6 arrested in shooting of exiled former Rwandan army commander in South Africa
JOHANNESBURG -- South African police have arrested six people in connection with the attempted killing of a former Rwandan army commander who went into exile this year after falling out with Paul Kagame, Rwanda's president.
Lt. Gen. Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa is recovering in a hospital in Johannesburg after being shot outside his residence in what his wife said was an assassination attempt.
A former chief of army staff and then ambassador to India, Nyamwasa fled to South Africa in February. Rwandan officials have linked him and Patrick Karegeya, a former intelligence chief also in exile in South Africa, to grenade attacks in the capital, Kigali, this year and have accused both men of corruption.
Both men have denied the allegations and accused Kagame of using an anti-corruption campaign to "frame opponents."
The shooting coincides with rising tension, and a clamp-down on dissent in Rwanda ahead of presidential elections in August in which Kagame is seeking a second elected term.
South African police said they had made six arrests so far and "more are expected." They said they are investigating "a murder attempt" but refused to provide details about the nationalities of those allegedly involved. Nyamwasa's wife, Rosette, said over the weekend that a lone gunman approached their car and shot her husband in the stomach. She added that Kagame had made it clear in a series of statements that he wanted Nyamwasa dead.
Louise Mushikiwabo, the Rwandan foreign minister, said it was "preposterous" to suggest Kagame's government might have been involved. Rwanda's government "does not condone violence," she said, adding: "We trust in the ability of South African authorities to investigate."
Signs of rifts within Rwanda's ruling ethnic Tutsi elite and the army have begun to alarm some of Kagame's foreign allies. Many Western officials admire his record on social and economic development since his guerrilla army took power in 1994 after ending the Rwandan genocide, but worry that his government is becoming more authoritarian.
Earlier this month Brig. Gen. Jean Bosco Kazura, the head of Rwanda's football federation, was ordered back from the World Cup tournament in South Africa and arrested on arrival in Kigali, purportedly for failing to inform superiors of his absence. Several other senior officers have been detained, the army command has been reshuffled and David Imara, a former aide to Kagame, has also left the country.
-- Financial Times
Wallis reported from London.
Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch
Welcome to Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:http://www.rwandadocumentsproject.net/gsdl/cgi-bin/library