Friday, July 09, 2010

Rwanda Hits Back At South Africa Over Assassination Attempt Against Former General

Rwanda hits back at SA

(AFP) KIGALI--Rwanda has hit back at South Africa over "insinuations" it was behind an attempt to kill a dissident general, which some of Kigali’s opponents said was part of a pre-election purge of top brass.

Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told AFP she had called in Pretoria’s ambassador on Tuesday to express outrage over the conduct of the probe into the shooting of Rwandan general Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa.

"I have summoned the South African ambassador (Gladstone Dumisani Gwadiso) on Tuesday to convey the concern of the Rwandan government over the way the investigation is carried out," Mushikiwabo said.

The exiled general was shot and seriously wounded outside his home in Johannesburg on June 19.

His wife and some Rwandan opposition media blamed the attack on
President Paul Kagame’s regime, months before the August 9 election.

"Some insinuations emanating from official circles in South Africa and carried in the media appear to be pointing a finger at the Rwandan government," Mushikiwabo said.

"Naturally, there is no truth to this. We find these insinuations very
alarming," the foreign minister added.

Earlier this month, the South African foreign ministry suggested
foreign agents were involved in the assassination attempt but did not
elaborate as to which country they were from. Days after Nyamwasa’s shooting, an opposition journalist in Kigali who claimed to have uncovered evidence of the regime’s involvement was shot dead.

The government denied any involvement.

The Rwandan minister also took issue with the questioning of a Rwandan businessman based in South Africa, saying he was "treated in a very unprofessional way during questioning" by investigators.

"His personal belongings and his money were not returned to him when he was released.

"Moreover, he was branded a killer during his interrogation," she charged.

She also claimed that a member of Nyamwasa’s family attended the interrogation.

"In our opinion, it is not normal that a party involved in the case
should be taking part in the enquiry."

"It saddens us coming from a country with which we have a very
positive partnership, a country with which we have excellent ties,"
the minister added.

Nyamwasa, a former comrade-in-arms of Kagame’s, was one of two
generals accused by the Rwandan government of masterminding a recent string of grenade attacks in Kigali.

Yesterday, a military spokesman told Radio Rwanda that senior army
officer Colonel Diogene Mudenge, who also heads the Rwanda Utilities egulatory Agency, had been arrested for allegedly threatening a civilian.

Mudenge is accused of "using his gun to threaten a citizen with whom e is involved in a land dispute," the spokesman said.

The arrest was the latest in a string of arrests of Rwandan top brass.

In June, General Jean-Bosco Kazura, in charge of training for the
Rwandan army and head of the country’s amateur football federation,
was detained for travelling to South Africa without permission from
his superiors.

In April, two other senior army officers were detained, including
Emmanuel Karenzi Karake, the former deputy commander of the
international UNAMID mission in Darfur.

Rights groups have accused Kagame, who has ruled Rwanda since the end of the 1994 genocide and is widely expected to be re-elected in the August 9 polls, of stifling any form of dissent in recent months. —AFP.

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