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» 22.09.2010 - US fundamentalists "fight proxy war" in Uganda, Rwanda
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» 10.02.2010 - Rwanda urged to cease hostilities

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French judges investigates Rwanda genocide charges

afrol News, 24 November - French authorities have commissioned two senior judges from the Paris Court of Higher Instance to investigate Genocide fugitives on French soil.

The judges, Michele Ganascia and Fabienne Puos, arrived in Rwanda on Saturday and are expected to be in the east Africa state for a week to look into files of four of the dozen indicted fugitives in France.

This is the first mission since Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, cut ties with France in November 2006 in protest at a French judge's call for him to stand trial over the death of his predecessor in April 1994.

The head of Genocide Fugitives Tracking Unit Jean Bosco Mutangana said the two officials will initially work on about ten cases, but in this case, are going to first look at files of four individuals.

France is one of the countries said to have the biggest number of indicted and unindicted key fugitives, mostly former senior government officials, businessmen and clergymen, pinned for playing a significant role in the Genocide that claimed over a million lives.

“The French judiciary did request for our cooperation in ensuring the possible prosecution of these people, and we are willing to share with them all the information we have on the fugitives,” said Mr Mutangana.

Among those under investigation in France, is Agathe Habyarimana, the widow of president Juvenal Habyarimana, who was killed in April 1994 when his plane was shot down, opening a period of violence that would escalate to genocide.

A former businessman Claver Kamana in the now Southern Province; Kamana was last year briefly arrested by French authorities on an indictment issued by the Rwandan Prosecution. He is accused of having financed the Genocide.

A former military officer Lt Col Marcel Bivugabagabo in the then Rwandan Armed Forces (ex-FAR) is accused of spearheading killings, especially in the Northern Province where he operated.

Mr Isaac Kamali who has naturalised for a French citizenship, was in 2007 arrested as he travelled to the United States and was extradited to France since he was travelling on a French passport.

Mr Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, a former parish priest of St Famille Church in Kigali City, is said to have operated in cohort with the then Mayor of Kigali, Col Tharcisse Renzaho, in masterminding killings in different parts of Kigali.

France is investigating a dozen cases of Rwandans suspected of involvement in genocide or crimes against humanity in the 1994 atrocities in which more than 800,000 people were killed, mostly ethnic Tutsis.

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