France drops probe of air crash that led to Rwanda genocide

Published 12-26-2018

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PARIS (AP) - French authorities have dropped a sensitive, long-running investigation into the plane crash that sparked Rwanda's 1994 genocide, citing lack of sufficient evidence.

Several people close to Rwanda's current president, Paul Kagame, had been under investigation in the case. A French judicial official said Wednesday that investigating judges decided last week to close the case, based on a request from prosecutors. The official provided no details about the decision.

The 1994 plane crash killed Rwanda's then-President Juvenal Habyarimana, an ethnic Hutu. Militants from the Hutu majority blamed minority Tutsis for the death, sparking an ethnic slaughter that killed 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis.

The cause of the crash has been a contentious issue. The plane had a French crew, and Rwanda has long accused France of complicity in the genocide, which France denies.

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