what's going on in rwanda, part 2
From Rwanda's official news bureau, confirmation of Saturday night's grenade attacks:
One person died and four others were injured last evening following grenade attacks in Kigali city. According to confirmed reports from the police spokesperson Supt. Eric Kayiranga, the attacks took place in Nyabugogo and Cyahafi areas of Kigali in a span of around thirty minutes.This is the third set of coordinated grenade attacks to take place in Kigali in the last two months. What they have in common:
- All have taken place in the evening or at night.
- Most have taken place in areas unlikely to be frequented by expats after dark.
- All seem to be designed to cause some casualties, but minimal deaths.
The question, as always, is to whom that message is directed, and by whom the acts are perpetrated. There are two major theories on this:
- The government is behind the attacks, as they want to create a climate of fear and instability that will justify not allowing opposition parties to compete in elections scheduled for August. I've explained before why I don't think this is accurate: the RPF simply has too much to lose to take such a risk, especially when they have effective control over the political system and can prevent challenges to Kagame's rule via other means.
- Supporters of Laurent Nkunda in the RPF are using the attacks to send a message to Kagame and his faction of the RPF. Specifically, the pro-Nkunda elements do not want Nkunda to be put on trial in a military court or elsewhere, and they would prefer to see him released. By all accounts, Kagame underestimated the support for Nkunda within his own ranks, and the grenade attacks are arguably a reaction to his decision to arrest Nkunda last year.
Some Twitter users have commented on the fact that the major news outlets don't seem to be covering this story. That's likely due to the fact that most of the Africa correspondents for Western news agencies are covering the elections in Sudan.