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France Finally Clears Rwandan Officials of Killing President in 1994

Relations between Rwanda and France are set to be boosted by news that French investigative magistrates have dropped charges against nine Rwandan officials investigated over the death of the country’s president in 1998, an event that led to a genocide that killed more than 800,000 people.

France launched the investigation, that also targeted Rwanda’s former defence minister James Kabarebe, in 1998 following demands by relatives of the French crew who died when president Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane was downed.

The investigation, and accusations by Rwandan officials that France was complicit in the 1994 genocide, damaged relations between the two countries for several years.

The judicial source said on Wednesday that the charges were dropped on Dec. 21. A French prosecutor had recommended in October that the charges should be dismissed due to insufficient evidence.

Rwanda said on Dec. 24 that it welcomed the definitive end of what it called a politically-motivated investigation.

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