Rwanda: 2,000 prisoners freed including opposition figure Victoire Ingabire

President Paul Kagame has yesterday ordered the release of 2000 prisoners, including the main opposition party leader Victoire Ingabire.

Victoire Ingabire leader of the FDU-Inkingi party, who has been imprisoned for 15-years, for being a threat to the country’s security and “belittling” the 1994 genocide has been a leading critic of President Paul Kagame.

Leaving the Nyarugenge Prison, Mageragere, dressed in the colours of her party with a green jacket, Nyarugenge Prison, Mageragere, Ms. Ingabire, who had earlier called her conviction politically motivated, thanked President Kagame for her release and said she hoped her freedom would herald the opening of “political space” in Rwanda.

Ms. Ingabire returned to Rwanda 2010 from the Netherlands, where she was living in exile to contest in presidential elections against President Paul Kagame. She was immediately arrested and barred from contesting and later jailed.

Victoire Ingabire is from the minority Hutu ethnic group, accused of being behind the infamous 1994 Rwanda genocide, which resulted in the slaughtering of 800,000 mostly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The opposition leader had questioned why a Rwanda’s official memorial to the 1994 genocide excluded the Hutus.

President Paul Kagame has been praised by many as a rare visionary leader, who has dedicatedly turned his once battered country Rwanda into a success story, thereby encouraging many foreign investors to Rwanda and positively changing the lives of his subjects. Yet, others criticise Mr. Kagame as being insensitive to any alternative political views.

Mr. Kagame won last year Presidential elections with 98.8%, although some observers questioned the fairness of the results.

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