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Remembering reggae legend Lucky Dube (Photos)

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Wave of arrests rock Rwanda

By AFP | 2017-09-08 11:29:08.0

Several leaders from two Rwandan parties not recognised by authorities have been arrested, police and opposition officials said yesterday.

Since President Paul Kagame's re-election on August 4 with 99% of the vote, police in Rwanda have targeted a string of political opponents for questioning or arrest.

Kagame and his rebel army ended the 1994 genocide and he is credited with creating a peaceful country since then, but is also widely criticised for suppressing basic freedoms.

Diane Shima Rwigara, who was blocked from challenging Kagame in the August election, was arrested by police in recent days along with some family members.

A statement from the FDU-Inkingi party, whose leader Victoire Ingabire was jailed in 2013 on charges of genocide and terrorism, said three senior party officials had been arrested on Wednesday along with a party employee and a security guard.

Party spokesman Justin Bahunga issued a statement from exile in Britain condemning the arrests as "intimidation". "This wave of arrest comes after that of the Diane Rwigara family and seeks to completely silence the dissenting voices of the democratic opposition in Rwanda."

The PDP-Imanzi party also announced the arrest in Kigali of its vice-president, Jean-Marie Vianney Kayumba.

Police said on Wednesday they were "holding seven individuals linked to armed groups operating in a neighbouring country".

Rwanda had accused opponents of links to a rebel group exiled in DRC since 1994, including some of those responsible for the genocide.