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Rwandan President Kagame’s Divided House After July 4, 2011 Failed Assassination Attempts

General Paul Kagame, the Rwandan dictator now visiting France escaped a botched assassination attempt on July 4, 2011. According to information gathered by one of AfroAmerica Network correspondents in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, the attempt, coupled with the discontent within the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) has created a toxic atmosphere in the Rwandan capital Kigali. The RDF, the notoriously brutal Rwandan army, is mostly composed of soldiers from the minority Tutsi ethnic group that rules Rwanda with an iron fist, leaving no political or administrative space to the Hutu ethnic majority (see our article: US Embassy in Rwanda: Power in Hands of a Powerful Tutsi Minority With A Few Incompetent Hutu Figureheads).

The events in the last two months, that the government sought, somewhat successfully until now,  to sweep under the rug have raised tensions with the ruling elite and risk to undermine a regime apparently already on shaky  grounds.  AfroAmerica Network has learned of the two major events that have shaken the pillars of the power: assassination attempts against  General Paul Kagame and an army mutiny that General Paul Kagame has accused his  Joint Military Chief of Staff General Kayonga of fueling .


On July 4, 2011, General Paul Kagame was returning from his ranch located near Lake Muhazi  when his convoy was sprayed with bullets.  The psychopathic General Paul Kagame was not harmed, but  shaken by the attempt. Immediately, the area was cordoned off. The notorious Republican Guard, an entire army  within RDF of selected, well trained and well payed soldiers that responds only the General Kagame was called in. The international land borders were closed for three days except Gatuna, a border outpost with Uganda. Army units suspected of involvement in the operation were purged and many soldiers, especially young Tutsis military officers, were arrested and sent to the notorious secret torture prison at the Military camp of Kami. According to some family members, some of those arrested were not heard from up to date.


The arrests and the simmering tensions following the delay in pay, favoritism within RDF, and divisions consecutive to increasing repressions against those suspected of supporting the former Chief of Staff General Kayumba Nyamwasa were less and less difficult to ignore. Faced with the growing tensions within the army, the Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF) Chief of Staff, Gen. Kayonga decided to hold an impromptu  questions-and-answers meeting with low ranking soldiers of one of the army units around Kigali on July 20, 2011. The main purpose of the spontaneous meeting was to gauge the mood of the soldiers. When he got there, the low ranking soldiers refused to talk. Then, Gen. Kayonga summoned the high ranking officers including the unit Commander, the Intelligence Officer, and the Political Commissioner. He inquired on why the soldiers had refused to ask questions and preferred to remain silent.

The unit commander  explained that the soldiers’ moral was very low,  due to multiple grievances: the soldiers were complaining that they had not been paid for more than three months.  The commander added that, like most regular RDF units, the soldiers on his unit do not receive their pay on regular basis; their pay was three months overdue while the soldiers within the Republican Guard units were regularly getting their monthly  pay and allowances in addition to a recent substantial pay raise. The Unit Commander concluded angrily, addressing the rhetorical question to General Kayonga: “what do you want them to tell you that you are not aware of?”


Faced with the wrath of the military unit’s soldiers and high ranking officers, General Kayonga promised to report the grievances to the Supreme Army Commander Gen. Paul Kagame himself and find an adequate solution. He sought and got an immediate meeting with General Paul Kagame and briefed him on the soldiers’ grievances and the potential solutions. After his briefing, the Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame  became agitated and visibly angry and started accusing General Kayonga of being too sympathetic to the soldiers. He concluded, before showing the door to General Kayonga: “do you want to look good in the eyes of those soldiers, so that they may consider you as their hero?” On those words, General Kayonga left the office of his boss without getting any indication on whether the soldiers’ grievances would be addressed.


While General Kayonga was wondering what to tell the soldiers, General Paul Kagame and his trusted henchman General Nziza had another plan.  General Paul Kagame had scheduled his monthly  trip to the United States of America, with the intention to stop in New York and Boston. He had to postpone the trip at the last minute. General Jack Nziza enlisted one of his trusted operatives with the rank of Major in RDF and gave him the order to execute the plot.

In our follow-up articles, AfroAmerica Network will go into the details of the plan. Meanwhile, by August 6, 2011, the plan had faltered. The Major, instead of executing the plan, had fled the country with the help of General Kayonga.

Watch for the follow-up article on the plot.

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