Author: Filip Reyntjens

Working paper 2020.05

On July 3, 2020 the investigating chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal upheld the December 21, 2018 decision of the investigating judges Herbaut and Poux, dismissing, for lack of sufficient evidence, the case regarding the missile attack, on April 6, 1994, against the plane of Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana. This decision meant the abandonment of proceedings against nine suspects close to the current Rwandan
President, Paul Kagame. The terrorist act of April 6 heralded the resumption of the Rwandan civil war, the genocide of the Tutsi and the seizure of power by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Subsequently, it also deeply destabilized the entire Great Lakes region. While the civil parties announced an appeal in the Court of Cassation and certain voices1 wish to see other avenues of investigation explored, this decision marks the
provisional end of a legal saga that has lasted twenty-two years. The outcome is disappointing since it amounts to the conclusion that there was a crime without perpetrators.

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