Rwanda: Frightening Spate of Rwanda Opposition Members' Killings

Syldio Dusabumuremyi.

Kigali — THE murder of a top opposition party official in Rwanda is the most recent in a series of killings of opposition officials in the country.

Assailants killed Syldio Dusabumuremyi, the national coordinator of the United Democratic Forces (FDU)-Inkingi as he worked in his canteen in the southern Muhanga District on Monday night.

He was stabbed after two men on a motorbike attacked the property.

At least three other members of the FDU-Inkingi opposition coalition have died or disappeared across Rwanda in the past year.

"The violent killing of Syldio Dusabumuremyi is extremely alarming," said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International's East Africa director.

Nyanyuki urged the government of President Paul Kagame to conduct an effective and independent investigation into the death and those of other opposition party members.

Kagame was scheduled to speak at the 74th United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York, United States.

While he is popular with some influential governments abroad, human rights groups accuse him of political repression since assuming power in 2000.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Rwanda's international partners and the UN must demand transparent and credible investigations into recent deaths and disappearances of opposition members.

Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at HRW, said on the international stage, Rwanda was celebrated as a model of law and order, yet there was an unpunished spate of violent and brazen attacks against opposition members.

"The contrast is jarring," Mudge said.

The Rwanda Investigation Bureau stated it had arrested two suspects in connection with Dusabumuremyi's murder.

In 2014, former Rwandan intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya was found killed in a Johannesburg, South Africa. This came flowing numerous attempts on his life.

Just three months ago, another Rwandan opposition activist Camir Nkurunziza was hijacked in Cape Town and killed. Nkurunziza is former bodyguard-turned-critic of Rwandan president Kagame.

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