An international independent Commission should investigate the assassinations targeting the members of FDU INKINGI in Rwanda

Seth Sendashonga

The Seth Sendashonga Institute for Democratic Citizenship (ISCID asbl) is deeply concerned by the ongoing assassinations and disappearances targeting political opponents to the RPF regime in Rwanda in particular targeting the members of the political party FDU Inkingi who live in the country.

It is extremely worrying to note that within one year after Madame Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire, the president of the not yet officially registered FDU Inkingi political party was released from prison by a putative presidential grace, all her close aides and collaborators have been victims of assassinations or have disappeared in unexplained circumstances.

Those assassinations and disappearances seem to be orchestrated by the regime of President Paul Kagame with a view to silence any emergence of democratic political opposition. The international community which played a big role in the liberation of Madame Victoire Ingabire should strongly react to these crimes which some consider as the tradeoff to the putative presidential grace.

As a reminder of this sinister series of assassinations and disappearances:

Mr. Boniface Twagirimana who was the Vice-President of FDU Inkingi went missing on 8 October 2018 (three weeks after Victoire Ingabire was released from prison) while he was detained in Mpanga, one of the maximum security prisons in Rwanda, and his disappearance led many to believe that it was a planned operation because he had just been transferred to Mpanga from the Mageragere prison. The penitentiary authorities claimed that he escaped but so far no investigation has been carried out to establish the facts after one year of his disappearance and it is thus likely that he has been assassinated.

On 8 March 2019, Mr. Anselme Mutuyimana, a young man who had just finished one year in prison for being a member of FDU Inkingi was kidnapped by police security forces in broad day light in front of many eye witnesses while he was on his way to visit his parents in Karongi, Western Rwanda. His body was found the following day in a nearby forest. Until now there has been no investigation on the circumstances of his death.

On 15 July 2019, Mr. Eugene Ndereyimana who was the interim representative of FDU Inkingi in Eastern Rwanda went missing while he was travelling to Nyagatare in the Mutara region on an official mission for his party.

More recently, on 23 September 2019, Mr. Sylidio Dusabumuremyi who was the FDU Inkingi national coordinator was killed at his place of work in the Shyogwe Health Center.

The above cases follow many other unexplained assassinations of members of FDU Inkingi notably Mr. Jean Damascene Habarugira (killed in May 2017) and Madame Illuminée Iragena who went missing while on her way to work in March 2016 and until now her disappearance remains unexplained by the security services.

Considering that all these crimes have political motives given that they have been orchestrated by agents of the government and for these reasons no judicial investigations have been undertaken to explain them, the Seth Sendashonga Institute is of the view that an international independent commission should be established to shed light on these assassinations and/or disappearances which seem to be instigated by the Kagame regime to maintain itself in power as long as possible while it continues to claim it has brought security to the country and to dismiss the calls for justice from the families and friends of the victims.

Such an independent investigation would allow the international community to take the necessary measures to prevent these crimes.

Done in Brussels, 02 October 2019

Jean-Claude Kabagema
President, ISCID asbl.