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Posts from — February 2010

Rwanda Opposition Leader Victoire Ingabire Demands Protection Ahead of Presidential Elections

Victoire Ingabire

Victoire Ingabire

Kigali – After escaping the militia-like attack against her yesterday, the leader of Rwanda’s opposition United Democratic Forces (UDF-Inkingi), Victoire Ingabire, asks the Rwandese government to protect her ahead of the scheduled August general election.
Here is how Victoire Ingabire, the leader of Rwanda’s opposition United Democratic Forces recounts her story through an interview by Peter Clottey of Voice of America News:
“Today, I received a call from the mayor of the sector where I live, Kinyinya, and he told me that I have to return my ID. And when I arrived in his office, there were younger people who began to batter us, me and one of my colleagues. And they took my bag. (Then,) I went back quickly to my car, but my colleague stayed back and they battered him. And after (that, I) took him to hospital,” she said.

Ingabire accused the police of failing to stop the attack:
“When they battered us, the police were there and they didn’t do anything. They watched us (as) the young people battered us,” she contended.

Ingabire said the ruling party wants to undermine her campaign ahead of the forthcoming presidential elections.

“We see that the government of General Kagame does not accept all political activities in our country. You know that I have been back to the country now three weeks ago, and they are doing everything to prevent (me) from participating in the election. They know that the population needs the change and they know that the population wants (me) to participate in the election, and they want me as the leader of them. This is why they (will) do everything that people will be afraid to come to me,” Ingabire said.

Some Rwanda’s opposition groups have condemned the attack and accused President Kagame’s ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front party (RPF) of masterminding it. After visiting Ingabire’s injured assistant at the King Faycal Hospital, they have vowed to defeat the ruling party in the upcoming election.
Listen to what Victoire Ingabire says.
Source: VOA News

February 4, 2010   No Comments

Victoire Ingabire Denounces Harassments By Rwandese Government

Victoire Ingabire

Victoire Ingabire

Victoire Ingabire has sent on Wednesday a protest letter to the Rwandese government, denouncing what she called: “administration backed lynching and harassments by sections of secret services, the police and the army.”
Here is the content of the letter sent:
“Today at 11:25, responding to an invitation by the authorities of Kinyinya Sector (Gasabo District) to collect our administrative papers, Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the Chairperson of UDF-INKINGI narrowly survived a prepared lynch mob. Within the administration premises, my assistant, Joseph Ntawangundi, was savagely dragged out of the car, beaten and stabbed. It is only after one hour that the police stopped the lynching.
I escaped the mob. The militia snatched my handbag containing my identity card, my passport, and other valuable belongings. Joseph Ntawangundi severely injured, his clothes torn apart was rushed to King Faycal Hospital for emergency treatment.
This is just the latest in a growing list of blatant attacks and harassments that compromise public confidence in our security systems. Militia lynching, the reign of terror being carried out by certain sectors of the administration, security services and the police forces are unacceptable.
It is with great regret that we must take issue with the on-going aggressive surveillance and tailing by Secret Services and Army officers coupled with police harassments and intimidation against the UDF-INKINGI leader, Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza.
We mainly refer to these other incidents:
• Wednesday 27th January 2010, Nyagasambu (Kigali). Exercising our rights to freedom of movements in our country, our two vehicles were ordered by police officers to pull off. Drivers’ Licenses and vehicles registration papers were confiscated. The official charge was “careless driving” and a FRW 50,000 fine was levied. Unable to substantiate the allegations on spot, the officers confirmed that they received orders from their hierarchy to stop our vehicles.
• The same day, we have been tailed by an army vehicle with men in uniforms between Rwamagana and Kibungo and all the way back. The mobile surveillance continued with cars wearing civilian plates. The surveillance was extensively carried on in an intimidating fashion even while shopping vegetables in both Rwamagana and Kibungo public markets.
• Sunday 17th January 2010, 2 manned vehicles tailed us from Kigali to Gitarama and all the way back;
• Since 16th January 2010 to date, we have been submitted to a 24-hour intensive surveillance.
We call on all relevant authorities to investigate the militia lynching within Kinyinya Sector premises, harassments by sections of Secret services, the Police and the military. It is time the authorities take action and ensure we are allowed to carry out our work and to enjoy our rights to free movements without any harassment.
We don’t believe this brutality, terror, militia lynching and those harassments are, for some reason, beyond the control of the government.”

This letter was addressed to Hon. Minister of Local Government, Hon. Minister of Defense, Hon. Minister of Internal Security, RDF Commander and Commissioner General of Police with copies to H.E. General Paul KAGAME (President of Rwanda), The Right Hon. Mr. Bernard MAKUZA (Prime Minister) and Diplomatic Missions in Kigali.

The formerly exiled opposition politician returned to Rwanda on January 16 and has publicly expressed her intentions of challenging President Paul Kagame during the forthcoming presidential elections.

February 4, 2010   No Comments

UDF INKINGI Condemns Acts Of Intimidation By Kagame’s RPF militia

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza

After the physical attack perpetrated against Victoire Ingabire in Kigali on Wednesday, UDF INKINGI alias FDU Inkingi issues a declaration condemning the Kagame government:
“UDF INKINGI hold the government responsible of that incident, as it took place in a government building, without any intervention at all from the authority. This is a grotesque and horrific practice of terror towards an opposition candidate.
This is just the latest in a growing list of blatant attacks and harassments that compromise public confidence in our security systems. The reign of terror being carried out by certain sectors of the administration, the police forces and militia lynching is unacceptable.
We mainly refer to other incidents that occurred on Wednesday 27th January 2010, at Nyagasambu (Kigali). Exercising our rights to freedom of movements in our country, our two vehicles were ordered by police officers to pull off. Drivers’ Licenses and vehicles registration papers were confiscated. The official charge was “careless driving”. Unable to substantiate the allegations on spot, the officers confirmed that they received orders from their hierarchy to stop our vehicles.
This is notwithstanding the numerous hate editorials of a section of public and hate media.
UDF INKINGI warns that these coward acts of intimidation will not deter the party from its resolve to push ahead for more democratization of the country.
UDF INKINGI calls on the government to face its responsibilities and stop these acts which may jeopardize the whole electoral process.”

February 4, 2010   No Comments

How Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Narrowly Escaped A Lynch Mob Ambush In Kigali

Victoire Ingabire

Victoire Ingabire

Kigali – As announced on Wednesday afternoon, Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Chair of UDF-Inkingi and flag bearer of the party for the upcoming presidential election in Rwanda, has been beaten, along with her assistant, Joseph Ntawangundi. The FDU Inkingi explains what happened:
“At around noon, an executive officer from Kinyinya Sector, known as Shema, invited her to collect administrative papers in respect to the application for a police record.
Upon arrival at Kinyinya premises, Mrs Ingabire was surrounded by a prepared lynch mob, beaten but managed to retreat to her vehicle. The assailant militia snatched her handbag and other personal belongings including her newly acquired ID and her passport.

Mr. Joseph Ntawangundi, was savagely and thoroughly beaten by the vicious assailants without any intervention from the authority. He suffered ribs and legs injury and was stripped half naked. He was later rushed to King Fayçal Hospital in Kigali for emergency treatment and his condition is still worrying.

Alerted by the driver, the police reached the scene later and despite his condition took Mr. Joseph Ntawangundi, for interrogations. He was released after one and half hour.” declares the Office of the FDU-Inkingi Chairperson.

February 3, 2010   No Comments

Rwandan Police Arrest Some Of Those Who Perpetrated An Attack Against Opposition Leader Victoire Ingabire

Victoire Ingabire

Victoire Ingabire

KIGALI – The Rwandan police have arrested five men among those who have attacked Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and her assistant Joseph Ntawangundi this Wednesday. While Victoire Ingabire managed to escape, her assistant  was severely beaten up and is still in hospital.
The attack on Victoire Ingabire is part of the intimidation campaign which has started since the day she arrived in Rwanda a few weeks ago, determined to challenge Paul Kagame during the August presidential elections. The government accuses Victoire Ingabire of stirring latent tensions between Hutus and Tutsis, and of “playing the ethnic card” to garner support ahead of the elections.
Police spokesman Eric Kayiranga said the arrested men were angered by Ingabire’s politics.
“They were saying that she was against the unity and reconciliation of Rwanda, that she was talking about (ethnic) divisionism and the genocide,” Kayiranga said.

February 3, 2010   No Comments

FDU-Inkingi Leader Victoire Ingabire Attacked in Kigali – Rwanda

Victoire Ingabire

Victoire Ingabire

Ingabire's Assistant beaten-up

Ingabire's Assistant beaten-up

This afternoon, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Chair of FDU-Inkingi has been mugged and robbed by youths at the governement offices in Kinyinya, Kigali. She fortunately managed to escape unhurt from the attackers but her bag containing passport and the Identity Card she received yesterd was grabbed from her.

Her aide, Joseph Ntawangundi, was beaten and stripped naked while the Kinyinya Executive Secretary, Shema Jonas, who had given them an appointment to come at that time and collect their identification documents was looking on.

Victoire Ingabire is the opposition Presidential aspirant presented by FDU-Inkingi for the August Presidential elections.
She offered an interview in Kinyarwanda to BBC Greatlakes about the incident.

February 3, 2010   No Comments