There’s no evidence to prove the Rwandan Patriotic Front killed the president, writes Linda Melvern; and James Smith adds that blaming victim groups for atrocities inflicted on them is inaccurate and dangerous

Helen C Epstein claims “evidence” to prove the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) assassinated President Juvénal Habyarimana (America’s hidden role in the Rwandan genocide, 12 September). But this claim is unsupported and ignores witness testimony. That night, a Belgian doctor, Dr Massimo Pasuch, at home in the Rwandan army-controlled Camp Kanombe, was close enough to the missile launch to hear its telltale “whoosh”.

Epstein claims the missiles were fired four miles away at Masaka Hill. The weapon, she claims, was a Russian-made Sam-16 because “two SA-16 single-use launchers” were found near Masaka Hill, a place more “accessible” to the RPF than Camp Kanombe. She relies on French investigative magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière, whose inquiry claimed serial numbers on the Masaka launchers were from a consignment shipped from Russia to Uganda. But her information about the launchers comes from unreliable sources – convicted génocidaires Bruguière interviewed in prison.

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