France drops probe of air crash that led to Rwandan genocide
PARIS (AP) — French authorities have dropped a sensitive investigation into the plane crash that sparked Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, citing lack of sufficient evidence.
Several people close to Rwanda’s current president, Paul Kagame, had been under investigation.
Rwanda’s government denounced the probe as an attempt to deflect responsibility from France’s suspected role in the genocide, and welcomed the decision to end it.
A French judicial official said Wednesday that investigating judges decided last week to close the case, based on a request from prosecutors.
The official provided no details about the decision.
The April 6, 1994 plane crash killed Rwanda’s then-President Juvenal Habyarimana, an ethnic Hutu. Militants from the Hutu majority blamed minority Tutsis for the death, sparking the ethnic slaughter of some 800,000 people.
France was Rwanda’s longtime benefactor, and the plane had a French crew. The cause of the crash has long been a contentious issue.