Former Rwandan first lady sued in France

14th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 13, 2007 (AFP) - Survivors of the Rwandan genocide have filed suit in France against the widow of the country's former Hutu president for complicity in crimes against humanity, sources close to the case said Tuesday.

PARIS, Feb 13, 2007 (AFP) - Survivors of the Rwandan genocide have filed suit in France against the widow of the country's former Hutu president for complicity in crimes against humanity, sources close to the case said Tuesday.

The plaintiffs, a French-based support group for the families of genocide victims, suspect Agathe Habyarimana of playing a role in the genocide unleashed against Rwanda's minority Tutsis following her husband's murder.Habyarimana's plane was shot down on April 6, 1994 in circumstances that have yet to be fully elucidated, triggering the 100-day genocide in which some 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis but also moderate Hutus, were killed.

His widow -- who has lived in France since she was evacuated by French troops after the genocide -- is accused by some of heading an inner circle of her husband's supporters that orchestrated the killings.

Kigali suspects her of complicity in the genocide and has repeatedly called for her arrest.

Last month France's refugee office OFPRA turned down her request for asylum, saying in its ruling that she may have taken part "as an instigator or accomplice" in the "crime of genocide".

According to Sophie Dechaumet, a lawyer for the CPCR plaintiffs' group, "the suit was filed in the light of the damning conclusions of the OFPRA report".

Relations between Kigali and Paris have collapsed in recent months amid bitter mutual recriminations over the 1994 genocide.

Kigali suspects France of associating with extremist Hutu militia in the period running up to the genocide, while a French judge has called for Rwanda's current leaders to be investigated for alleged links to Habyarimana's death.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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