The widow of the assassinated late Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, Ms Agathe Habyarimana, has been cleared by French courts and may no longer face extradition to Rwanda. The Rwandan government, whose leader General Paul Kagame is accused of assassinating his predecessor, has been lobbying the French government and judicial system to have the widow extradited and prosecuted in Rwanda. The lobbying and intense media campaign financed by the Rwandan government is led by a niece of the current Rwandan Minister of Defense General James Kabarebe and her French husband.
The French court decision appears to be a huge blow to Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame himself, especially after a controversial high profile first official visit to France since he seized power, seventeen years ago.
Several independent observers had been wondering why the widow was targetd by the Rwandan government and on the frivolosity of the accusations against her. In fact, French forces on a mission in Kigali flew her out of Rwanda immediately after the plane carrying her husband and the Burndian president, Cyprien Ntaraymira, was show down on April 6, 1992, allegedly by the the Rwandan Patriotic Army led by General Paul Kagame.
The 1994 violences in Rwanda began as she was leaving the country. She has since mostly lived in France.
The current Rwandan government has been seeking her extradition after she became a party to a civil suit accusing the Rwandan president Paul Kagame of assassinating Rwandan and Burundian presidents Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira. In general, because of concerns over Rwandan Government poor human rights record, European and American courts have dismissed such cases seeking to have Rwandan citizens sent back to their county for prosecution.
General Paul Kagame is widely viewed around the world as a corrupt and ruthless dictator who has concentrated power, influence and economic riches in the hands on a small clique of individuals connected to his immediate relatives. International media have reported that during this month’s visit to the United Nations, he stayed in Manhattan hotel where a room costs US $ 20,000 for single night. During the stay, he was also lobbying Clinton Global Initiative to give aid to his impoverished county. With an annual GDP per capita of $400 (see Rwanda: When Statistics Lie) , an average Rwandan would have to 50 years to pay for one night room rate.
General Paul Kagame, besides being accused of assassinating President Juvenal Habyarimana by French and Spanish courts, is also accused by the United Nations of mass murders, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against Rwandan and Congolese ethnic Hutus. According to the United Nations and independent non government and humanitarian organizations, President Paul Kagame and his army are responsible for massacring close to 6 millions Rwandan and Congolse from 1997 to 2003 (see CANADA TO PRESS KAGAME AND UN ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUTU GENOCIDE
of September 12, 2010).
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