Col. Patrick Karegeya, Exiled Rwanda Opposition Chief May Have Been Lynched -- South Africa Police
Rwanda's Gen. Paul Kagame. Exiled opposition blames him for Karegeya's death
South African police believe Patrick Karegeya an exiled Rwanda opposition leader and former chief of external intelligence may have been lynched with a rope found in the Johannesburg hotel room where his body was discovered yesterday.
Police also found a bloodied towel in the same hotel room's safe where the rope was discovered, according to media accounts.
Police report that Karegeya had checked into the Michelangelo Hotel in the posh Sandown neighborhood on December 29.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that his neck was swollen....A towel with blood and a rope were found in the hotel room safe,” South African Police told Bloomberg news.
Rwandan opposition leaders outside the country accused the Rwanda regime of being behind the killing.
Karegeya's associates report that he was supposed to attend a meeting at the hotel with a Rwandan. He might have been lured into the hotel. He had been living in South Africa for six years according to media accounts.
Karegeya is an alley of former Rwanda chief of military staff Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa who is also exiled in South Africa and survived two assassination attempts in June, 2010. Gen. Nyamwasa, who like Karegeya also had a falling out with Rwanda's ruler blames Gen. Paul Kagame for the botched attempt during which he was shot and wounded as he pulled into his residence in a car. Nyamwasa struggled with the gun man for the gun which later jammed before more shots could be fired. Later, while in a hospital being treated, there was another attempt on his life.
The Kagame regime denied being behind the Nyamwasa assassination bid.
Opponents to Rwandan President Paul Kagame “aren’t safe in South Africa and any other place in the world,” Nyamwasa told Bloomberg, after the death of Karegeya.
Three Rwandans and three Tanzanians are being tried in a South African court for the 2010 attempted assassination of Nyamwasa, who has also alleged that Gen. Kagame himself ordered the 1994 shooting down of the plane that carried then Rwanda president Juvenal Habyarimana.
Kagame knew the assassination would spark the massacres of Tutsis which would then gain him the moral high ground to militarily seize power exclusively, his critics contend. At the time of the killing Kagame's RPF had concluded a power-sharing deal with Habyarimana.
Karegeya and Nyamwasa are both members and founders of the Rwanda National Congress, an organization that includes both Hutu and Tutsi opponents of the Kagame regime; the blame the Rwanda ruler for creating a dictatorship that is determined to physically liquidate all political opponents.
In recent months the Kagame regime has been under intense international pressure due to its support for the M23 army, which was blamed for war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In December 2012 U.S. President Barack Obama telephoned Kagame to tell him to withdraw M23 from Congo.
M23 was ultimately defeated in November 2012 by Congo's army with support of a UN Intervention army comprising mostly soldiers from South Africa, Tanzania, and Malawi.