Memorandum On The Assassination of Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana


by Felicien Kanyamibwa, Ph.D., MqBA.

       ©1999 Felicien Kanyamibwa.

     1. Introduction

    In April of 1994, the small, central African country of Rwanda broke out into an
uncontrollable civil war when hostile missiles shot down its president’s airplane. The
chaos that followed created headlines around the world throughout that summer. 

    The world was stunned by the violence perpetuated by what the media consistently referred to as normally peaceful people. Because the shooting of the plane was the trigger that spiraled Rwanda into chaos and civil war, in order to understand what happened, it is important to know who triggered these events, and why. However, there has been no investigation conducted by the UN to uncover the identity of the perpetuators of the sabotage of the presidential plane. In order to pursue peace and reconciliation in Rwanda, those who shot down the plane must be revealed and held accountable. 

     2. History 

    In order to understand the significance of the events surrounding the downing of
President Habyarimana’s airplane on April 6, 1994, it is crucial to have at least a
fundamental understanding of Rwanda’s history. Rwanda’s population traditionally
consisted of 85% Hutu, 10% Tutsi, and 5% Twa. For nearly four hundred years, Tutsis, members of the minority ethnic group, headed by a Mwami (king) ruled the majority of the Hutu ethnic group. The Hutus were treated as “peasants”, and did all of the manual work. Colonialists (Germany and later Belgium) accepted the status quo, and did not try to change the fundamental structure of Rwandan society. 
    In early fifties, Hutus began demanding a better representation in the governing institutions. This led subsequently to the 1959 social revolution which was accompanied by fighting between the two ethnic groups. Consequently, an estimated 100,000 Tutsis fled to neighboring countries including Burundi, Congo, Uganda, and Tanzania. 
    Bloodshed and violence was rampant during this period. In 1962, Rwanda became independent under their new president, Gregoire Kayibanda. The latter was member of the Hutu ethnic group. For the first time, Hutus were permitted to obtain secondary and post-secondary education.

    In 1973, a coup established Maj. Gen. Juvenal Habyarimana as the new president
Habyarimana who started a relatively peaceful era. Under his rule,Tutsis enjoyed peace and economical prosperity. It should be noted though, that Habyarimana did not allow those Tutsis who had fled during the wake of 1959 social revolution to return massively to Rwanda. The reason put forward was that the country was too small to accommodate such massive return. 
    In fact, Rwanda is one of the most overpopulated countries in the world. However, this created tension, and those exiled Tutsis felt, perhaps justifiably, that
they should have had the right to return to their homeland. Meanwhile within Rwanda, ordinary Hutus and Tutsis went to school together, went to church together, worked side and helped build up an infrastructure that was the envy of that whole region of Africa.
This account/essay covers the following points:

3. Climate – Spring 1994
3.1 Burundi
3.2 Uganda
3.3 Invasion of Rwanda
3.4 Assassinations in Rwanda
3.5 The Arusha Accord
3.6 Warning Signs
3.6.1 The RPF Battalion
3.6.2 The RPF and the air traffic Corridor
3.6.3 Meeting of the final preparation
3.6.4 Delay Tactics
3.6.5 Dallaire’s Question
3.6.6 Regional Summit of Heads of State on Burundi
4. The Missile Attack on President Habyalimana’s Plane
4.1 The Night of the Assassination
4.2 Different Reactions after the Assassination
4.2.1 Inside Rwanda
4.2.2 Rwandan Patriotic Front
4.2.3 UNAMIR
4.2.4 President Museveni and His Army
4.2.5 The Tanzanian Government
4.2.6 Government of Burundi
5. Regarding the Arsenals Used to Shoot Down the Plane
6. Possible Suspects
6.1 The Burundese Connection
6.2 The Moderate Opposition
6.3 Hutu “Extremists” from the Former Rwandan Government
6.4 The Rwandan Patriotic Front, with Assistance from its Foreign
6.4.1 Motive
6.4.2 The Plan to Remove Habyiramana
6.4.3 The Means to Shoot the Presidential Plane
7. The Investigation
7.1 The Interim Government
7.2 The RPF Government
7.3 The United Nations Organizations
7.4 Organization of African Unity
7.5 The Belgian Government
7.6 The French Government
7.7 The American Government
7.8 International Civil Aviation Organization
8. Call for an Independent Investigation
8.1 The Trigger Event of the Rwandan Tragedy
8.2 Need for Justice and Fairness
9. Conclusions


Amazon Summary

Long ago, the people of Rwanda suffered through a terrible famine. The rains did not come to help the crops grow, the grass withered, and the soil became so dry that it cracked. The people looked to their village chiefs for guidance, but the chiefs could not help. They looked to the king, but he could not bring the rain. Only the magical tail of a mystical creature could save the kingdom. Maguru is Rwanda’s best hunter, even better than the king—and certainly better than his jealous village chief. He’s hunted the buffalo, the antelope, and the leopard, but he has never hunted the deadly imparambwe. To save his people, Maguru must now learn to outrun the wind and outwit a creature that can change shape in the wink of an eye. If he succeeds, he’ll be a hero. If he fails, his people will die of starvation. Maguru is determined not to fail.

Legs of Tornado

Legs of Tornado
Legs of Tornado - The Human Who Outran the Wind

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