Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rwandan President's Chief of Protocol Extradited to France

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
20:47 Mecca time, 17:47 GMT

Rwandan president's aide extradited

Rose Kabuye, an aide to Rwanda's president who was arrested in Frankfurt earlier this month in connection with the assassination of a former president of the country, has been extradited to France.

Kabuye landed in Paris on Wednesday on an Air France plane after German police had handed her over to French officers in Frankfurt.

Kabuye was detained by German police on November 9 on a French warrant that connected her to the downing of a plane in 1994 in which Juvenal Habyarimana, Rwanda's former president, was killed.

Habyarimana's death sparked a genocide which consequently engulfed the country.

French pilots

Authorities in France began investigating the attack because the two pilots of the plane were French.

They suspect Kabuye of housing the Tutsi commando unit blamed for shooting down the plane.

Lef Forster, Kabuye's lawyer, has said that she denies involvement.

A French judge issued warrants for Kabuye and eight other associates of Paul Kagame, Rwanda's president, in 2006 in connection with the plane crash.

Kagame had also condemned the arrest of Kabuye, who was his chief of protocol.

Hutus killed more than 500,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis before fighters led by Kagame drove them from the country.

His government claims that France armed the Hutu militias and former government troops who led the genocide.

Thousands of Rwandans had turned out to protest against the expected extradition in Kigali, the country's capital, on Wednesday.

Yvonne Ndege, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Kigali, said: "There has been a huge amount of public anger over the extradition... she is considered a heroic figure here.

"People have been protesting all over the country. They are demanding an immediate release of Rose Kabuye and a repatriation of her to her home in Rwanda.

"All evidence that we have seen is that most of these protests have been organised by community leaders and individuals who are simply outraged by her arrest.

"Bear in mind that she is credited with being part of the new government that put an end to the genocide here in 1994. Women have been chaining themselves to the gates of the German embassy here."

Source: Agencies

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