rwanda from October 1990 to December 1994, and shortly thereafter deployed in Burundi before coming back to Rwanda in February 1994,” it adds.

The statement further says that a French researcher, Michel Sitbon carried out verifications basing on which it is possible today, establish that “Etienne” is the pseudonym of a soldier whose name is Pascal Estreveda who is actually specialist of ballistics.

According to Alphonse Kayiranga Mukama, PSR Secretary General, the Government of France should show the truth on hidden papers taken to their country after the crash of Habyarimana’s Falcon-50.

“If the French govt is really seeking the truth, we also wish to know the truth’ they should avail papers they hid to show the truth,” Kayiranga said, adding that opposition soldiers ‘who gave fake testimony’ were looking for French benefits such as VISA and more.

“We must demolish such testimony as Rwandans as it is meant to mislead Rwandans and Africans, should they come and open those papers to let us know what is behind them,” Kayiranga added.

Both parties UDPR and PSR recommend the government of Rwanda to challenge the French justice as an investigator and declare null and void the appearance of James Kabarebe, the Rwanda’s Minister of Defence Before Judge Jean-Marc Herbaut.

“In any country, no one can serve as a judge and party to the case at the same time and this would be a denial of justice. And, since it is amply clear the France official interest is to continuously jeopardise our Rwandan compatriots and divert attention from its own involvement in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” they contended.

Both of the political parties urge France to unconditionally declassify all the archives related to its intervention in Rwanda between October 1990 and august 1994 and more specifically to personal archives belonging to the then President François Mitterrand.

Since 2004, French intelligence services and generally the then Government of Mitterrand are in the dock for the case of the “crash” of the then Habyarimana’s plane, which entails their direct responsibility in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

But shall we, one day get to know the role that different French personalities played in this heinous tragedy? Our hope lies in getting open access to “military classified information”. The statement by the two political parties says.






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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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