Top Rwandan businessman gunned down in Mozambique

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The leader of the Rwandan community in Mozambique has been shot dead in the capital, Maputo.

Officials say Louis Baziga was in his car at midday on Monday after leaving his home in Matola, a southern suburb of the city, when he was targeted by gunmen who intercepted his car.

Mr Baziga was a known supporter of the Rwandan government of President Paul Kagame and was a successful businessman running shops and a pharmacy in Maputo

Claude Nikobisanzwe, Rwanda’s ambassador to Mozambique, told BBC Great Lakes those who shot at Mr Baziga’s car fled before being recognised.

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“Mr Baziga was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. Police have started investigation; it is too soon to suppose why he was killed,” Mr Nikobisanzwe said.

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He had lived in Mozambique for decades following the Rwandan genocide – and as the official leader of the diaspora in Mozambique had close links to the embassy.

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Since 1994, southern African countries have been home to thousands of Rwandans – refugees and legal migrants.

More than 5,000 are believed to be living in Mozambique.

The region has also seen some exiled critics of Rwanda’s ruling party allegedly targeted for their opposition to the current government.

In October 2012, Théogène Turatsinze, a businessman in Mozambique and former Rwanda Development Bank head, was abducted. His dead body was later found floating on the sea in Maputo.

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Relations between South Africa and Rwanda became strained after Rwanda’s former intelligence chief, Colonel Patrick Karegeya, was murdered in a hotel suite in Johannesburg in 2014.

And in May, Camir Nkurunziza, a former Rwandan presidential guard, was shot dead in the South African city of Cape Town – police said he had been the target of a hijacking.

 

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