Four guilty of plot to kill Rwandan general

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IOL pic apr23 Rwanda President 1 paul kagame Associated Press Rwandan President Paul Kagame. File picture: Steven Senne

Krugersdorp - A South African court on Friday convicted four men of attempting to murder a Rwandan former general who had fled after falling out with the east African country's strongman, Paul Kagame.

Magistrate Stanley Mkhari found three Tanzanians and one Rwandan “guilty of attempted murder” after acquitting two other Rwandans Ä the alleged mastermind and General Kayumba Nyamwasa's former driver.

Mkhari also concluded that the bid to assassinate Nyamwasa was politically motivated.

“The attempted murder of General Nyamwasa was... politically motivated, emanating from a certain group of people from Rwanda,” he said.

Rwandan national Amani Uriwane, together with Tanzanians Hassan Mohammedi Nduli, Sady Abdou and Hemedi Dengengo Sefu, will be sentenced on September 10.

Six men in all - three Rwandans and three Tanzanians - were put on trial for the failed plot to kill Nyamwasa, a former member of Kagame's inner circle.

He fled to South Africa in February 2010 after falling out with the Kigali administration.

Nyamwasa was shot and wounded in June 2010 as South Africa hosted the World Cup in what Pretoria described as an attack by foreign “security operatives”.

Since that first attack, Nyamwasa has survived three other attempts on his life.

Kagame is revered as a hero by many both in his country and abroad for his role 20 years ago in ending the Rwandan genocide, which left some 800,000 people dead and the country in ruins.

But human rights groups have long accused his government of being behind hits on Kagame's critics who have sought political asylum abroad.

Kigali has denied any links with the killings.

The fallen general has been given asylum in South Africa, but his presence has caused diplomatic headaches for the host country.

Spain and France are both seeking to extradite him for an alleged role in the 1994 genocide.

Rwanda also wants to bring him home to serve a 24-year prison sentence after a military court tried him in absentia on charges of desertion, defamation and threatening state security.

He furthermore faces terrorism charges for allegedly masterminding grenade attacks in Kigali in the run-up to Rwanda's 2010 presidential elections.

Sapa-AFP


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