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Rwanda police issue international arrest warrant for ex-officials

The Rwanda National Police Force [official website] issued an international arrest warrant [press release] Monday for four former Rwandan government officials now living in the US and South Africa. The four include former army chief of staff General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, former ambassador to the US Theogene Rodasingwa, former foreign intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya and former prosecutor general Gerald Gahima, all of whom were former allies of Rwandan President Paul Kagame [official profile]. Rwanda's Military High Court [official website] found all four men guilty in absentia [AFP report] last week of disturbing public order, threatening state security and other offenses, handing down sentences ranging from 20 to 24 years in prison. The men have denied the allegations [AFP report], calling the charges politically motivated. Most observers do not believe the US or South Africa will act on the warrants [BBC report].

The military court summoned the men [All Africa report] in November to stand trial on the charges. The former officials published a paper [text] in August criticizing Kagame's government for corruption and human rights violations. In July, the South African foreign ministry blamed foreign agents [BBC report] for a shooting that left Nyamwasa injured. Rwanda's government claims Nyamwasa and Karegeya were behind a grenade attack [Monitor report] in Rwanda's capital city of Kigali last February. Nyamwasa is wanted in France and Spain [Business Day report] for his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide [JURIST news archive].

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