Rwanda arrests six over alleged terror plot

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Rwandan police have arrested five people for plotting attacks on political leaders and infrastructure in Rwanda.

AFP reports that the six, including a senior army officer, were arrested whilst crossing from their base in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. They are linked to Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, former army chief, and Emmanuel Habyarimana, the ex-defence minister.
“The arrested terrorist criminals revealed their plans to commit acts of terror in Rwanda from their bases in Eastern DRC,” a police statement released on Wednesday said, naming the leader of the group as Colonel Norbert Ndererimana.
“They were to target high populated areas, fuel storage facilities and fuel transport vehicles, national leaders as well as diplomats,” the statement said.

Nyamwasa and Habyarimana are both leading opponents of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and live in exile.

Lieutenant General Nyamwasa fled to South Africa in February last year after a falling out with Rwandan president Paul Kagame, who accused him of attempting to build a power base in the army.

Kagame later said he may have been working with Colonel Patrick Karegeya, another former intelligence head who was living in exile in South Africa. Nyamwasa was accused of involvement in acts of terrorism in Rwanda, including three grenade attacks in Kigali on February 19 last year, but was not arrested in South Africa due to a lack of extradition treaties between the two countries.

Nyamwasa was shot in the stomach in South Africa in June last year. Nyamwasa’s wife stated that the attack was politically motivated. Jean-Léonard Rugambage, a Rwandan journalist who investigated the attempt on Nyamwasa’s life, was murdered a few days later in Kigali.

Habyarimana, an ethnic Hutu, was removed from his post as Minister of Defence in November 2002, which government spokesperson Joseph Bideri attributed to his “extreme pro-Hutu” views. While serving in this position he played a significant part in Rwanda’s actions in the Second Congo War.

On March 30, 2003 Habyarimana defected to Uganda along with several other Rwandan army officers, including Lieutenant Ndayambaje and Lieutenant Colonel Balthazar Ndengeyinka.

Last week the City Press reported that local intelligence operatives are hunting down Rwandan death squads operating in South Africa, notably those behind the attempted assassination of Nyamwasa.

The City Press learnt that the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has over the past year thwarted several attempts by Rwandan intelligence operatives to find and kill Nyamwasa.



Nyamwasa was last year granted political asylum in South Africa and is currently under witness protection in a safe house.