It’s a matter of time before those who’ve betrayed Rwanda face consequences, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said Sunday, nearly two weeks after the killing of a former Rwandan spymaster turned dissident.
The body of the former head of Rwanda’s external intelligence service, Col. Patrick Karegeya, was discovered in a Johannesburg hotel on New Year’s Day. Government representatives have not denied or accepted responsibility.
President Kagame said Sunday: “You cannot betray Rwanda and get away with it. There are consequences for betraying your country.”
Karegeya, a wartime ally from Kagame’s days as a rebel leader, fled to South Africa in 2007.
“It’s a matter of time, whoever betrayed the nation cannot escape the consequences,” Kagame said in Kinyarwanda during a national prayer breakfast meeting.
He warned that you cannot walk away from the country that made you who you are and expect to get away with it.
“I cannot be apologetic about that if you know the grenades that have been thrown on our streets killing Rwandan children,” he said, in an apparent reference to the accusations by the government that Karegeya and other dissidents were behind a spell of grenade attacks in the Rwandan capital.
South African police are looking for a man who was last seen with Karegeya before his death.
Theogene Rudasingwa, another Rwandan dissident and formerly secretary general of Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front party, told The Associated Press that Karegeya’s body was found in a room rented by a man called “Apollo.” Police said Karegeya, who had a home in the town of Roodepoort just outside of Johannesburg, had checked into the hotel.
Karegeya, Nyamwasa, Rudasingwa and some others were once allies of President Kagame, and became critics. Karegeya headed the feared external intelligence agency from 1994, when Kagame’s rebel movement took power and ended the Rwandan genocide, until 2004.