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Rwanda: Deo Mushayidi To Appear In Court On Terror Charges

Deo Mushayidi at the back of a Police Pick-up

Deo Mushayidi at the back of a Police Pick-up

The case of so-called terror suspect, Deo Mushayidi, who has been appearing at the Prosecutor General’s office, has now been transferred to the courts.

This was revealed yesterday afternoon by the Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga.

The former president of the Rwanda Journalist Association, Deo Mushayidi was kidnapped from Burundi following cooperation by law enforcement organs of both countries. Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga announced that Mushayidi was part of a network of people threatening Rwanda’s security including renegade military officers, Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa and Patrick Karegeya.

He had been shuttling between various countries in the region and his movements were being monitored.

His arrest came days after Rwandan authorities linked recent grenade attacks in the country on the defected senior RDF officers, who are now reported to be in South Africa.

More about Deo Mushayidi (in French):

March 17, 2010   2 Comments

Kagame accuses media of role in blasts

NEWSROOMS and journalists in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali are on tenterhooks after President Paul Kagame made new accusations of their supposed involvement in a bomb attack in Rwanda, writes Dennis Itumbi for

Just months before Rwanda’s presidential elections, Kigali was recently hit by two grenade attacks that killed two people and injured 30 others.

In a press conference last week, Kagame accused Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa, a former ambassador to India and chief of staff, and another senior ex-military officer, Patrick Karegeya, of plotting the first grenade attack.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), “the president went on to say that journalists had met with Karegeya in South Africa prior to the attacks, leaving a not-so-subtle implication of impropriety.”

“There are those [journalists] who found Karegeya in South Africa and spoke to him. There are even those who went there, but have not returned,” he said.

No journalists were named, but Charles Kabonero and Jean Bosco Gasasira, founders of two private vernacular weeklies, knew that the president’s message was aimed at them. Both papers had conducted interviews with Karegeya.

For his part, Kabonero makes no apologies. “I believe that Kagame is educated enough to know that, as a journalist, if I had a chance to meet [Osama] bin Laden I would not hesitate to do it [in order to] to get news. It’s the job. So, yes, I met Karegyeya for journalism-related purposes,” he told CPJ.

Nyamwasa and Karegeya have left Rwanda, but Nyamwasa has denied the president’s allegations in interviews with international news outlets.

Over the weekend, the former president of the Rwanda Journalist Association, Deo Mushayidi, was arrested in connection with the recent grenade attacks.

Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga announced at a press conference that Mushayidi was part of a network of people threatening Rwanda’s security.

This is not the first time the Rwandan government has accused independent journalists of involvement in a bomb attack.
The pro-government bimonthly magazine, The Rwanda Focus, claimed in April 2006 that Kabonero conspired with a military officer to launch a wave of bombings in Kigali.

Reporters Without Borders investigated the allegations and claimed the allegations were baseless.

CPJ argues that, “one thing is clear: Kagame’s televised warnings will help silence critics prior to the August presidential election. With pro-government media outlets outweighing the country’s beleaguered private press, the chances of balanced election coverage are now slimmer than ever.”


March 17, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda Asks South Africa To Arrest Nyamwasa

The Rwandan government has asked South Africa to arrest renegade Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, a diplomat has said.
Mr Frank Mugambage, the Rwandan envoy to Uganda, told Daily Monitor on Friday in Kampala that Kigali has negotiated with South African authorities to arrest and extradite Gen. Nyamwasa.

Although we do not have an extradition treaty with South Africa, they have agreed to cooperate with us to arrest him,” Mr Mugambage said, “In fact we have also alerted Interpol to arrest him whenever he is sighted and we hope very soon we shall catch up with him.”

Daily Monitor could not establish whether the South African embassy had officially received Rwanda’s diplomatic request as known mobile phone lines of most officials were switched off.
Gen. Nyamwasa is wanted in Kigali to answer various criminal charges among them allegations that he was involved in a plot to topple President Paul Kagame.

Daily Monitor –

March 16, 2010   No Comments

Strange Times in Kigali

Source: Christopher Vourlias – March 4, 2010.

I returned to Kigali this week with the hopes of enjoying some downtime before heading to eastern Congo. Sadly, this was not to be the case. As I recently reported, things in everyone’s favorite central African autocracy have taken a turn for the dysfunctional of late, even by this region’s strange standards. Grenade attacks, coup rumors, renegade generals on the run. If it weren’t for the fact that there’s not a beach in sight, I would’ve sworn I was back in Bujumbura.

Happier times for Presidents Museveni and Kagame, seen here in 2008, before renegade, coup-plotting generals fled into Uganda and threatened to strain relations between the two countries

Front and center has been the bizarre case of Lieutenant-General Kayumba Nyamwasa, a former army chief of staff who – after rumored sightings in Uganda – has apparently resurfaced in South Africa after fleeing the country last week. Kayumba, who was until recently serving as Rwanda’s ambassador to India, has had a strained relationship with the RPF leadership, after he was allegedly linked to a failed coup attempt in 2003. The diplomatic posting seems to reflect the conventional wisdom in Kigali, which is to keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and your failed-coup leaders in India. Uganda’s Sunday Vision reported on Kayumba’s contentious relationship with the government, citing local reports linking him to the troubled Green Party, as well as rumors that “no government official or even fellow soldiers attended the funeral of [Kayumba’s] mother recently,” which is a dark tiding indeed for a Rwandan political figure.

Yesterday, a clearly peeved PK gave a press conference here in Kigali, at which he dispelled any rumors that the fleeing general – as well as another former army officer, Patrick Karegeya – had been plotting a coup against him, according to South Africa’s Independent.

“Nobody, absolutely nobody, not even Kayumba, can carry out a coup here. Think about it and you’ll come to the conclusion no one can carry out a coup” in Rwanda, the president said.

“People can only dream about it, wish for it; I believe what I’m telling you,” Kagame said.

Kagame went on to add: “Never ever ever ever ever. Never. Ever.”

Kagame, who at a recent press conference ‘double-dog dared’ opponents to overthrow him

The press conference comes on the heels of an announcement by the Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga, who told reporters with a straight face on Tuesday that the Kigali grenade attacks of last month have now been linked to none other than Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa and Patrick Karegyeya. This comes after officials stated just hours after the attacks that two suspects had been apprehended, and that, in the definitive words of police spokesman Eric Kayiranga, “they belong to the Interahamwe militia.”

The Rwanda News Agency comments on the sudden about-face.

When three grenades exploded in Kigali two weeks ago and another in Huye district a week before, Police Spokesman Superintendent Eric Kayiranga quickly said investigations showed that Rwandan FDLR rebels were behind them.

The link has not been raised again. On Tuesday, the National Prosecuting Authority suddenly claimed that Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa and Col. Patrick Karegeya were behind the grenade attacks. On Wednesday, President Kagame said the link between these two scenarios might be possible.

Why would former RPF stalwarts now be canoodling with the Interahamwe? Exactly how many FDLR Hutus do you think are on Lt. Gen. Faustin Kayumba’s Christmas-card list?

Undeterred by the hilarity of their accusations, the RPF today released photographic evidence that Messrs. Kayumba and Karegeya are, indeed, plotting with Interahamwe militia. “We finally have our smoking gun,” said Kagame.

Interahamwe militia and rogue RPF elements plotting at a sidewalk cafe in eastern Congo, according to an investigative report by Rwanda’s New Times

The Kayumba saga comes against a backdrop of increasing intimidation and harassment of opposition politicians, as I’ve reported before. These have included threats most foul against at least three prominent opposition figures – Victoire Ingabire, of the FDU-Inkingi Party; Bernard Ntaganda, of the Parti Social-IMBERAKURI; and Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party – and have (predictably) drawn outraged cries from the international community.

President Kagame, of course, has repeatedly defended his actions, citing the ever-present threat of Hutu rebels to the east and fifth columnists within. In an op-ed for The Guardian, Stephen Kinzer sums up the Kagame position.

He believes western human rights activists underestimate the prospects for a new outbreak of ethnic violence in Rwanda, as well as the danger of allowing ethnically charged speech. “We’ve lived this life,” he said angrily at a news conference. “We’ve lived the consequences. So we understand it better than anyone from anywhere else.”

The levels of intrigue here are…intriguing. Kagame is a master manipulator, who has repeatedly used the genocide as a pretext for bullying the international community and cracking down on internal dissent. The refrain of “we understand it better than anyone from anywhere else” has, in some form or other, become the de facto position of the Kagame administration. It is part of its us-against-the-world mentality, which has always included, as a lingering subtext, a reminder of how the West failed Rwanda during its darkest hour.

On a scale of one to 10, this man is not to be fucked with.

The president is a grand strategist, as PR-savvy as any American exec, and observers in this country are always forced to consider how a given event – whether it be grenade attacks in Kigali, or the return of a rabble-rousing exile – is being manipulated by the man upstairs. However damaging or threatening the latest news might seem, you know it is being redacted in His Excellency PK’s enigmatic noggin, before being regurgitated in a way that, ultimately, casts the Kagame regime in an ever more righteous light. Ingabire, for example, has been given a relatively free hand (by Rwandan standards) to state her case to the foreign press. But is Kagame simply holding back because the international spotlight is on her? Or is he playing a more patient hand, perhaps giving Ingabire enough rope to (metaphorically, of course) hang herself?

(The same laissez-faire attitude, unfortunately, has not been extended toward her erstwhile assistant, Joseph Ntawangundi, who just three days after being attacked alongside Ingabire, was promptly arrested and locked up on an outstanding warrant for crimes committed during the genocide.)

I’m not entirely sure what to make of these opposition leaders. Frank Habineza, President of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, for example, clumsily played the genocide card while appealing to the West to put pressure on Kagame for his repressive political tactics.

“We do not want the international community to wait, like it waited in 1994,” said Habineza, drawing a parallel that was unlikely to win him many fans. (You can hear more from Habineza here.)

Ingabire has not exactly shied away from the limelight.

And then there’s Ingabire. I’ve already written a bit about her political aspirations, after spending nearly 16 years in exile in Europe. The would-be president quickly stirred controversy by making some politically charged comments about Hutu victims at the genocide memorial. This more or less occurred while she still had crumbs from the in-flight meal on her chin.

Given such blatantly ethnic posturing – as well as some of the questionable figures looming in her background – it is hard to accept her intentions at face value. Likewise, the clumsy, stage-managed episode involving her supposed asylum request at the UK High Commission makes you wonder whether Ingabire isn’t as much a cool calculator as the man she hopes to dethrone. And you have to ask why someone so deeply concerned with the future of her country waited this long to return, anyway.

Recently Ingabire claimed that if the election were to be held tomorrow, the people would surely vote FDU into power, “because they know who we are.”

I don’t want to take anything away from the average man-on-the-collines here in Rwanda. I would like to give Rwandans – particularly the rural poor, who make up the bulk of this country’s population – the benefit of the doubt, and assume that, come August, they can and will calmly file to the polls with a selfless democratic spirit and full of only the highest of high-minded aspirations.

Unfortunately, that goes against everything I know about electoral politics in this region. Given the amount of time she has had to “campaign” in the country, I suspect most voters don’t know all that much about who Ingabire is. They simply know that she is a Hutu, and in a country where that group still holds a roughly 85 percent majority, she could very well be banking on the fact that that’s all they need to know. You can hardly blame the president, then, for being a bit concerned at the rumblings from below. And you have to wonder just what steps he might take in the next few months to suppress them.

March 7, 2010   No Comments

Deo Mushayidi Arrested In Burundi and Extradited To Rwanda

Deo Mushayidi

Deo Mushayidi

KIGALi – The former president of the Rwanda Journalists Association, Deo Mushayidi has been arrested on charges of terrorism and causing state insecurity.

The Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, said last evening that Mushayidi is part of a wider terror network that includes renegade military officers, Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa and Patrick Karegeya.

“He has been shuttling between various countries in the region and our security forces have been monitoring his movements.

He was arrested following cooperation by law enforcement organs of our neighboring country, Burundi,” Ngoga said.

Mushayidi has since been extradited to Rwanda to face courts of law.

“He is now in the hands of our national police, we have a lot of evidence about his involvement and about the whole network,” Ngoga said.

“The rest are detail that we will keep for investigative purposes.”

The Prosecutor General revealed that at the time of his arrest, Mushayidi was not staying in Belgium as it had been claimed.

“In recent months he had been living in the region”.

Ngoga promised to keep updating Rwandans on the progress of the operation to track down members of the network.

Mushayidi’s arrest comes barely days after prosecution linked the grenade attacks that took place last month on the defected senior RDF officers, who are now reported to be in South Africa.

Source: The New Times.

March 6, 2010   2 Comments

Fugitive Rwandan General Nyamwasa Tracked to South Africa

Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, now in exile in South Africa

Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, now in exile in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG — South African authorities say a Rwandan general accused of terrorism in Rwanda is in South Africa.

The spokesman for a special crime-fighting unit called the Hawks says Lt. General Kayumba Nyamwasa arrived in South Africa on Feb. 27. The Rwandan government has accused him of involvement in three Feb. 19 grenade attacks in Rwanda’s capital. The attacks in central Kigali killed one person and injured 30.

Hawks spokesman Musa Zondi says South Africa has not arrested him because they do not have an extradition treaty with Rwanda. Nyamwasa’s arrest and extradition will require a formal request from Rwanda’s attorney general, which would then need to be signed by South African President Jacob Zuma.
Source: The Associated Press.

March 5, 2010   No Comments

U.S. Citizens In Rwanda Are Asked To Register After Grenade Explosions In Kigali

On March 4, after the near-simultaneous grenade explosions which left at least 16 people wounded in Kigali, the U.S. Embassy issued the following message to U.S. citizens:

The U.S. Embassy in Kigali confirms there were two grenade attacks in Kigali at approximately 8:00 p.m. local time. The first occurred in the Kimironko neighborhood near the Printemps Hotel. The second was in the Kinamba neighborhood near the Gisozi Genocide Memorial. Injuries and/or casualties are unknown at this time.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Rwanda are encouraged to register with the Embassy through the Department of State’s travel registration website, so they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Rwanda. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the Embassy. By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

The Embassy is located at 2657 Avenue de la Gendarmerie; the mailing address is B.P. 28, Kigali, Rwanda; tel. [250] (252) 596-400; fax: [250] (252) 596-591. The consular section’s email address is American Citizens Services hours are Tuesdays from 09:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Fridays from 09:00 a.m. until noon, except for U.S. and Rwandan holidays. For after-hours emergencies, please call [250] (078) 830-0345. For additional information on consular services, please visit the Embassy’s website.

Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, now in exile in South Africa

Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, now in exile in South Africa

Note that one person was killed in similar attacks last month in Kigali, blamed initially on Interahamwe militia and later on two high-ranking RPF officers now in exile.

One of them – Lt Gen Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, a former chief of staff and ambassador to India – has fled to South Africa earlier this week.

Lt. General Kayumba Nyamwasa, with other high-ranking officers in the RPF army, has been indicted for genocide, crimes against humanity and arrest warrants have been issued against him by courts in France and Spain.

March 5, 2010   No Comments