Former Rwanda President Juvenile Habyarimana ( Photo Courtesy)
April 6, 1994 was one of the saddest days in the history of Africa following the deaths of Rwanda and Burundi Presidents in a deadly plane crash in Kigali.
Within no time, Rwandan President Juvenile Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira perished alongside 10 others. But how did it happen?
The two Presidents, from the majority Hutu community, had just left Tanzania with their respective delegations after a meeting with their host Ali Hassan Mwinyi.
Shortly before 8: 20 pm local time, the presidential jet circled once around Kigali International Airport before coming in for a final approach in the clear skies.
Presidents Juvenile Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi ( Photo Courtesy)
A surface to air missile struck one of the wings of the jet. Then a second missile hit the tail. The plane erupted into flames mid air before crashing at the presidential palace garden. All the 12 aboard the Falcon died including the two Presidents.
To date, the deaths of the two Presidents remains clouded in mystery. However, several investigations suggest Kanombe Barracks as the most likely origin of the missiles. But who was responsible?
There are those who believe that some extremist members within President Habyarimana's Special Guard, could have been behind the attack.
In Burundi, Ntaryamira and his two cabinet ministers who perished jn the attack, were accorded a state funeral with the Speaker of Parliament taking over the leadership.
In Rwanda, the death of Habyarimana marked the climax of the genocide that left over 800,000 people dead.
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