Petition to Development Aid Partners of Rwanda for an international probe into the assassination of Rwandan opposition leader Patrick Karegeya in Johannesburg (01.01.2014)

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On January 1st 2014, the body of a Rwandan opposition leader Patrick Karegeya, was found in Michelangelo Towers Hotel (Johannesburg, South Africa), strangled to death with a rope and towels. The prime suspect is a known Rwandan national believed to be in collaboration with senior officers of the Rwandan National Intelligence and Security Services.

On 13 July 2010, the beheaded body of the Vice President of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, the late André Kagwa Rwisereka, was found in a wetland near Butare city in Rwanda. “This is the second killing of an outspoken critic of the Rwandan government in less than a month,” Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said that time in a statement. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also called for a full investigation. Three years later, the case is totally forgotten.

The Rwandan regime has many times been accused to extend the reach of its repression to foreign territories, where it sends hit squads to assassinate critics. General Kayumba Nyamwasa narrowly escaped two assassination attempts in South Africa. A plot to assassinate two British citizens of Rwandan origin, Musonera Jonathan, and Rene Mugenzi, member of the Liberal Party was foiled in May 2011 by Scotland Yard.  A Rwandan journalist critical of the Rwandan regime was assassinated on the 1st of December 2011 in Uganda. The former Home Affairs Minister Seth Sendashonga, former member of Parliament Colonel Theoneste Lizinde and a businessman Bugilimfura were assassinated in Nairobi, Kenya. Over the last 20 years of the current regime, the list of its victims of human rights abuses runs into thousands, with additions every day. On the 23rd of October, 2013 the Swedish District Court of Orebro convicted Emmanuel Habiyambere of espionage and collecting information about Rwandan political refugees. The Court said  Habiyambere informed directly Jack Nziza –a Rwandan general who is a very close collaborator of President Paul Kagame.

We demand the international community partners of Rwanda including especially the UK and USA, and including Japan, Sweden, Canada, UN, African Union, Southern African Development Community (SADC), Eastern African Community (EAC) and others to demand accountability for the human rights abuses inside and outside Rwanda.

We strongly urge the donor community to review their policies on accountability for human rights violations attributed to some members of the military and security services in Rwanda. We call for an international probe into the assassinations of political opponents inside and outside Rwanda and accountability.

The continuing consecration of impunity will lead Rwanda to the brink of a new cycle of violence, conflict, and genocide. It is time for the International community to take full responsibility and hold accountable those found responsible of those atrocities. Impunity is one of major causes of genocide and Rwanda’s failed transition. Breaking the cycle of impunity enjoyed by some of the members of the military and security services of Rwanda is a pre-requisite for stability in Rwanda and the region.

The undersigned call upon an international probe into the assassinations of Colonel Patrick Karegeya and other political opponents inside and outside Rwanda.

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