Rwanda: Kagame critic denied bail

Rwanda: Kagame critic denied bail

Diane Rwigara, an opponent of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has been denied bail by a court in the capital, Kigali.

Rwigara made an attempt to run against Kagame in August, in a poll that saw the longtime ruler winning 99 percent of the votes. Rwigara was disqualified by the electoral commission but remain critical of the Kagame regime.

Authorities in Rwanda accuse Rwigara of forgery and inciting insurrection. She has been in detention since September.

If convicted, Rwigara may be sentenced to 15 years in prison. Opposition politicians and activists say Kagame ruled the East African nation through fear.

Kagame, 59, came to power in 1994, when his Tutsi rebel group took control of the capital, Kigali, ending the genocide in which some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered.

Kagame’s perceived popularity rests on Rwanda’s transformation after genocide and civil war into one of Africa’s most stable nations.

He has overseen strong economic growth, at an average of eight percent between 2001 and 2015, while also turning Rwanda into a technological hub and uprooting corruption.

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