UN urges full probe into a Rwandan opposition leader’s death | Rwanda
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UN urges full probe into a Rwandan opposition leader’s death

MADRID — UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for a full probe into the deaths of a senior opposition party member and a journalist in Rwanda during talks in Madrid with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, his spokeswoman said.

"He expressed his concerns regarding the recent incidents which have caused political tensions" in Rwanda ahead of August 9 presidential elections in the African country, his spokeswoman Vannina Maestracci told AFP.

The UN chief also stressed "the need to respect human rights" and "he encouraged the Rwandan authorities to carry out a full investigation into these incidents", she added.

Three Rwandan opposition parties on Thursday called for an independent international investigation into the murder of opposition official Andre Kagwa Rwisereka and independent journalist Jean Leonard Rugambage.

Rwisereka was the deputy president of the Rwandan Democratic Green Party, which along with the Unified Democratic Forces (FDU) and the Socialist Party (PS), called for the investigations.

His nearly decapitated body was found dumped by a river on Wednesday. Rugambage, who was critical of Kagame’s government, was shot dead near his home on June 24.

The Rwandan Democratic Green Party is unregistered and has no candidate for next month’s presidential elections. It has accused President Paul Kagame of blocking it from taking part in the polls.

Ban and Kagame were in Madrid for the first meeting of the MDG Advocacy Group set up last month by the United Nations to advance the Millennium Development Goals, which include halving extreme poverty by 2015.

Kagame and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero are the co-chairs of the group.

But at the last minute Zapatero opted out of Friday’s meeting following protests that Kagame’s regime was linked to Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.

Spain was instead represented at the meeting by Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos and Zapatero met with the UN chief separately.