Globe and Mail story on downing Habyarimana plane false—CNLG

Published by Théophile Niyitegeka
On 6 March 2017 saa 03:48
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The National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG) has labeled as false a story published by Canada-based news medium, The Globe and Mail which recently published an article entitled ‘Seized weapon sheds light on mystery of Rwandan genocide.’

CNLG has claimed that the story doesn’t match with known history.

The article in question was published on 24th February 2017 and reads thus; ‘a confidential report by the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo, obtained by The Globe and Mail, documents a Soviet-made surface-to-air missile launcher that was seized by Congolese forces from a Rwandan rebel group last August.’

According to The Globe and Mail, the newly obtained UN report says the seized missile launcher has a number of “convergence points” – including a similar serial number – to the missiles that shot down the airplane of then-president Juvénal Habyarimana in 1994, igniting the start of the genocide.

The evidence, including the serial numbers and manufacturing dates, suggests that the seized missile launcher is “similar to those of the two missiles fired at the plane,” the report says.

The story purports that the rebel group had seized the missile launcher from a militia backed by the Rwandan military in a battle in 1998 in an eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The statement signed by the executive secretary of CNLG, Dr Bizimana Jean Damascene indicates that writers of The Globe and Mail should be aware that Missile attributed to the report of Monusco in September 2016 should not be linked to the shooting down of Habyarimana plane on 6th April 1994.

CNLG says that two reports quoted in the story describe the said missiles as SAM-7s while investigations done by French nationals indicate that the airplane was shot by SAM-16s Missile.

“This brings into question whether there are no political forces behind Globe and Mail editorial policy pushing for the publication of false stories,” reads the statement in part.

“Truth is an important aspect of our history and survivors of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi and Rwandans in general. We request Globe and Mail to closely scrutinize facts and assess whether such false publications do not tantamount to trivializing one of the biggest crimes that happened in the 20th century,” reads the statement.