by Ann Garrison
The U.S. State Department advised former Rwanda military officer Robert Higiro to leave Belgium to avoid Rwandan assassins.
KPFA Weekend News Anchor Lola Acomou: The Canadian Globe and Mail reports that the United States has warned former Rwandan military officer Robert Higiro that his life is in danger because of evidence he gave to The Globe and Mail, to the BBC and to a U.S. House Subcommittee about the Rwandan government’s alleged efforts to assassinate dissidents who had fled abroad.
Higiro provided audio recordings and other evidence of the Rwandan government’s involvement in attacks and planned attacks on exiled Rwandan dissidents abroad. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: The U.S. State Department has advised Robert Higiro to leave Belgium for his own safety. This was confirmed by New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the chairman of a congressional subcommittee that has been investigating allegations about Rwandan assassins abroad. Higiro’s current location since leaving Belgium is being kept secret.
This is a portion of Higiro’s testimony to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights at a hearing to discuss the need to change U.S. policy toward Rwanda.
Robert Higiro: Somebody sent by Director of Military Intelligence Dan Munyuza – he told me that they have a job for me. He calls me directly and tells me that they have sat down and decided to give me a job. And the job was to go to South Africa and eliminate former Chief of Staff Gen. Karumba Nyamwasa and former National Security and Intelligence Chief Col. Patrick Karegeya.
And there’s a question you asked … I should state that, on record … “Is Kagame involved? And where?” When Munyuza, the director of military intelligence, is giving me a mission, he’s only quoting the president.
Now, I was desperate and I needed time to think about it, because I know that whether you do the job or not, you’re going to die anyway. So I called Col. Patrick, gave him the story, and we agreed that I go to South Africa.
I went to South Africa, we discussed, between me and Gen. Nyamwasa and Col. Patrick, how to go about it. We agreed that I should gather as much evidence as possible by recording each and every conversation of instructions of this assassination plan, which could be used like we’re using it today.
So I recorded these conversations for over seven months, and eventually I told Munyuza, of course, that I would do the job, and he said that he would offer up to $1 million USA for the job. We went on and on, modalities, the weapons to be used, what he wants me to do, how to do it. …
And then eventually he wouldn’t send in the money, because we were waiting for the money to come in because it would add on this evidence. But they started, y’know … the boss was saying, he tells me the boss was saying we should wait; why can’t you eliminate them first, before you are paid?
And I knew something was wrong, and then I had to flee South Africa. I went to Uganda, across to Nairobi, and eventually I found myself in Belgium, where I live now, as a dissident, like others. In Rwanda, like others, I’m a wanted man. Abroad, I’m on the hit list.
KPFA Ann Garrison: That was former Rwandan military officer Robert Higiro speaking to a House Subcommittee hearing in May this year. Higiro is now in hiding at an undisclosed location on the advice of the U.S. State Department.
Oakland writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Black Agenda Report, Black Star News, Counterpunch and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, KPFA Evening News, KPFA Flashpoints and for her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. In March 2014 she was awarded the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for promoting peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa through her reporting.