November 14, 2019

Kagame Announces New Security Crackdown

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President Paul Kagame outside parliament with new RDF Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) Gen Jean Bosco Kazura (on Kagame’s immediate right), with other new top military appointees

President Paul Kagame warned Thursday of the government’s new security measures which he said will “raise the cost” for those involved in acts of destabilization.

In a speech clearly targeted at diplomats and their governments, Kagame first read a brief speech in Kinyarwanda after presiding over the swearing in of ministers and army chief appointed last week. He then turned to English as he began speaking unscripted about security.

Among those sworn in is Minister for Internal Security Gen Patrick Nyamvumba, who is heading a ministry scrapped in 2016, and has been brought back. Nyamvumba has been Chief of Defense Forces (CDS), now replaced by Gen Jean Bosco Kazura who also took the oath at same function.

“We are going to raise the cost”, said Kagame, first by the “means we put” in security, and make it expensive for anyone involved in schemes to destabilize the country: “The cost is going to be very high,” he repeated.

“I mean it, am sure you are aware I mean it,” he said, while pounding on his podium inside the parliamentary buildings.

Kagame also warned that the new measures, which he did not detail, will also go after those “hiding behind this nonsense of freedom” to cause insecurity in the country.

He added: “I want to warn some people among us who hide behind politics, democracy, freedom and backed by people [outside the country]….. We want and it is our responsibilities to ensure that there [is] democracy, peace and freedom in our country.”

“We have all along taken security for granted. And rightly so. We will continue to take it for granted,” he said, noting that is why the new measures are going to be deployed.

The President demanded that everyone in the country “come clean” to reveal their side; whether you are genuinely in support of state of affairs in the country or have a hidden agenda.

He said: “For those who are involved [in acts of destabilization], you’ll have to come clean. You can’t be here benefiting from the peace and security that we have paid for in blood and then do things that cause us problems. We will put you where you belong.”

He went on: “For those who want to disturb our security, wanting to take us back where we used to be, we will put them where they belong.”

Some are released from prison and have been forgiven for their role in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi but resort to undermining the prevailing stability, said Kagame.

Though Kagame did not mention names or entities, in recent weeks following attacks in southwestern and northwestern Rwanda, some suspects inside Rwanda have been arrested or questioned.

Ingabire Victoire Umuhoza, herself pardoned by Kagame after serving 8 years of a 15 year sentence, and who last week launched a new political party, has also been interrogated by RIB over alleged links to the attack in Musanze last month.

Turning to the outside of Rwanda, Kagame said he was not bothered by those “making noise” from outside or the country’s neighbors.

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