UN Expresses Fear Over Safety Of Fmr. Kagame Bodyguard

Joel Mutabazi, a former bodyguard of President Kagame of Rwanda, who was abducted in Uganda and forcibly transferred to Rwandan custody, is facing a “grave risk” in his home country, the United Nations warned on Monday.

Joel Mutabazi is a former bodyguard for Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Joel Mutabazi is a former bodyguard for Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Despite an assurance from the Rwandan police that Joel Mutabazi was “fine,” the UN refugee agency issued a statement reiterating deep concerns about his safety.

Rwanda’s police confirmed that Mutabazi was in their custody, six days after he disappeared but they have refused to say where he is being held or whether he has access to a lawyer.

The UN’s statement on the matter came on the same day international human rights organization, Human Rights Watch condemned Uganda for forcibly returning Mutabazi to Rwanda.

The international human rights body said Monday it is “unconscionable” that Uganda turned over Joel Mutabazi, a former bodyguard for Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Human Rights Watch says Mutabazi had survived an attempted abduction in Uganda in August as well as an assassination attempt last year, both by unknown assailants. It said the Ugandan police had agreed to provide him with 24-hour security.

The Ugandan government has said the police officer who arrested Mutabazi and handed him over to Rwanda last week made a mistake.

Uganda granted Mutabazi refugee status in 2011. Rwanda accuses Mutabazi of engaging in terrorism and has issued an international arrest warrant for him.

According to the Interpol arrest warrant, Mutabazi is wanted for spear-heading a bank robbery on Banque De Kigali which is one of Rwanda’s biggest commercial banks.

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