Rwandan defense minister regrets recent killings

Rwandan Defense Minister Marcel Gatsinzi has described the recent killings of three jailed soldiers as regrettable.

General Gatsinz said here Monday that the incident was unprecedented and the army had launched investigations to establish the exact cause of the killings.

According to Chief of General Staff Gen. James Kabarebe, the deceased were shot by military police personnel as the inmates attempted to demonstrate.

However, the minister did not condemn the killers, and though he said he was still waiting for the findings of the inquiry by the army prosecution department.

"It is regrettable. In the first place, it was illegal for soldiers to demonstrate, leave alone their attempt to disarm the military police; even civilians are not allowed to strike without an authorization," he said.

"The military police personnel had been dispatched to the prison to restore peace after the inmates increasingly threatened to cause havoc," he added.

The deceased soldiers were found of writing letters and passing them under the doors threatening to stage a violent demonstration, the minister revealed.

The military prisoners also complained of harsh conditions inside the prison, a charge General Gatsinzi denied, saying that detained Rwandan soldiers enjoy the best treatment over civilian inmates and other incarcerated soldiers in the region.

He however refused to reveal the identities of the dead, only saying that some had been convicted of serious criminal cases.

"Some were on death row, and I believe it is these few with notorious criminal records that were inciting the rest," he said.

Source: Xinhua



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