When two Presidents are murdered and the UN remains silent

By: Jennifer Fierberg

Nineteen years ago today the Falcon 50 Jet carrying two heads of state in Central Africa was shot down by a surface to air missile. Presidents Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprian Ntaryamira of Burundi were both killed along with their aides and the French crew members. Theories and testimonies of how and why this happened have been surfacing since the day it happened. Numerous reports such as THE MUTSINZI REPORT, Marc Trevidic’s report, Judge Bruguière’s Report, as well as theories about the missing black box and testimonies of former loyalists to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda have all sought to answer the questions raised regarding this tragedy.  The interesting thread that weaves through all of these reports is the question of ‘Was Paul Kagame involved in this terrorist act or not?’ That question remains unanswered to the satisfaction of any investigator.

A glaring question persists, why has the death of two presidents gone unpunished? Why has there been no serious UN investigation into this crime? One group has decided to call upon the UN to conduct such an investigation.

The Global Campaign for Rwandan’s Human Rights has published a statement today calling for the UN to investigate this crime once and for all. This group was established by young human rights and peace advocates from around the world who are concern of continuing lack of Human Rights for Rwandans in Rwanda and other countries. Their full statement is below and unedited:

Statement from the Global Campaign for Rwandan’s Human Rights:

19 years on, UN should investigate assassinations of former Rwandan and Burundian presidents

Exactly 19 years ago today; 6th April 1994, in Kigali- Rwanda two presidents were assassinated shot down in a Rwandan presidential plane. Those presidents were Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprian Ntaryamira of Burundi. They were coming from a regional meeting which was held in Tanzania.

After their killing genocide erupted in Rwanda and more than 800,000 people dies in around 100 days.

On a letter sent to the United Nations secretary Ban Ki-moon, Global Campaign for Rwandan’s Human Rights requested him to order an investigation that would shed a light on assassinations of those two presidents.

Investigating and bringing to justice those responsible of that terrorist attack would be giving justice to family members of those who were killed in that presidential plane and contributing to the justice for those who were killed during the Rwandan Genocide and other killings that occurred after the genocide.

Global Campaign for Rwandan’s Human Rights reminded the United Nations secretary that UN has already ordered and investigated the assassination of the former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto assassinated Rawalpindi on 27 December 2007 and the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik.

Hariri assassinated in Beirut on 14th February 2005.

Rene Claudel Mugenzi the coordinator of the Global Campaign for Rwandan’s Human Rights said’’ If UN can investigate the assassination of Prime Ministers who were assassinated when they had left office, UN should be able to investigate assassination of presidents killed while in office. Investigating an event that triggered a terrible genocide is important in bringing justice and healing that are important and strong foundation for a much needed reconciliation and sustainable peace.’’

Global Campaign for Rwandan’s Human Rights will run the justice for Habyalimana and Ntaryamira until is done starting Saturday 6th April 2013.


April 6th marks the time of remembrance of the Genocide in Rwanda for those who are allowed to publically remember their loved ones who were brutally murdered. This time of remembrance does not take into account the period of 1990-1994 and those who perished in the northern part of Rwanda at the hands of the RPF. But that is a story for another time.

The phrase “Never Again” has been said again and again. This writer hopes that one day it will actually be put into effect.

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