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Rwanda’s Opposition Seeks Independent Investigation into Death of Top Party Official

Rwanda’s opposition Democratic Green Party has officially petitioned U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requesting an independent investigation into what the group described as the assassination of its first vice president, Andre Kagwa Rwisereka.

Frank Habineza, leader of the opposition party, told VOA Rwisereka’s family has also petitioned the U.N. chief demanding an investigation into his death.

“The family of our deceased vice president, Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, has written to the Secretary-General of the United Nations requesting an independent inquiry into the matter. And, of course, the Democratic Party of Rwanda has also requested that, and the opposition coalition in Rwandan has also demanded [the same],” said Habineza.

Rwanda President Paul Kagame
Rwanda President Paul Kagame

“We understand that the U.N. secretary-general has also requested the government to do the investigation, as well as the government of France, and the government of Canada, and the European Union, but nothing has happened yet,” he said.

Rwisereka’s body was found almost beheaded by the banks of a river near Rwanda’s border with Burundi on July 14. His car was found abandoned with his passport and other identification still inside his car.

Habineza said President Paul Kagame’s government is yet to officially investigate and punish those responsible.

“As far as we are concerned, the police arrested one person in July, but the person was released a few weeks after and we haven’t heard any more information from the police. So, we are not aware of any development from the side of the government of Rwanda,” he said.

Both local and international human rights groups have demanded an independent investigation into his death.

Several rights groups have accused President Paul Kagame’s government of clamping down on opponents in recent months.