Unlawful Interference Dassault Falcon 50 9XR-NN, Wednesday 6 April 1994
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Date:Wednesday 6 April 1994
Time:20:20
Type:Silhouette image of generic FA50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Dassault Falcon 50
Owner/operator:Rwanda Government
Registration: 9XR-NN
MSN: 006
Year of manufacture:1979
Engine model:Garrett TFE731-3-1C
Fatalities:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 12
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Unlawful Interference
Location:2 km E of Kigali Airport (KGL) -   Rwanda
Phase: Approach
Nature:SF
Departure airport:Dar es Salaam International Airport (DAR/HTDA)
Destination airport:Kigali Airport (KGL/HRYR)
Investigating agency: CoEI Rwanda
Narrative:
Rwanda's president, Juvénal Habyarimana, and Burundian president, Cyprien Ntaryamira, were killed when the Falcon 50 corporate jet crashed after being hit by a missile while on final approach to Kigali.
Both presidents were returning from a meeting in Tanzania to consider ways to implement an agreement setting up a transitional government in Rwanda, intended to be in place until multi-party elections could be held. This meant that power would be shared between the Hutu population of Rwanda and the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Hutu extremist members of the president’s inner circle viewed the agreement as an existential threat to a Hutu-dominated Rwanda as well as their own political and economic standing. These men were not simply opposed to a reconciliation process; they were committed to the wholesale extermination of Tutsis.
One of these men was Théoneste Bagosora. Colonel Bagosora was intimately familiar with the president’s travel schedule and sufficiently powerful that the night before the summit, he was able to change the composition of the Rwandan delegation to ensure that Army Chief of Staff General Déogratias Nsabimana -who opposed Bagosora’s genocidal plans- would be on the president's plane.
Using a proprietary radio network, Bagosora was in direct contact with elements of the presidential guard, the para­commando battalion, and most importantly, the Anti­Aircraft Battalion (LAA). These units were located in Kanombe Camp, near Kanombe International Airport in Kigali.
The LAA, which Bagosora personally commanded for several years, was not only responsible for the security of the airport, but had anti-aircraft weapons stationed in the immediate vicinity.
Through their private communication channel, the conspirators tracked the progress of the president's Falcon 50 aircraft from the moment it left Dar es Salaam to return to Kigali. As it flew west toward the airport, the conspirators fired two SAMs from an area just east of the runway and toward the northern part of Kanombe Camp. At least one of the missiles struck the left wing and fuselage, causing the plane to crash into the grounds of the president's Kanombe residence.
The death of Hutu President Habyarimana triggered a massive wave of genocide in Rwanda that finally ended in July 1994.

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: CoEI Rwanda
Report number: The Mutsinzi Report
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 15 years and 9 months
Download report: Final report

Sources:

Wikipedia, Assassination of Habyarimana and Ntaryamira

Statistics

  • 35th worst accident in 1994
  • worst accident of this aircraft type
  • worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Location

Revision history:

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