The secret of the akazu

21 November 2005 by Thierry Cruvellier

Convincing some of Rwanda's key leaders in 1994 to admit to their role in the genocide was what the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) did best in the early years. It has rediscovered this talent in recent months. Michel Bagaragaza's still confidential confession is an impressive example. When questioned by investigators, this close relative of the Habyarimana family revealed that the Rwandan president's brother-inlaw is the one who, on the night of April 6, allegedly ordered the assassination of opposition leaders.

On the evening of April 6, 1994, the day after the attack on President Habyarimana's plane, several opposition leaders, including members of the government and the Prime Minister herself, were assassinated by soldiers in the Presidential Guard. The question is, who gave the order? The prime suspect is Colonel Bagosora, directeur de cabinet at the Ministry of Defense. He has been depicted as the "mastermind" of the political massacres and the genocide. After being held in detention for almost ten years now, Bagosora has just finished testifying in his own trial [see page 2]. He has not given a single explanation. Yet he probably knows the secret that the prosecutor now knows, because the repentant Bagaragaza's source is none other than Bagosora's younger brother, Pasteur Musabe.

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