Saturday, February 20, 2010

Grenade Attacks in Kigali

I have recently learned from Rwandan colleagues resident in Kigali that grenades were launched in town today. The reports from the international media are rather generic (see this sample from the BBC). We will need to wait for more information to surface.

My immediate reaction is that the government launched them to strike fear into the population, and to justify its eventual arrest of Victorie Ingabire on the charge of divisionism.

Similar sorts of attacks were common in Kigali before the genocide. They were orchestrated in those days by the Habyarimana government, mostly likely his inner cabal of power. All this to say, such attacks are not new in Kigali, and are indeed a common tactic of government's willing to maintain power at any cost. Unfortunately, examples of similar violence abound across the continent at the moment. Cote d'Ivoire, Niger and Nigeria all spring to mind....

I will wait to talk to more people, notably human rights activists (both international and Rwandan) resident in Rwanda before commenting further....


  1. I think also it is wise to be careful before commenting. However, we can put forward some hypothesis:
    - If it is RPF, it seeks to distract the international community to show that the attacks are associated to recent activities of opposition, or it seeks to increase fears among Rwandans, in order to have an excuse to limit political activities. I can presume also, as last week American l official who visited Goma suggested lasting solution to FDLR, Rwanda could have had fears to be pushed by Americans to step up to negotiate with them, so it prepared attacks which will be attributed to them, justifying there are terrorists (which will sound well) . The act itself has common with terrorism fashion (simultaneous and coordination). The head of police said it was directed against genocide survivors and suspected FDLR. See: . We can keep in mind that Ingabire Victoire was accused of collaborating with FDLR??? !!!
    - Maybe FDLR, but why they can target Kigali instead of Gisenyi and Kamembe near them?

    Reading " Noirs fureurs, blancs menteurs", of Pierre Péan, we can say before genocide attacks were orchestrated mostly by RPF to increase disorder in Goverment side but also by government . I was also suprised to read that version.
    Wait and see

  2. I heard from a foreign journalist who was sitting in a nearby coffee shop that no police or other officials were on hand after the blast (he lingered at the site for about an hour). This lack of security agents in a nation replete with such officials would point to state involvement....