May 26, 2024
Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, says “The decision to postpone CHOGM for a second time has not been taken lightly. The health and welfare of all Commonwealth citizens at this critical time must take precedence. We look forward to welcoming the Commonwealth family to Kigali for CHOGM at the appropriate time.”

By Khalifa Hemed
Published September 28, 2019

Human Rights Watch says Burundi’s security services and ruling party youth league members killed, raped, abducted, beat, and intimidated suspected opponents in the months leading up to a constitutional referendum on May 17, 2018.A human rights group says that unless Rwanda is made accountable about the fate of critics of the government, people perceived to be opponents of the government will likely continue to end up dead or missing.

Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), while observing that “Rwanda is a model of law and order” on the international stage, laments, “we are seeing a spate of violent and brazen attacks against opposition members go unpunished. The contrast is jarring.”

HRW calls upon Rwanda’s international partners and the UN secretary-general to ‘demand transparent and credible investigations into recent deaths and disappearances of opposition members.”

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Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, speaks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.HRW says the latest victim in Rwanda–Syldio Dusabumuremyi, the national coordinator for the unregistered Forces démocratiques unifiées (FDU)-Inkingi party–was stabbed to death on September 23, 2019 as he worked in the shop of the Shyogwe health centre in Muhanga District, Southern Province.

Saying the authorities have ‘failed to conduct transparent and credible investigations into the cases or to hold those responsible to account’, HRW says “The Rwandan Investigation Bureau tweeted confirmation of the killing by two unidentified people on September 24 and said they had arrested two suspects. On September 14, [President Paul] Kagame gave a speech at the party congress for his Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF). Speaking in Kinyarwanda, he said: “These people I graced who were in prison, now they shout out… Leave them, they can go die elsewhere … They shouldn’t slow down our development…”

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Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch “Since then,” HRW says, “there has been an increase in suspicious deaths and disappearances of her colleagues” and that “The authorities have rarely tried to hide their support for incidents targeting the opposition. At times, they have even gloated about the brutal killings. This month, South Africa’s Prosecution Authority issued arrest warrants for two Rwandans found to be linked to the government for the murder of Col Patrick Karegeya, a prominent critic who was found dead in his hotel room in Johannesburg on January 1, 2014. At the time, Kagame came close to condoning Karegeya’s murder in a public speech: ‘Any person still alive who may be plotting against Rwanda, whoever they are, will pay the price…Whoever it is, it is a matter of time’.”

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