Why recent killing of opposition politician in Rwanda is suspicious

Last night’s murder in Rwanda of Syldio Dusabumuremyi, an opposition politician who belonged to an unregistered political party has further raised an alarm about the mysterious deaths of opposition politicians in the country.

The death has not gone unnoticed with Amnesty International Director for East Africa Joan Nanyuki making her reservations about the murder known.

“The violent killing of Syldio Dusabumuremyi is extremely alarming. It’s all the more troubling that it follows numerous suspicious attacks, including the disappearance of an FDU-Inkingi party member barely two months ago, and the death of yet another in March,” said Nyanyuki.

She went on to call for thorough investigations to be carried out by the authorities into the death of Dusabumuremyi.

But as the spate of murders of political dissidents in Rwanda keeps on happening, the main question is: who is truly behind the gruesome act?

“It is essential that the government of Rwanda protects the rights to freedom of expression and association, including for opposition politicians, and ends the current climate of harassment and intimidation they face,”added Nanyuki.

In a moment of terror for Rwanda’s opposition, we take a look at those who have fallen victim.

Victoire Ingabire, the President of FDU-Inkingi (United Democratic Forces), reported that two unidentified men arrived by motorbike at a canteen run by Syldio Dusabumuremyi in Muhanga district shortly after 9pm last night and stabbed Mr Dusabumuremyi to death. Rwanda’s Investigation Bureau tweeted that they were investigating and had arrested two people.

The killing is the latest in a list of attacks, enforced disappearances and murders of FCU-Inkingi members.

On 15 July, Eugène Ndereyimana, another member of FDU-Inkingi, was reported missing when he failed to show up for a meeting in Nyagatare in Eastern Province.

On 9 March, Anselme Mutuyimana, an assistant to Victoire Ingabire, was found dead on the edge of the Gishwati forest in northwestern Rwanda.

On 7 October last year, Boniface Twagirimana, FDU-Inkingi’s vice-president, was reported to have escaped from Mpanga International Prison, a maximum-security prison in Nyanza district. He has not been seen since. The circumstances of his alleged escape give reason to believe that he may have been subjected to an enforced disappearance.

In May 2017, Jean Damascene Habarugira, a local party representative from Ngoma district was found dead.

Illuminée Iragena, an FDU-Inkingi member and a regular visitor to Victoire Ingabire when she was in detention, went missing in March 2016. Sources close to the case believe she was tortured and died in detention.

About Yusuf Mwesigwa

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