Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

President Paul Kagame is a Master of Political Assassinations

For OpEdNews: Augustin Munyemana - Writer

Even though Kagame did not finish the high school and has no school diploma, he has mastered the techniques of killing, especially with regard to assassinations of his political opponents. The failed assassination attempt of General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa in South Africa on June 19, 2010, is obviously the last attempt by Kagame's death squads to silence a high profile political opponent. Even if this assassination attempt has attracted much public attention it only is a drop in ocean.
Besides numerous targeted political assassinations, Kagame has ordered mass killings of Hutu and Tutsi civilians in Rwanda since October 1, 1990. People have been rounded up away from public view (mostly during the nights), executed and dumped in mass graves. Kagame also sent bulldozers to destroy camps for internally displaced people in Kibeho, Rwanda (1995) and refugee camps in Goma, DR Congo (1996-1997), killing hundreds thousands of people. The unpublished Gersony report about mass killing inside Rwanda in 1994 as well as the recently leaked UN report about Hutu genocide in RDC from 1993 to 2003 are clear proofs of Kagame's crimes against humanity if not genocide.
The list below is not exhaustive, it however shows clearly how Kagame and his death squads have killed so many people both inside Rwanda and abroad since the launch of the Rwandan war by the RPF on October 1, 1990 from Uganda.
1. Political Assassinations Inside Rwanda
Between 1991 and 1993, Kagame's death-squads infiltrated Rwanda from Uganda to conduct targeted assassinations of prominent politicians and local administrative leaders who had actively denounced the RPF invasion of Rwanda and the killings of civilians by RPF soldiers in northern regions of Ruhengeri and Byumba. He also launched several raids on border towns targeting politicians and civil leaders.
On January 23, 1991, the RPF launched a raid on the city of Ruhengeri, killing score of Hutu civilians selectively and rooting administrative offices and shops. The same day RPF killed Congressman Telesphore Munyaruyenzi, an outspoken opponent of the RPF and its war.
On February 28, 1992, the RPF launched a second raid on the city of Ruhengeri, targeting local administrative leaders and politicians. During the raid, Mr. Thaddee Gasana, the influential Mayor of Kinigi Commune, was assassinated together with score of Hutu civilians.
On May 18, 1993, Kagame's death squads killed Mr. Emmanuel Gapyisi, a prominent political leader and Vice-President of the Republican Party. Mr. Gapyisi was a critical voice of the atrocious killing methods used by the RPF rebels led by Kagame.
In June 1993, Kagame's death squads killed Mr. Fidele Rwambuka, Mayor of Kanzenze Commune. Mr. Rwambuka's death prompted much tension between Tutsi and Hutu in the South-Eastern part of the country.
On February 21, 1994, Kagame's death squads struck again in KigaliCity, killing Mr. Felicien Gatabazi, the Chairman of the Social Democratic party (PSD). It was reported that before his assassination Mr. Gatabazi had vehemently expressed his opposition to the military takeover of power by Kagame and his RPF rebels.
On February 23, 1994, Kagame's death squads disguised as the Abakombozi militia (PSD) struck in ButareCity, killing Mr. Martin Bucyana, the Chairman of the Coalition for the Defense of the Republic (CDR), a staunch opponent of the RPF.
In March 1994, Mr. Gacamumakuba, Mayor of Tumba Commune, was killed by Kagame's death-squads.
On April 6, 1994, Kagame's commando launched a missile attack that destroyed the plane carrying Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and the Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira, their respective delegations and the French crew members. The death of these two Hutu Presidents is widely believed to have triggered the resumption of hostilities that culminated into what is known as the genocide against the Tutsis.
On April 7, 1994, Kagame's death squads conducted selective assassinations of 120 people in Remera neighborhood, KigaliCity. They mainly targeted intellectual Hutus. Among the victims were Mr. Sylvestre Baliyanga, former Governor of Ruhengeri, Mr. Claudien Habarushaka, former Governor of Kigali and Mr. Emmanuel Bahigiki, former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning.
On June 23, 1994, the RPF soldiers massacred clergymen at Rwesero Seminary. Among the victims were Abbot Joseph Hitimana, principal of the seminary, Abbots Christian Nkiriyehe, Athanase Nkundabanyanga, Alexis Havugimana, Faustin Mulindwa, Fidele Mulinda, Celestin Muhayimana, Augustin Muhayimana and Gaspard Mudashimwa. Other victims include Sisters Annonciata and Carolla.
On June 5, 1994, the RPF soldiers decapitated the Rwandan Catholic Church, killing three Bishops, numerous priests and deacons at Gakurazo in Gitarama. Among the murdered clergymen, most of which Hutus, were the Archbishop of Kigali, Vincent Nsengiyumva, the Bishop of Byumba, Joseph Ruzindana, the Bishop of Kabgayi Thaddee Nsengiyumva and Mgr Innocent Gasabwoya.
In February 1997, Kagame's death squads killed Mr. Alphonse Marie Nkubito, the founder of the first Rwandan Human Rights Organization and former Attorney General under the RPF government. Mr. Nkubito was killed because he had dared to point his accusing finger to some RPF elements responsible killings of Hutu civilians in different locations around the country.
On February 14, 1997, Mr. Vincent Nsanzabaganwa, former chairman of the Rwandan Security Council, was murdered by Kagame's death squads at his home in KigaliCity.
On November 15, 1997, Colonel Stanslas Hakizimana was killed by Kagame's death-squads together with his whole family in Nyarutovu, Ruhengeri. Col. Hakizimana was Kagame's classmate at the US Army Command and Staff College (SGSC) in Leavenworth, Kansas.
On December 26, 2002, Kagame's secret services shot and killed Mr. Gratien Munyarubuga, a co-founder of the Democratic Party for Renewal (PDR-Ubuyanja).
In June 2003, Colonel Cyiza, former vice-president of Rwandan appeal court was abducted and later killed. His body was never recovered.
On April 7, 2003, Dr. Leonald Hitimana was killed and his body dumped into the NyabarongoRiver. Congressman in the transitional assembly, Dr. Hitimana, member of the Republican Party, was a vocal opponent of one party rule that Kagame wanted to impose on the Rwandan people by banning other political parties.
On April 9, 2003, Mr. Damien Musayidizi disappeared for about two weeks before his body was found in a bush near Kigali.
On July 1, 2009, Colonel Danny Ndahiro was assassinated along with his 9-year old son at his home in Kigali by Kagame's death squads. Colonel Ndahiro, a leading medical scientist, had on several occasions opposed Kagame's plans aimed at eliminating Hutu civilians through different methods including poisoning , killing of babies at birth and sterilization of Hutu women.
On June 20, 2010, Mr. Denis Ntare Semadwinga was assassinated at his home in Gisenyi by Kagame's death squads. Mr. Semadwinga was a close ally of General Laurent Nkunda who is currently imprisoned in Rwanda without trial.
On July 13, 2010, Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, Vice President of the Rwandan Green Party, went reportedly missing. A day later, his body nearly decapitated, was found on the bench of Mukura swamp near the southern town of Butare.
2. Political assassinations committed by Kagame's death squads outside Rwanda.
After taking power by force in Rwanda on July 4, 1994, Kagame dispatched his death squads outside the country to hunt down and kill political opponents. Later on, the same death squads started hunting down dissidents from the ruling party, RPF.
On October 6, 1996 Kagame's death squads killed Colonel Theoneste Lizinde in Nairobi, Kenya. Former member of the RPF and Governor of Byumba, Col. Lizinde defected and sought asylum in Kenya after falling out with Kagame following his complaints about the RPF killing of Hutu civilians in Byumba in 1994 and 1995.
On May 28, 1998, Kagame's death squads killed Mr. Seth Sendashonga in Nairobi, Kenya. Former interior minister under Kagame's regime, Mr. Sendashonga defected and fled to Kenya after falling out with Kagame on continued massacres of Hutu civilians in different parts of Rwanda by the Kagame's army and secret services.
On February 15, 1999, Kagame's death squads struck in Yaounde, Cameroun, killing Mr. Pasteur Musabe, former CEO of African Continental Bank and brother of Colonel Theoneste Bagosora. 

On December 16, 2000, Kagame's death squads struck in Brussels, Belgium, killing Ms. Regina Uwamariya, sister of Colonel Theoneste Bagosora.
On June 8, 2003, Kagame's death-squads killed Lt. Colonel Laurent Bangaya in Calabar, Nigeria. The killing of Lt. Col. Bangaya came two weeks after Kagame had left Nigeria. It was believed that the final plan to kill him was finalized and approved by Kagame during the visit in Nigeria.
In 2008, Kagame's death-squads struck in Brussels, Belgium, killing Juvenal Uwiringiyimana, former Commerce Minister under President Juvenal Habyarimana.
On July 13, 2010, Kagame's death squads struck in Tanzania, killing Professor Jwani Timothy Mwaikusa, who was a lead lawyer of Yussuf Munyakazi at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania.
3. Killing of Journalists and other critical voices
To cover up all his wrongdoings and suppress the truth about what happened in Rwanda since October 1990, Kagame targeted independent reporters and investigative journalists. Score of journalists have since been killed while the luckier ones escaped and sought asylum abroad.
Many journalists were assassinated in retaliation to their work. Freethinking journalism has become a non starter under Kagame's regime.
In August 1995, Mr. Manasse Mugabo, director of the United Nations radio stations disappeared and his body was never recovered.
In April 1997, Mr. Apollo Hakizimana, editor of Umuravumba, was assassinated a week after authorities seized his journal for reporting RPF massacres of Hutu civilians in Northern and Western Rwanda.
On March 7, 1998, Father Andre Sibomana, reporter for the Catholic Church journal, Kinyamateka, was killed by starvation in Gitarama.
In May 1998, Mr. Emmanuel Munyemanzi, head of production at TV Rwanda, was killed two months after his boss accused him of sabotage by covering sensitive information regarding Hutu civilian deaths.
In May 2003, Mr. Eduard Mutsinzi, editor of the Messenger Newspaper, was assassinated for publishing information about the plan put in place by the RPF to rig the 2003 Presidential elections. Mr. Mutsinzi was abducted, beaten and left with broken ribs; his eyes were taken out and his brain damaged.
On June 24, 2010, Jean Leonard Rugambage, editor of Umuvugizi newspaper, was shot and killed in front of his house in KigaliCity. His journal had just published an article alleging that the Rwandan Government was behind the attempted murder of General Kayumba Nyamwasa in South Africa.
To avoid assassination or imprisonment, score of journalists have gone into exile. Their exodus started a year after Kagame's RPF took power in Rwanda in July 1994. Those who do not want trouble has preferred to stay silent or become a mouthpiece of the Kagame's Government.
4. Assassination of expatriates by Kagame's death squads
On April 12 1994, Father Vallmojo from Spain was killed in Nyinawimana. Father Vallmojo was an eye witness of multiple murders committed by RPF soldiers against his parishioners.

On October 17, 1994, Father Claud Smard was assassinated following his protest against abductions and killings of people from his parish.
On January 4, 1997, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) observers from Britain and Cambodia were slaughtered in Ruhengeri. They were eye witnesses to Hutu civilian massacres in Musanze sector but also in Kinigi, Gatonde and Cyabingo communes.
On January 18, 1997, three Spanish employees of Medecins du Monde were executed in Kagenke, Ruhengeri. They were killed together with hundreds of Hutu civilians in a camp of internally displaced people.
On February 2, 1977, Father Guy Pinard from Canada was assassinated in Kinigi, Ruhengeri. Father Pinard was killed inside the church during a mass celebration in front of his parishioners. Father Guy Pinard had witnessed multiple murders at the hands of Kagame's death squads.
In 1998, Father Duchamp from Canada and Father Curick Vjechoslav from Croatia were killed by Kagame's death squads in Kigali.
All of these expatriates were killed because they had witnessed atrocities committed by RPF soldiers and could provide damning testimonies against Kagame and his RPF party at any time.
The above list is not exhaustive. It does not mention large scale massacres of the population such as those that took place in Kibeho camp for internally displaced people from April 18-22, 1995 where more than 10,000 people were killed; Byumba cathedral and Musanze massacres in 1996; Gatonde, Cyabingo, and Nyakinama massacres in 1997; etc. It is during these mass killings of Hutu civilians by the Tutsi dominated army that my own family has been wiped out in February 1997. The above list shows a killing pattern that was politically motivated with the sole aim of silencing political opponents and/or covering up multiple crimes against humanity ordered by Kagame and executed by his death squads.
The recently leaked UN report of Hutu genocide in Eastern Congo from 1993 to 2003 and the recently unearthed Gersony report about Hutu Genocide in Rwanda in aftermath of the civil war in 1994 have revealed even more atrocities than reported before. This a clear proof that Kagame is the major genocidaire of our era.
With lingering legitimacy at the beginning of his next seven-year term in power due to a strong opposition inside and outside Rwanda, divisions within the army and growing doubts among his western supporters, Kagame is likely to accelerate his killing machine, increase his crackdown on opposition and restrict the freedom of speech more than ever before. Meanwhile, I will continue to denounce all genocide crimes and crimes against humanity committed by President Kagame and his death squads until justice is done and the Rwandan people as a whole are set free.


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