The Daily Magazine Dagbladet, Norway’s second largest tabloid newspaper and third largest Norwagian newspaper overall has reported that a Norwegian-Rwandan opposition leader, Major Emmanuel Munyaruguru has been under constant Norwegian Police protection following multiple assassination attempts and threats by operatives believed to be associated with the Rwandan Government. In the article published on March 14, 2012, and titled “The Threats, the Journey and the Road Toward a New Life in Norway: Emmanuel (52) speaks out about the dramatic escape ater the civil war and genocide in Rwanda (Truslene, flukten og veien mot et nytt liv: Norske Emmanuel (52) snakker ut om den dramatiske flukten etter borgerkrig og folkemord i Rwanda) Dagbladet journalist Torgeir P. Krokfjord follows Emmanuel Munyaruguru from the days when he was a high ranking military officer within the Rwandan Government Armed Forces (FAR) until their defeat in 1994, his escape to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), then to Madagascar, South-Africa and finally to Norway. According to the article, Major Emmanuel Munyaruguru was a researcher within the Ministry of Defense when the war erupted in 1990 and until 1994.
The article describes multiple attempts on his life in Madagascar which led to the United Nations resettling him in South Africa. While there he became an export coordinator with an multinational import-export company. However, the constant threats on his life did not stop. Once again the United Nations had to resettle him to Norway. He has been a member of the Norwegian Labour Party and is a Civil Engineering Manager for the Town of Tromso.
Once in Norway, the threats did not stop. First, anonymous e-mails sent from Norway and Central African Republic by suspected Rwandan intelligence operatives, and ultimately failed assassination attempts (see our article Rwandan Security Operatives Target Opposition and Critics in Diaspora). The threats and harassment by the Rwandan Government were not always covert. Rwandan used all means including judicial and lobbying. First, the Rwandan Government represented by Attorney General Gerald Gahima and Prosecutor sought to indict him for war crimes and genocide. Rwandan accusations were dismissed in October 2010 by Norwegian Royal Attorney General and Prosecutor Marit Formo after lengthy investigations outside and inside Rwanda (see our October 27, 2011 article: Rwandan Accusations Against Major Munyaruguru Dismissed by Norwegian Royal Prosecutor).
While t the Norwegian judiciary system was investigating the accusations, the Rwandan Government accused Major Emmanuel Munyaruguru of working with DRC-based Rwandan rebels, FDLR, seeking to overthrow the Rwandan government. The Rwandan government had hired a paid consultant Rakiya Omaar, Director of African Rights, an apparent non-government organization, to give weights to the charges. The proofs presented by the Rwandan government and later relayed in UN Experts’s reports were a list of calls between Norway and the FDLR rebels. However, Kare Lode, a Norwegian working on peace efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) dismissed the allegations and justified the telephone calls:”I also have big phone bills from calling the satellite phones owned by FDLR military commanders. It does not mean that I contribute to abuse. I’ll call anyone to discuss peace and demobilization. The same for Munyaruguru.”
These charges were also dismissed. That is when the threats intensified leading to the failed assassination in Norway in late 2010 and early 2011 (see essay Rwanda: When Seeking Peace Becomes Terrorism of May 14, 2011 by one of our contributors: here and in Archives here.
The suspected assassins, believed to be working for Rwandan operatives based in Belgium and Great Britain, allegedly provided information and left evidences that led to the Norwegian Police taking radical measures to protect Major Emmanuel Munyaruguru with a violence alarm since January 2011.
When the Norwegian Daily Magazine Dagbladet asked about his fears, Major Emmanuel Munyaruguru responded: “I am of course scared. In both Madagascar and South Africa they [Rwandan Government operatives] tried to kill me. And I have been directly threatened by the national radio in Rwanda since November 2005, and then by various Rwandan authorities. But I trust the Norwegian police, and I know that I am under God’s protection.”
©2012 AfroAmerica Network.