Helen Epstein responds to accusations that the sources she used for her Guardian article on Rwanda’s genocide were unreliable

In response to my article “America’s secret role in the Rwandan genocide” (12 September), Linda Melvern (Letters, 19 September) disputes my suggestion that much evidence points to the Rwandan Patriotic Front’s (RPF) responsibility for shooting down President Juvénal Habyarimana’s aeroplane in April 1994. I rely for information about the provenance of the launchers on Belgian historian Filip Reyntjens, who investigated the matter thoroughly shortly after the event (see his Rwanda: Trois jours qui ont fait basculer l’histoire, published in 1996).

In addition, the various investigations linking the RPF to the plot to down the aeroplane rely on former RPF officers who took enormous risks to share their stories. I do not rely on “convicted génocidaires”, as Melvern claims. (See, for example, Kayumba Nyamwasa’s interview in the BBC’s Rwanda’s Untold Story and UN investigator Michael Hourigan’s affidavit in Uncovering Rwanda’s Secrets at theage.com.au.)

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