Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa Saga Deepens

salve geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>In a letter to US Secretary of State, John F Kerry, the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Edward R Royce says: “I am writing to express my deep concern over the numerous attempted attacks and killings of Rwandan dissidents living outside that country.”

He added: “Any functioning and responsible democracy allows the voices of opposition to be heard. Yet, in Rwanda there is a systematic effort to silence – by any means necessary – the voices of those who question the regime.”

The Rwanda government has since denied participating in the recent attack on Kayumba’s house though South Africa maintains the operation was planned by Kigali.

Three Rwandan diplomats were expelled last week, with Kigali retaliating by kicking out six more South African envoys.

Rwanda Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo accused South Africa of harbouring masterminds of terrorist attacks in Kigali.


“Good diplomatic relations are better served by South Africa addressing illegal activities of protected Rwandan fugitives on their soil,” said Mushikiwabo, adding, “Rwandan fugitives continue to engage in terrorist attacks back home. Despite repeated promises from Pretoria, the problem is unresolved.”

She said South Africa expelling law-abiding Rwandan diplomats was simply wrong and Rwanda has every right to reciprocate.”


Relations between Rwanda and South Africa were strained in 2010 after Kayumba was shot in the stomach as he drove home.

Tensions rose further after South Africa deployed troops to fight M23 rebels who had created a security buffer zone between Rwanda and the genocidal FDLR in DRC.

With the defeat of M23, FDLR got ample territory near the Rwanda border to retrain and mobilize new recruits to reinforce their forces; a move many believe threatens Rwanda’s national security.

It should also be noted that Kayumba is among the suspected dissidents who have been masterminding grenade attacks in Rwanda in which lives have been lost.

Speaking at Rwanda Leaders Fellowship Prayer Breakfast on January 12, Kagame did not show remorse at Karegeya’s recent murder at South African Hotel, accusing him of masterminding terrorist activities against his home country.

“No one will betray Rwanda and get away with it. Regardless of who you are, there will be consequences. God gave us the strength to protect what we have built. Whoever it is, even those still alive will bear the consequences; it’s just a matter of time,” Kagame warned.

Without mentioning names, Kagame said he “really don’t feel the necessity for politeness on this issue, no need for being diplomatic, of being politically correct. What’s surprising is that you didn’t do it, not the other way around. Because how can people betray their country… a country that made them who they are boasting to be today? All those fellows would have been nothing if it wasn’t for this country, if it wasn’t for Rwanda.”

He added: “Rwanda made them who they are today. And they have now turned against it; they are now insulting it, abusing it. I honestly have no diplomacy in that regard. We should have been the ones, we should have been the ones to do it; it shouldn’t have been somebody else. Because no one will do it for you, no Bangladeshi peacekeeper, no Pakistani, no white person, no one else can protect your country and grant you peace. Only you can do it, and you shouldn’t feel bad about doing what you need to.”

Outrage in US

In his letter to Kerry, Royce said Karegeya’s murder and numerous assassination attempts on Kayumba are “just the most recent examples of many Rwandan dissidents who have been killed, exiled, tortured and unjustly imprisoned over the years.

Rather than condemning targeted attacks against popular opposition figures, President Paul Kagame publicly celebrates them, many times falling just short of taking personal credit.”

He added: “Even while denying accusations of official involvement in the Karegeya assassination, President Kagame told the Press: I wish Rwanda did it. I really wish it.” Consistently in public remarks, President Kagame indicates that there will be consequences for those who question his authority.”

Royce said allowing President Kagame’s rhetoric “and the slaying of dissidents abroad to go unchecked will only embolden the regime. Towards that end, I encourage you to closely reevaluate U.S engagements with Rwanda and take into account these troubling actions when considering future assistance.”

He further said “while am cognizant of the strategic role Rwanda’s security forces play in peacekeeping missions throughout the continent, this should blind us to the regime’s attempts to violently close the political space for opposition voices.

As we prepare to mark the 20 year anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, which claimed 800,000 people in just three months and sparked a regional conflict that has yet to be resolved – the friends of Rwanda must ensure that we do not, once against, miss the warning signs of political dysfunction and repression.”

It remains unclear what type of action Kerry will take.

It remains to be seen if U.S can afford to slash aid or hurt relations with Rwanda considering the country’s significant contribution to peacekeeping missions in Africa and tight relations with Washington.

Besides, South Africa is yet to finalise investigations into Karegeya’s murder.

Back to top button
Translate »

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker