A Norwegian Human Rights activist from Rwanda has been missing for 10 months.

According to the Norwegian media, last year; Emmanuel Munyaruguru went to Uganda to help Rwandan refugees. Now no one has heard anything from him for ten months.

Munyaruguru, who has Norwegian citizenship; has been involved in humanitarian work for many years through a humanitarian organization called Terram Pacis. In March 2014, he traveled to Uganda to visit a refugee camp Nakivale, south of the country, close to the Rwandan border.

“The last time anyone had contact with him, was in August last year. In September we went to the local police in Tromsø and reported him missing”; said his friend and CEO at Terram Pacis, Joseph Hategekimana to the Norwegian Media.

They both have been working together at Terram Pacis. Established in Norway in 2010 as International humanitarian organization; Terram Pacis is a registered non-governmental and non-profit organization set up to promote community solidarity, human rights, democracy, peace initiatives, refugees issues and sustainable development. To the extent possibilities, it engages youth in public policy, voluntary and advocacy activities.

According to the CEO of Terram Pacis, Munyaruguru went to Uganda to raise the problems of Rwandan Refugees to relevant government following milt-abductions of Rwandan refugees in Uganda by the operatives believed to be working for Rwandan government. He was supposed to go through Kenya, if the situation was to be unsafe in Uganda. Therefore, whether he disappeared in Kenya, Uganda or Rwanda is unclear.

“The last thing we heard is that the Rwandan authorities were looking for him last year in September”, said Hategekimana to the Norwegian Media on Thursday night.

Hategekimana, the CEO at Terram Pacis fears his friend and colleague may either have been captured or killed by the Rwandan authorities.

“We all know the reputation of the Rwandan government on its gross abuse of human rights. In the prelude to the 1994 Genocide, all the signs were visible, and yet the international community chose to ignore them and abandon Rwanda which led to the guilt-laden behavior in post-genocide Rwanda, but this is not the reason to keep silence. This guilt-laden behavior and silence have fueled Kagame and his regime with impunity; politically motivated assassinations, disappearances and imprisonment of political opponents, journalists and human rights activists; and gross human rights abuses. If he is dead, Terram Pacis must ensure that those who are responsible are brought to justice”. Said Hategekimana to the Rwandan

Joseph Hategekimana
Joseph Hategekimana

In the Dagbladet a Norwegian newspaper article of 2012; the journalist followed Munyaruguru from the days when he was a high ranking military officer within the Rwandan Government Armed Forces (FAR) until their defeat in 1994, his escape to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), then to Madagascar, South-Africa and finally to Norway. According to the article, Major Emmanuel Munyaruguru was a researcher within the Ministry of Defense when the war erupted in 1990 and until 1994.

The article describes multiple attempts on his life in Madagascar which led to the United Nations resettling him in South Africa. While there he became an export coordinator with a multinational import-export company. However, the constant threats on his life did not stop. Once again the United Nations had to resettle him to Norway. He has been a member of the Norwegian Labor Party and a Civil Engineering Manager in the Town of Tromso.

Once in Norway, the threats did not stop. First, anonymous e-mails sent from Norway and Central African Republic by suspected Rwandan intelligence operatives, and ultimately failed assassination attempts. Thereafter, the Rwandan government used all means including judicial means accusing Munyaruru crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity.

These charges were also dismissed by the royal court of the kingdom of Norway. That is when the threats intensified leading to the failed assassination in Norway in late 2010 and early 2011. The suspected assassins, believed to be working for Rwandan operatives based in Belgium and Great Britain, allegedly provided information and left evidences that led to the Norwegian Police taking radical measures to protect Major Emmanuel Munyaruguru with a violence alarm since January 2011.

In the VG (the Norwegian biggest tabloid) article of Friday 19th , 2015; the chief prosecutor at Troms police force Einar Sparboe Lysnes, told VG that it is the family that has reported the Munyaruguru missing and that the police have done some research into the matter.

According to the Foreign Ministry’s North man wanted internationally through Interpol

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware that a Norwegian citizen is reported missing in connection with his stay in Uganda. Through our Embassy in Kampala, we have attempted to clarify locally what might have happened to the person concerned, yet without result. We will continue to cooperate with the Norwegian police, who are responsible for the investigation, with the aim to clarify what might have happened”, said Astrid Sehl, Head of Communication department at the Ministry of foreign affairs to VG.

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