KIGALI, Rwanda – Thousands protested in Rwanda's capital Monday over Germany's arrest of a senior official wanted by France in connection with the presidential assassination that preceded the African nation's 1994 genocide.
Rose Kabuye, chief of protocol for Rwandan President Paul Kagame, was arrested at an airport in Frankfurt Sunday because France wants to question her about the 1994 plane crash that killed then-president Juvenal Habyarimana. The assassination led to 100 days of genocide that killed more than a half million Rwandan Tutsis and moderate Hutus
Rwanda's Tutsi-led government and genocide survivor organizations have often accused France of training and arming the Hutu militias and former government troops who led the genocide.
A French judge issued warrants in 2006 for nine associates of Kagame, including Kabuye, over the crash, contributing to strained ties between the countries. All nine are in Kagame's government.
Rwanda made a formal protest to Germany Monday over its execution of the warrant and summoned the German ambassador.
"We are shocked because Germany is a country that committed genocide and they should be more sensitive to issues concerning genocide," Rwandan Foreign Minister Rosemary Museminali said as some 5,000 people gathered outside the German embassy in Kigali in driving rain.
French authorities are investigating Kabuye for complicity to murder because she is suspected of having housed the commando unit blamed for the attack on the Rwandan presidential plane before it was downed.
Hutu extremists accused Tutsi rebels of shooting down the plane. The rebels say Hutu extremists carried out the assassination themselves to provide a pretext for the slaughter.
The killing only stopped after a rebel group led by Kagame overthrew the extremist Hutu regime.
Kabuye, a former fighter with Kagame's rebels, had traveled to Germany last April but was protected from arrest because she was there on official business.
Kabuye is expected to be extradited to France, which cut diplomatic ties with Rwanda when the indictments were issued. Relations were later restored but remain strained.