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To Orwell Today,

I have recently become interested (obsessed) with all things pertaining to the Rwandan genocide and came across your site during this quest for information. I am envious of the trip you took there and I was hoping you could answer two quick questions: where are Kanombe Camp (site where the Belgian soldiers perished) and Habiriyama's house (where the plane ended up) in relation to the Kigali airport? I have gone to Google Maps and zeroed in on the airport as a point of reference, and it seems like the camp is on the eastern end of the runway, but I can't locate anything that looks like a presidential palace.

Your insight would be appreciated, and I enjoy your site,

Greetings John,

Yes, I am very fortunate to have fulfilled my own obsession with Rwanda by travelling there not once, but twice. See DESTINY DESTINATION RWANDA and A WANDER IN RWANDA.

But even so, I have not been to Kanombe Camp OR to Habyarimana's Presidential Palace, both of which are (as you say) at the east end of the airport. I've always left the Kigali airport (used to be called Habyanda but now named Kanombe) going in a westerly direction toward town. I stayed in the part of town where the Meridian Hotel is located on the map above (but is now named Novotel).

You are confused (understandably) about the place where the Belgian soldiers died (which I HAVE been to). They died at the KIGALI Camp compound in the centre of the city, not the much larger KANOMBE Camp, which is a military base on the outskirts beyond the airport going east. See THE INFORMER & TEN BELGIANS and RWANDA'S UN SOLDIERS DIE and KILLING HABYARIMANA NOT GENOCIDE and FRANCE SHOT RWANDA DOWN and READING ON RWANDA.

The two maps above, scanned from Linda Melvern's book CONSPIRACY TO MURDER, will give you a clearer understanding of the lay of the land.

I hope that one day your obsession leads to your own visit to Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Rwandan gets 20 years in genocide trial. NewEurope, July 14, 2007
A Belgian court has sentenced a former Rwandan army major to 20 years in prison for the murder of 10 Belgian peacekeepers and an undetermined number of Rwandan civilians at the start of the 1994 genocide. Bernard Ntuyahaga was earlier acquitted on two other charges of involvement in the murder of then Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and killing civilians in the Butare district....The Belgian UN soldiers were killed a day after the Rwandan president's plane was shot down on April 6, 1994, triggering the genocide by Hutu-led government forces and ethnic militias. Prosecutors said Ntuyahaga took the peacekeepers from the residence of the prime minister, whom they were trying to protect, and handed them over to fellow soldiers at a military camp in the capital Kigali, where they were beaten to death, shot or slain with machetes. The defense said Ntuyahaga was a political scapegoat, who had been passing the prime minister's residence by chance and had given the Belgians a ride at their request....The killing of the peacekeepers triggered the pullout of UN forces, opening the way for the genocide to spread. "If Belgian troops had stayed (in Rwanda) we could have saved hundreds of thousands of people," Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt told the court in his testimony in May. Rwandans welcomed the Belgian court's verdict. Theodore Simburudali, president of Ibuka, an umbrella body that groups genocide survivors, said: "The truth has come out, which we have always said. Those top military officials killed many of our people. He deserves a big sentence."

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~