Target: Rene Mugenzi has been warned by police that his life is under threat
By Ted Thornhill
Last updated at 2:35 PM on 20th May 2011
Two Rwandan dissidents have been warned by Scotland Yard that their lives are in imminent danger from assassins hired by their government.
Rene Mugenzi and Jonathan Musonera both received a ‘Threats To Life Warning Notice’ from the police, which spells out that their personal safety is in danger.
The warning follows the questioning of a suspected member of the assassination squad at the Eurotunnel Terminal in Folkstone, Kent.
The 43-year-old man, a Rwandan now carrying a Belgian passport, was released after being interviewed, according to The Times.
The paper obtained a copy of the legal notice served to Mr Mugenzi and Mr Musonera, which read: ‘Reliable intelligence states that the Rwandan Government poses an imminent threat to your life. The threat could come in any form
'You should be aware of other high-profile cases where action such as this has been conducted in the past. Conventional and unconventional means have been used.’
The assassination plot could completely destabilise the relationship between the UK and President Kagame’s regime, considered to be one of its closest African allies.
However, Mr Kagame has been accused of becoming increasingly authoritarian in recent years.
Mr Mugenzi, 35, who survived Rwanda’s 1994 genocide and now runs the London Centre for Social Impact, spoke of how terrifying life has become.
The married man of three told The Independent: ‘How can it be that in Britain, a foreign government can be allowed to threaten the life of a person? Every time I go outside, I am looking over my shoulder, wondering if there is an assassin around the corner.’
Mr Musonera, 46, is a former officer in the army of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and also told The Independent of his fears. He said: ‘I am terribly scared. We know what the Rwandan government can do. Their killers are not bothered about observing the laws of the countries in which they carry out their activities.’
There is speculation that he is a target because on a BBC programme recently he asked Mr Kagame for his opinion on the uprisings in Libya and Egypt, and wondered if protests might also engulf Rwanda.
Criticism: Rwandan President Paul Kagame has come under fire for his regime's human rights record
A police spokeswoman told MailOnline: ‘The metropolitan police service takes all threats against a person extremely seriously and appropriate actions are taken - but we do not discuss individual cases.’
Ernest Rwamucyo, the Rwandan High Commissioner to the UK, has strenuously denied any involvement of his government in an assassination plot.
He said: 'The government of Rwanda does not threaten the lives of its citizens wherever they live.'
Mr Kagame became President of Rwanda in March 2000 and has a pro-free market stance. However, his human rights record has been seriously criticised.
The Rwandan police have been accused by Human Rights Watch of carrying out extrajudicial killings and the U.S. Government has criticised the regime for making arbitrary arrests and for the sudden disappearances of political dissidents.
Rwanda Civil War: A government soldier guarding a Hutu refugee camp in a village in Southern Rwanda - around 800,000 people lost their lives in the atrocities