Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire arrested


by Ann Garrison

Opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza has been arrested in Rwanda, according to members of her FDU-Inkingi Coalition of Rwandan political parties, who also report that authorities have taken her to an undisclosed location.

In a press release sent at 5 a.m. Pacific Time, FDU-Inkingi Executive Secretary Sylvain Sibomana wrote: “After a week of siege without any explanation whatsoever, the police have just drifted in the house and arrested Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the chair of FDU-Inkingi. She was taken immediately to the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for unknown reasons. This arrest comes amid a climate of heavy political tension marked by wanton attacks against the democratic opposition.”

On Oct. 9, Ingabire spoke to KPFA Radio in Berkeley, Calif., by phone (listen to the clip at the end of this story) and confirmed reports that the Rwandan government security operatives surrounding her home in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, had been replaced by police with firearms, and that six of them were visible from inside. Others reported that there were Rwandan troops in her neighborhood and that shops had been ordered to close.

Ingabire returned to Rwanda from European exile in January, intending to run for the presidency against Rwandan President Paul Kagame, but she was not allowed to register her party or contest the election. Instead she was arrested, the first time in March, for violating Rwanda’s “genocide ideology” statutes, which criminalize disagreement with the official history of the horrific violence of 1994 that became known as the Rwanda Genocide.

American law professor and international criminal defense attorney Peter Erlinder then traveled to Rwanda to defend her, only to be arrested on the same “genocide ideology” charges. Erlinder was eventually released on medical grounds, after which he returned to the United States and continued to speak out against the Rwandan government and against the Pentagon’s use of Rwanda – and Uganda and Burundi – as its military proxies in Africa. This week Rwandan prosecutors announced their intention to proceed with their case against Erlinder after removing any citations of his pleadings at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda as evidence against him.

Ingabire and Erlinder have both been outspoken about the “U.N. Mapping Report on Human Rights Abuse in the Democratic Republic of Congo” that was leaked to Le Monde on Aug. 26, then officially released on Oct. 1, with responses by the Rwandan, Ugandan, Burundian and Angolan governments, all of whose armies were implicated. The report most shocked the world with its documentation of the Rwandan army’s genocidal massacres of civilian Hutu people, Rwandan Hutu refugees and Congolese Hutus from Congo’s eastern to western border during the 1990s.

Of the three opposition candidates who attempted to contest this year’s Rwandan presidential election against incumbent President Paul Kagame, two are now in prison. Bernard Ntaganda, leader and presidential candidate of the Parti Social Imberakuri, was arrested on June 24 and has not been released. He has reported being tortured and, on Monday, before her own arrest, Ingabire reported that he had been moved to an undisclosed location.

Frank Habineza, chair and presidential candidate of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, has taken refuge with his family in Sweden, since the body of the party’s vice president, Andre Rwisereka, was found beheaded and dumped in the wetlands of the Makurera River in southern Rwanda on July 14.

There were also assassinations and assassination attempts against prominent opponents of the Rwandan government in neighboring South Africa, D.R. Congo and Tanzania during the election year, which concluded on Aug. 9 with the thoroughly implausible report that Rwandan President Paul Kagame had been re-elected with 93 percent of the vote.

San Francisco writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Digital Journal,, OpEdNews, Global Research, Colored Opinions and her blog, Plutocracy Now. She can be reached at This story originally appeared on Digital Journal.

KPFA News broadcast Oct. 9

Listen to KPFA at 94.1 FM in Northern California or at


  1. Those people who arrested Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza have shown how the human weakness is not only for a coward criminal leader but also a defeated government as a whole.

  2. The arrest of Mrs. Victoire Ingabire by the extremist Tutsi government in Rwanda is an attempt to distract the world's attention from the UN Report that was released on October 1st, 2010. In that report, the UN accused the extremist Tutsi government of Rwanda of having committed genocide in Congo by butchering tens of thousands (actually more than a million) innocent unarmed Hutu women, children, elderly and the sick.

    This nefarious tactic by the extremist Tutsi government of Rwanda will fail. The arrest of Mrs. Victoire Ingabire will not stop us from seeking justice for all the innocent civilians that the extremist Tutsi soldiers have butchered in Rwanda and neighboring Congo over the past 20 years.

  3. Shame on the criminal Paul Kagame and his army !!!Shame on all extremists who now are leaders of rwandans ! They won`t escape God`s judgement those vampires !!! In the meantime, a friend of mine has told me that Me Bernard Ntaganda is now in coma at King Faycal Hospital in Kigali. He is almost dying following tortures and bad treatment he endured in jail. His blood will haunt Kagame Paul for ever !!!

  4. Kagame couldn't have been committing mass murder for most of the last two decades without the support of the ruling classes of the United States and of at least some other imperialist countries.

  5. You don’t know what you are talking about you guys.In Rwanda no one is above the law.Ingabire is not above the law as well.Let us justice do its duty.Leave all your extremism behind and come we build our country.

  6. She will be killed as many others. Kagame has no fear, he can kill any one. In Rwanda when you have a different point of view about any thing you are taken to jail or killed. It’s like in North Korea. Ingabire is courageous, she has inspired so many young guys. Kagame is stupid, he shlould learn from history. It’s not by killing or sending to jail politicians that he will stay forever. One day, he will be taken to court about all his crimes.

  7. If you kill someone for no reason, soon or later you will pay for it. the blood of my parents will make Inyenzi/RPF go crazy. Too bad that you missed me boys. the only advice I can give you is to ask God to have mercy on you otherwise you will be burning in hell for ever.

  8. Why Kagame? why Kagame? Why are you killing you own people? What has Ingabire, Mushayidi, Bizimungu , Karegeya done then just to tell the thruth

  9. Kagame's actions are supported by the western elites to continue looting Congo and killing the opposition. Unfortunately, many Rwandan Tutsi are illiterate and can't understand how important is Congo for Corporate America.

    Obama's hands are tied, not sure if he has the courage to stand up against the Pantagon and Zionists who continue to arm Kagame in exchange of continuing to benefit from Congo's wealth such as coltan, diamond and so on.

  10. You people stop cursing people and pray that the good Lord will protect His people.

    All have sinned no man is perfect.
    You have said that Inyenzi killed your parents, and who killed all the tusti people?

    Take care I am just asking. let us pray that the devil(Satan) will leave us alone. I know some of you people may think the devil is someone else that is why I have decided to identify him ( satan) .
    It is a shame to read what you all say here, God will punish paul kagame as if he is the one who started to kill since 1959! so what you are saying is that the Lord is going to chose paul Kagame and sacrifice him for all bad doings of other presidents who were ruling Rwanda before him?Get life.

  11. But it seems Ingabire didnt know Rwanda. For God's sake why did she go to Rwanda for politics? I would imagine that she knew Rwanda under Kagame well. There is no room for criticism under Kagame's regime.
    The poor girl has now been clean shaven I can imagine with broken bottles. She's only awaiting death.
    That place is a no go area for politics please please…

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