Rwanda arrests army officers in crackdown

2014-08-25 19:39
Paul Kagame. (File, AFP)

Paul Kagame. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kigali - Authorities in Rwanda have arrested several senior and former top military figures, an official said on Monday, in an apparent crackdown against internal critics of the country's strongman and president, Paul Kagame.

Army spokesperson General Joseph Nzabamwita refused to say why three prominent military figures had been held, and referred queries to reports carried by the pro-government New Times newspaper.

According to the paper, former presidential guard chief and serving colonel Tom Byabagamba was arrested on Saturday "over suspected involvement in crimes against state security".

"Byabagamba was arrested on Saturday as part of investigations into the case involving two retired army officers who were arrested earlier in the week," the paper added, quoting the army spokesperson.

Objective 'to keep discipline'

Last week security forces arrested former brigadier-general Frank Rusagara, who had previously served as a senior official in the defence ministry and as defence attached to London.

Also arrested was retired captain David Kabuye.

Rwandan authorities have not released any further details of the accusations, although according to a Rwandan political expert, the arrests do not appear to be linked to the activities of banned, exiled opposition groups.

"The arrests essentially target those who have a reputation of being loose cannons who are sometimes critical and without necessarily being seen as traitors in the real sense of the term," said the source, who spoke on condition he not be named.

"The objective is to keep discipline in the party," he added, referring to the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) - led by President Kagame and which has dominated the country since its then-rebel army ended the 1994 genocide.

Kagame has been credited with overseeing dramatic economic advances while in office, although he has also come in for mounting criticism for suppressing dissent, including the alleged assassinations of exiled opposition figures.

Read more on:    paul kagame  |  rwanda

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.