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Rwandan opposition politician Augistin Niyitegeka has reportedly gone missing.
According to his wife Emiline Nishimwe, Niyitegeka, who last year formed the National Democratic Party disappeared on 2nd January while returning from Burundi where he had businesses.
Nishimwe says the family is worried about her husband’s disappearance and fears for the worst given that it’s been two weeks now without his whereabouts.
“My husband was returning from Burundi on a business trip and the last I heard of him was when he was at Rwanda immigration office,” said Nishimwe.
Nishimwe adds that this is not the first time her husband has disappeared under unclear circumstances, having been arrested earlier and accused of convening an unlawful meeting.
Rwanda Investigation Bureau said they had already launched investigations into Niyitegeka’s disappearance.
“We received a complaint from his wife on 2nd and currently investigations are ongoing to help find him,” RIB spokesperson Michelle Umuhoza said
“As per the ongoing investigations he was not arrested by any of our sister security agency,” she added.
Niyitegeka was originally a founding member of the Opposition Party PS Imberakuri, which he left to join the ruling party after its head was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for various crimes including breach of state security which right groups said they were politically motivated.
In September 2019 he announced formation of the National Democratic Party which was denied registration without clear reasons.
In its latest statement on Monday Human Rights Watch said critics of Rwanda government continued to face repression, urging the Country’s international Partners to urge Rwanda to follow democratic path ahead of hosting Common Wealth Heads of State Meeting.
The opposition members in Rwanda have in the past been killed or disappeared.
In March 2019, Anselme Mutuyimana, a close aide of another Opposition Stalwart Victiore Ingabire was found dead and the party called it murder.
In July, FDU party member Eugene Ndereyimana went missing.
And in September Syridio Dusabumuremyi, who served as national co-ordinator for Rwanda’s most vocal opposition alliance, the United Democratic Forces, was fatally stabbed by two men from his shop.