Saturday, December 3, 2011

Another journalist savagely "silenced" by Kagame's thugs

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Rwandan journalist, Chrles Ingabire, became the latest victim of Kagame's killing machine. Yesterday, he was savagely gunned down outside a Kampala bar. The event as narrated by several news agency fits a perfect assassination script. The assailant's car dove by in close proximity to the unsuspecting journalist, then a sub-machine gun was fired at point blank, immediately killing him.

My initial thought was that this case would immediately die off. I completely thought that the Ugandan government would be indifferent to the killing. After all, this is not the first case whereby dissidents of Rwanda are shot down in Uganda. The last episode of killings happened early this year, as refugees were being forced to repatriate. It is reported that a number of them got killed, in a move that was meant to create terror.

I might have been way too pessimistic. As it seems, the government of Uganda is taking this issue seriously. According to Chimpreports, Ugandan State House counter Intelligence has taken over the investigations into the killings. The report claims:


... at least 50 top military agents have been dispatched to Old Kampala to investigate the incident that has put Kigali and Kampala ties at stake.
As the news develops, Rwanda's hand in the killing is becoming even clearer. Security sources are pointing fingers at a Rwandan agent identified as follows:

Leon Magyeshi, who is now detained at the headquarters of Chieftaincy of military intelligence in Kampala, is believed to have coordinated the assassination.
Magyeshi, a Rwandese military veteran, has been coordinating espionage activities for Kagame’s government from Kampala. He was picked by CMI from his home in Mengo, a Kampala suburb.
Born in the Tanzanian Province of Kagera, Magyeshi joined the Rwanda Patriotic Army(RPA) now RDF in 1992 and served in the Presidential Protection Unit (PPU).
Before his arrest Majeshi was running an online news website www. Inyangenews.com.
More shocking information shows Magyeshi was reportedly sent by Rwandese government to prop up a sham opposition forum in Uganda with the view of netting Kagame’s enemies hiding in Kampala. Magyeshi has been in detention for almost two weeks where he is being interrogated.
What many of us know for a a fact is that this kind of execution-style murders are very rare in Kampala.  Often, armed gangs may commit crimes such a stealing, but it is rare that thugs pursue a victim for the sake of killing them. The assailants in this case, fled without taking anything from the victim.

The government of Rwanda responded not by refuting the news. This is how a Dutch newspaper describes the government spokeswoman's reaction:

She conceded Ingabire "may have contributed to that blog (Inyenyeri)" but said police records showed he was better known as "the head of a micro-finance company arrested for embezzlement and convicted" and who subsequently escaped from jail in 2006.
She later added that the journalist was not well known, perhaps to suggest that Kagame's government would have no interest in killing him. The opposition on the other hand placed the blame squarely on the government. It was revealed that Ingabire had raised concerns about his security, but had been denied relocation by UNHCR.

I have to say that UNHCR has a history of betraying Rwandan refugees. During my visit to Uganda in 2009, I was told that Rwandan dissidents were often denied refugee status by the agency. Some of them while bearing physical signs of torture, had been denied treatment. It seems the UNHCR still operates under the old-fashioned prism that views Kagame as the good guy. This is unfortunate since the UNHCR is mandated to protect refugees without discrimination. It defeats purpose that they would turn away a refugee faced with the threat of murder.

We can only hope that the architects of this terrible crime will be brought to account. Of course this might be unlikely, given that the attackers possibly will benefit from diplomatic impunity. In about two weeks, president Kagame is expected in Uganda for an official state visit. The biggest question is, why is the west supporting this mass murderer?

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