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Rwanda anger at South Africa Nyamwasa shooting probe

By 17 Jul 2010Dec 2nd, 2022International Justice2 min read

Lt Gen Nyamwasa used to be a close ally of Rwandan President Kagame

Rwanda has expressed its concern over the way the authorities in South Africa are investigating the shooting of a former Rwandan army chief of staff.

Lt Gen Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa was wounded outside his house in Johannesburg last month.

The foreign minister said she had summoned the South African ambassador to voice her alarm over official insinuations that Rwanda was involved.

The general went into exile this year after falling out with the president.

Rwanda has repeatedly denied accusations it tried to assassinate Lt Gen Nyamwasa.

Four people – reportedly from Tanzania, Somalia and Mozambique – have been charged with his attempted murder.

But last week a South African foreign ministry official said foreign “security operatives” were involved in the shooting.


“Some insinuations emanating from official circles in South Africa and carried in the media appear to be pointing a finger at the Rwandan government,” Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told the AFP news agency.

The minister said such allegations were “wrong and untrue”, Rwanda’s New Times newspaper reports.

“Rwanda and South Africa have enjoyed good relations for the last 16 years, but we are surprised by the manner in which investigations are being conducted which is very unprofessional,” the private paper quotes her as saying.

Lt Gen Nyamwasa is accused of being behind grenade attacks in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, earlier this year in which more than 30 people were injured and one person was killed.

He – and a former colonel in the Rwandan army also living in exile in South Africa – have denied the allegations.

South Africa’s foreign ministry says Lt Gen Nyamwasa is seeking asylum in South Africa.

Since arriving in South Africa, he has accused Rwanda’s leader of corruption – charges President Paul Kagame denies.

There have been several recent defections from the military ahead of elections due in August.

Lt Gen Nyamwasa played an important role in the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), led by Mr Kagame, which put a stop to the 1994 genocide and which is now in power.

But France and Spain have issued arrest warrants against Mr Nyamwasa for his alleged role in killings in the lead-up to and during the genocide, along with other senior RPF figures.

Mr Kagame is viewed by many in the West as one of Africa’s more dynamic leaders.

However critics have raised concerns about his more authoritarian tendencies and the government has recently been accused of harassing the opposition ahead of the elections.

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