Rwanda a country of thousand hills and thousands disappearances

Text by Mbonyumutwa Ruhumuza

As we observe the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, we have a special thought for all the victims of enforced disappearance especially those who keep disappearing in Rwanda,which is the world leader in proportion to its population.

We have a special thought for Matuje Aphrodis who disappeared again on May 26/5/2022. After his last disappearance he had testified about how he was detained & tortured in safe houses during 2 years. His tortionnaires had told him that if he testified about his fate he won’t get another chance.

We have a special thought for Jean de Dieu Ndamira who had fled Rwanda for Kenya. In March 2018, despite his fear, he decided to go back to rwanda to renew his passport in order to fulfil his dream to go to US where he had received a green card. He was never seen since then.


We have a special thought for Nishimwe Richie Lionel a young lawyer who was refugee in Zambia and who even contributed to Jambonews.net. In 2017, he decided to go back to Rwanda and before disappearing testified about how he was cherished by NISS before refusing to make false testimonies they were asking him.

We have a special thought for Jean d’Amour Ngirinshuti who disappeared in August 2017 after campaigning for Diane Rwigara. His sister told his story.

We have a special thought for Leon Orsmond, a South African who was living in Rwanda for 10 years. In February 2017, he disappeared after making critical comments on Facebook.


We have a special thought for Guillaume Rutembesa a young Rwandan who had seek refuge in Kenya. He was very famous here on Twitter with his revelations about the Rwandan regime. He disappeared on November 6th 2020 after receiving death threats from RPF’s supporters.

We have a special thought for Illuminee Iragena, member of Victoire Ingabire’s party who disappeared on March 26 2017.Despite calls made by Amnesty, her fate remains unknown.

We have a special thought for many others members of Victoire Ingabire’s party such as Boniface Twagirimana missing since october 2018, Venant Madiba Abayisenga missing since June 2020, or Eugene Ndereyimana missing since July 2019.

We have a special thought for Cassien Ntamuhanga missing since May 2021 in Mozambique. He was tracked for years by Rwandan regime and his three brothers Ngabo Fikil Jimmy, Mutuyimana Joël and Ngabonziza Moses had also disapeard in Rwanda since 2016.

We have a special thought for Emile Gafirita who accepted to go in France to testify in the case of 1994’s plane terrorist attack that triggered the genocide. In November 2014, he disappeared in Kenya while waiting for his visa for France. He wanted to leave Kenya “ASAP” before “being silenced forever”.

Whe have a special thought for Antoine Niyireba who was falsely accused of the Murder of the model Alexia Mupende. He is missing since January 2019.


We have a special thought for Bahati Mussa. This talented poet with a big heart and even a bigger smile and who disappeared since February 2021.


We have a special thought for Onosphore Byampiliye who disappeared in June 1998, and his wife killed the day after. 24 years later, as many rwandans who went to these ordeals, their children keep raising questions about their fate and asking justice.

On this day We have a special thought for them especially for those still alive who are being detained and Tortured in safe houses.
Finally we have a particular for countless others who have been victims of the same fate especially those whose stories are yet to be told.

Mbonyumutwa Ruhumuza

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