The famous BBC Imvo n’invano programme in Kinyarwanda -Kirundi has investigated the recent appearance of human dead bodies in Lake Rweru and the revelations are alarming. The BBC was told by the residents of both sides, namely Rwanda and Burundi respectively that these dead bodies come from Akagera River on the Rwandan side then end up in Lake Rweru on the Burundi side.

Burundi investigates ‘Rwandan bodies’ in Lake Rweru

The dead bodies packed in sacks with hands tied Kandoya style the famous torturing RPF method of killing those it calls enemies or those perceived to be.  This is the same style RPF used to kill many Rwandans who were thrown in Akagera River ending up in Uganda and Tanzania during genocide in 1994 and immediately after genocide. As  much as Interahamwe were killing Tutsis on the streets of Kigali and other parts of Rwanda, so were the RPF killing many people  who were regarded as enemies or potential enemies, many were tortured ,  hands tied on the back, thrown in the Akagera river or some were killed with small worn out old hoe, called agafuni in RPF language.

The BBC asked the Mayor of Bugesera   Rwagaju Louis whether he is aware of these dead bodies and he told the BBC that there is no any resident of his area that disappeared, unfortunately the Mayor is not aware of one of his residents Mr. Jean Damascent Munyeshyaka who is also a member of the Green Democratic Party who disappeared and his whereabouts are not known. Did this Mayor carry any investigation?  Why should he make such assertions when the leader of the Green Party Frank Habineza and the Family of that person have constantly appealed to the police and the government to investigate the disappearance of their relative and a member of the green party respectively.

Prior to the BBC investigations, many online blogs like Inyenyeri or IKAZE IWACU had already made the alarm reporting the disappearance of many Rwandans from different parts of Rwanda or Rwandan inmates in Prisons. The Director of Rwanda Correctional services Gen. Rwarakabije admitted that some of the former inmates whose sentences were commuted into Community Services commonly known by its French acronym TIG disappeared and they don’t know where they are.

The Rwandan police declined to comment on these dead bodies arguing that the bodies are not on the Rwandan soil, therefore, they cannot comment on issues outside their jurisdiction. The killing of Green Party members is not knew, in July 2010, the vice president of Green Party Mr. Andrew Rwisereka Kagwa was brutally murdered, his body decapitated and thrown in the swamp of Huye. The Green Party and the family members of Mr. Andrew Rwisereka Kagwa have never had justice from the Rwandan government. The Police have never come out with any report on the investigations on why and who killed Mr. Andrew Rwisereka. Indeed, many people have started to question the wisdom of Mr. Frank Habineza who have not only lost his Vice President but also another member of his party who has disappeared possibly he might be in those sacks in Lake Rweru but he has joined the RPF Forum without putting to task the RPF government to explain all these disappearances of people. Is he a mole of RPF without honestly telling his followers? Why only his followers are killed or harmed and spared? Mr. Frank Habineza must come out and explain all these unanswered questions otherwise he is betraying his colleagues who are sacrificing their lives for unknown reasons.

The Burundian human rights body LDGL leader Metre Silake NDAYISENGA told the BBC that they appealed to the government of Burundi to make investigations on those dead bodies because according to him, since the bodies came from another country both governments of Rwanda and Burundi should cooperate in order to establish the origin and cause of the death of these people.

Similarly, Burundian Minister of Local Government Mr. NDUWIMANA EDWARD said that they have evidence that these dead people come from Rwanda because they have their National Identity Card showing that they were issued in Gisenyi. This coincides with what the Mayor of Ngororero said recently that some of his residents who had been thought missing, had gone to other parts of Rwanda seeking employment.  Interestingly, with the current communication system that particularly exists in Rwanda, how can people move from Ngororero to seek for employment in any other part of Rwanda and their relatives say they disappeared?  There is more than our eyes can see and definitely the Mayor is hiding something.

It is therefore not surprising that we see these dead bodies because the Rwandan Head of Head of State publicly warned all those he calls enemies of Rwandan that they will be eliminated. “Anyone who betrays our cause or wishes our people ill will fall victim. What remains to be seen is how you fall victim,” Mr Kagame said.

Again  while visiting the residents of Nyabihu District  on 5th June 2014  the Rwandan head of state warned the people who according to him without mincing words that the illegal detention or disappearances of the people in that area is not enough , he warned them that they will be shot in broad day light.  The head of state warned the Nyabihu residents against working with their relatives who according to him are enemies of the country “I call upon you as residents of this district to know that you should not have any relationship with a person who tries to destabilize your security and peace, because all the progress achieved in this province and in the entire country are based on the prevailing security,” Kagame said.

Does anyone still in doubt where these bodies are coming from?  Why both countries have no interest in finding the origin or the cause of the death of these people? Why should they bury without proper post mortem and investigation? There are lot of unanswered questions on both sides, whereas it is clear the Rwandan government is killing its own people, the Burundi government is accomplice and covering up the atrocities of its neighbour.

We call upon the international community and all its international human rights watch dogs, like Amnesty international and Human Rights Watch to come to the Rwandan rescue before no one remains to tell the story.

Jacqueline Umurungi