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Rwanda remains silent on US criticism over attacks

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By RISDEL KASASIRA

Posted  Thursday, March 13  2014 at  21:11
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Kampala.
Rwanda has remained silent on the diplomatic row with S. Africa that resulted into expulsion of diplomats of both countries.

South Africa defended its decision to expel three Rwandan diplomats, who were linked to the assassination attempt on the Rwandan dissident, Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa in South Africa recently.

Rwandan government officials didn’t answer our reported calls and phone messages on a strong worded March 11 letter by US House Foreign Relations Committee chairperson Edward Royce to the Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry, condemning “attacks and killings of Rwandan dissidents”.

Rwandan Foreign Affairs minister Louis Muishikiwabo and the Rwandan ambassador in Uganda, Maj Gen Frank Mugambagye, didn’t respond to the letter that warns of “political dysfunctional and repression” in Rwanda.
Mr Royce said there is a systematic effort by the Rwandan government to silence the opposition.
“Any functioning and responsible democracy allows the voices of opposition to be heard. Yet in Rwanda there is a systematic effort to silence by any means necessary the voices of those who question the regime in Kigali,” he said.

Celebrating attacks?
Col Patrick Karegyeya, a prominent opposition figure and the former Rwanda chief of intelligence was killed by suspected Rwandan hit men at a hotel in South Africa, an allegation Kigali denied but celebrated.

Mr Royce questioned why Rwandan government celebrates the attacks against the opposition members living outside Rwanda.

“Rather than condemning targeted attacks against popular opposition figures, President Kagame publicly celebrates them, many times falling short of taking personal credit,” the statement reads in part.