Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Rwanda: Opponent of Rwanda's Kagame Found Dead in South Africa

Photo: Ikazeiwacu
Former Rwandan Intelligence Chief Patrick Karegeya (file photo).

Rwanda's opposition leaders are blaming President Paul Kagame for the death of a former spy chief, who appears to have been strangled in a South African hotel.

Investigators say former intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya was found dead on Wednesday in an upscale Johannesburg hotel room.

Police said Thursday that Karegeya had a "swollen neck" and that a bloody towel and rope were found in the hotel room's safe.

In a statement, the opposition Rwanda National Congress blamed the government. The group said the government is trying to "intimidate and silence" Rwandans into submission.

Karegeya was initially a Kagame ally, fighting alongside him in the war that ended Rwanda's 1994 genocide. But in 2006 he was arrested, demoted and jailed on charges that included insubordination. He later fled into exile.

Karegeya and three other exiled former military officers were sentenced in absentia in 2011 to long prison sentences for allegedly threatening state security.

One of the other exiled former officers is Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa. His family and opposition leaders say he has survived two assassination attempts.

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InFocus

Exiled Rwandans Live in Fear

As elite South African agencies hunt for the alleged killer of exiled former intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya, other exiles are visibly concerned about their security. Read more »