FDU-Inkingi, opposition political party to the regime in Rwanda, informs the public about the assassination of Damascène HABARUGIRA, member of the FDU-Inkingi. He was a resident of Ngoma district, Remera sector, Kinunga cell, Nyarugenge village in Eastern Province.

Factual background:

Our colleague was called by somebody named Theophile, an intelligence officer of the sector of Remera.  He used a mobile number 0722840729 which is registered under the names of Yatubabariye Hassan. Mr Theophile is military reservist and liaises with the head of intelligence in the military barracks of Huye in Kibungo, called Mr SEBUDANDI Francis who uses mobile no 0726289972. Since Mr Habarugira went to meet Theophile he was never seen again and even the bicycle he had used to go to see him could not be traced.

When his relatives went to inquire at Huye military barracks, intelligence officer Francis SEBUDANDI told them that their “relative should have fled to Uganda”. When they went to the Remera police station, they were told to go back home and try again to get news on Monday, May 08, 2017. They spent the whole day of Monday at the police station of Remera without getting any clue on the whereabouts of their relative.

It was on their way home that a neighbour NGAYABERURA Markus told them that someone had just called him, asking him to go and tell the relatives to go and pick the body of Damascene HABARUGIRA from Nyamata Hospital in Bugesera. Mr. NGAYABERURA gave them the number that called him which was 0783900245. When relatives gave the number to the police, they discovered that the mobile number belonged to the Commander of the Nyamata Police.

It is quite evident that our colleague, Damascene HABARUGIRA had been assassinated in cold blood. On the evening of Tuesday, 09 May, in a meeting convened urgently in the sector, a meeting which was attended by an army Colonel, the District Police Command (DPC) and the deputy Mayor, we are informed that local authorities publicly boasted of “having eliminated Mr. Damascene HABARUGIRA, who, they said, was a big obstacle to their work”.  The authorities allege that a grenade was found in Damascene HABARUGIRA home in 2008. They also accused him of opposing their policies, including police brutality and the destruction of peasant crops.

Right now, another member of the opposition, Mr. Alexis RUCUBANGANYA, is detained since Sunday May 7, 2017 by the police of the District of Remera, without knowing what he is accused of, which makes us fear for his life too.

FDU-Inkingi concerns

The FDU-Inkingi would like to remind the Rwandan authorities that their primary mission is to protect the lives of all citizens without distinction. In this regard, we call upon government authorities and the Minister of Justice, Mr. Johnston BUSINGYE, in particular to ensure that everything is done to find the murderers of our colleague Mr. Damascene HABARUGIRA and to bring them to answer for their crime, otherwise the government will be accountable for this despicable assassination.

FDU-Inkingi condemns the cowardly acts of harassment, intimidation and assassination of opposition members, which are characteristic of a desperate regime, which responds to its citizens demands for justice by State’s sponsored terrorism.

The FDU-Inkingi would like to remind the Rwandan authorities that assassinations of any kind or form have never succeeded in stifling the legitimate aspiration of a people to freedom and self-determination. Instead of persevering in these aberrations, the FDU-Inkingi would like to advise the RPF government to take time to reflect seriously and take a more reasonable and brave decision to open the political space, which alone could guarantee a democratic transformation without a new bloodshed.

We also call for the safety and immediate release of Mr. Alexis RUCUBANGANYA, who is being arbitrarily detained by the Remera District Police.


Done in London, May 9, 2017

Justin Bahunga

Commissioner for External Relations and Spokesperson





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