The Journey of a Persecuted Bereaved Family – When will justice be served?

We, the children of the Habyarimana family, are deeply saddened and outraged by recent media attacks targeting our mother, Mrs. Agathe Kanziga. The attacks allege that our mother was involved in the planning and the execution of atrocities in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.

These constants manipulations of the media and defamatory practices are orchestrated by the Kigali regime, with the help from and in conspiring with certain foreigners, including some French citizens. The Kigali regime and these co-conspirators have been consistently spreading, reinforcing, and maintaining these lies and defamation.

We are of the opinion that these defamatory reports are disseminated intentionally with the sole purpose of damaging our mother’s reputation and the aim of covering the truth about the Rwandan tragedy.

The time is overdue to lift the lid on dark side of the attack of April 6, 1994, in which two sitting heads of state, namely President Juvénal Habyarimana and President Cyprien Ntaryamira, their close collaborators, as well as French crew members, were killed. This cowardly and despicable act of terrorism has been recognized by the United Nations as the trigger of the genocide in Rwanda. Nevertheless, the enemies of the truth have been stifling all efforts to expose the truth and to elucidate the culprits behind the assassinations and the origins of the Rwandan tragedy. This crucial event is deliberately left out in the witch hunt targeting our mother, an innocent survivor who was bereaved of her husband and other family members. The conspirators behind this disparaging propaganda wittingly forget that no court, and even less, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), has ever accused Mrs. Agathe Kanziga of any crime whatsoever.

It is of public knowledge that, above all, our mother, Mrs. Agathe Kanziga, has never assumed a political role or been politically involved in government or political matters. In fact, she never held a public office, and since her marriage in 1963, she has solely remained a housewife. The organization and leadership of alleged secret meetings, mischievously attributed to her by the conspirators, are a pure fabrication.

The concept of Akazu, long brandished by detractors of all stripes, fizzled and collapsed when the ICTR ruled that it was a propaganda by political opponents driven by the prime intent to harm President Habyarimana. Media propaganda sought to make our uncle Protais Zigiranyirazo, along with our mother, the cornerstone of the Akazu. The assertions behind the propaganda were debunked by the ICTR. Was our uncle Protais Zigiranyirazo not acquitted by the ICTR of all the charges of which he had been accused?

Without a doubt, the conspirators and those disseminating the propaganda seem to forget, deliberately, that, from April 9, 1994, our mother was the subject of an emergency evacuation to Bangui, in the Central African Republic, where she remained for days in de facto isolation, given the state and limitations of the means of communication at the time … It is hard to imagine how, under these conditions, a widow, who was bereavered of and still mourning the unexpected loss of her husband she could not even bury, would start giving operations orders to soldiers and politicians who had remained in Rwanda and whose structures, organization, and command system she was never involved in or had ever dealt with.

The concept of Akazu was one of the pillars behind the conspiracy of the genocide planning. These conspiracy pillars have ultimately collapsed, one by one, before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. This has led ICTR to conclude that the 1994 genocide had been neither planned nor programmed, at least by the people in his detention. So far, ICTR has tried and prosecuted only one of the two warring parties, from only one ethnic group, the Hutus. Anyone or any organization following the Rwandan case file closely is aware of this situation.

It is also well known that the real planners of the Rwandan tragedy are those who started the war in October 1990 and ordered the attack of April 6, 1994, without which they would not have succeeded in conquering power.

Consequently, thanks to the chaos, the tragedy and the desolation they caused, they have positioned and passed off themselves as liberators, like an arsonist firefighter.

Meanwhile, our mother’s detractors continue to drag her through the mud, with the outrageous claims of genocide planning. Would they hold unpublished evidence? Why don’t they present the supposed evidence to this same International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda which remains operational? Our conviction is that their real intentions are elsewhere: they simply seek to continue to harass our mother, to muzzle her, and to demonize her.

In reality, she is an embarrassing witness to the abominable attack that set fire to the powder. As she seeks justice for the assassination of her husband, the detractors have been trying hard to strip her of all support and to silence her at all costs. They know fully well that their allegations have no legal materiality or standing. Neither in law nor in fact. Unfortunately, a large portion of the public opinion continues to follow these conspiracies and false allegations intended to undermine her and squash years of accurate testimonies.

She is the target of certain media which either are not aware of the realities or have chosen to conceal the truth on the Rwandan tragedy. These are mostly the same media outlets that, along with their sponsors, do not want the light to be shed on the attack on the airplane carrying President Juvénal Habyarimana, President Cyprien Ntaryamira, and their close collaborators, as well as French crew members.

Our mother has never stopped speaking loud and clear about her innocence and her will and determination to defend herself. Our mother is not in hiding and she is always ready to answer the questions that the French justice would ask her.

From another angle, how can we not be revolted by the position of non-assistance that the French government is showing towards our mother? Words are not enough to express our indignation at the fact that the current French government has never wanted to ensure that our mother enjoy, at the least, these basic human rights, especially given that France is the country of birth of what the modern world calls human rights, a signatory country of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and an eminent member of the institutions of the European Union.

On the contrary, instead of the will of French Government to protect the rights of our mother, as the media coverage of President Macron’s last visit to Kigali suggests, our mother is being the object of an abject and despicable bargaining to, in the end, be sacrificed on the altar of political and diplomatic games.

We cry out loud and clear: enough with gratuitous accusations, harassment, persecution and the violation of fundamental rights! Our mother is innocent of all the crimes she is accused of. Injustice and slander have lasted too long! We ask that the fundamental rights of our mother, as a human being and as a woman, be respected and that her pain be heard.

For our mother, who will soon turn 80 years old, is it not time we finally let her mourn and let find in her old age a semblance of normalcy and peace?

Paris, June 20, 2021

The children of the Habyarimana family

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