Saturday, March 13, 2004

U.N. Finds Black Box Thought to Be From 1994 Rwandan Crash: "Thursday's announcement followed a report in Le Monde, a French daily, about an unpublished French investigation that accused the United Nations of withholding the downed aircraft's flight recorder. [Annan spokesman] Mr. Eckhard acknowledged that he had 'ridiculed' the report when first asked about it on Tuesday."

"Embarrassed officials disclosed Thursday that the United Nations was unknowingly holding an airplane black box shipped here from Africa after the 1994 crash that killed the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi and set off the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Rwandans... Mr. Annan, speaking to reporters after his monthly lunch with Security Council members, said he was "incredulous," and called the situation "a real foul-up, a first-class foul-up.""

[sorry Mr Annan, it aint exactly you who is 'incredulous' here. And what about that statement the downed plane was a 'plane crash'?]

"Mr. Annan was head of the United Nations peacekeepers when the massacre occurred... The Rwandan president, Juvenal Habyarimana, and his Burundian counterpart, Cyprien Ntaryamira, both of the dominant Hutu tribe, died on April 6, 1994, when their Falcon 50 aircraft was brought down by two ground-to-air missiles as it approached the airport in Kigali. Their deaths triggered a 100-day wave of killings in Rwanda of an estimated 800,000 minority Tutsi and moderate Hutu by extremist Hutu."

"Le Monde said the French investigation — carried out by the antiterrorist division of the French judicial police — concluded that it was Paul Kagame, Rwanda's current president, who ordered the plane shot down. At the time, Mr. Kagame was the leader of a rebel Tutsi movement, the Rwandan Patriotic Front."

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