The national coordinator of one of Rwanda’s main opposition movements was killed Monday, the third member of the United Democratic Forces to either disappear or be found murdered this year.
Syridio Dusabumuremyi was stabbed to death in his shop in the country’s southern Muhanga district by unidentified people, the Rwanda Investigation Bureau said on its Twitter account. Two suspects have been arrested and investigations are ongoing, spokeswoman Modeste Mbabazi said by phone.
UDF leader Victoire Ingabire confirmed the killing, saying she believes the attack was premeditated. In March, the body of a party member who had traveled to the northwest to visit his parents was discovered in a forest. Another member has been missing since July.
“I strongly believe these are coordinated attacks and it looks like other targeted killings of the opposition members,” she said by phone from the capital, Kigali. “These killings should stop.”
Human-rights groups have repeatedly accused President Paul Kagame’s government of cracking down on political opponents and the media. Amnesty International said in a statement that Monday’s killing was “extremely alarming” and urged the authorities to conduct an independent investigation into what it described as “numerous suspicious attacks.”
“It is essential that the government of Rwanda protects the rights to freedom of expression and association, including for opposition politicians, and ends the current climate of harassment and intimidation they face,” the U.K.-based rights group said.
Ingabire, a one-time presidential candidate, was jailed for 15 years in 2013 for conspiring against the government before being pardoned last year. She hasn’t been allowed to officially register the United Democratic Forces as a party. The movement’s vice president hasn’t been seen since he allegedly escaped from a maximum-security prison in October last year. (Bloomberg).