Rwandan journalist Ntamuhanga Cassien has reportedly gone missing in Mozambique after allegedly being abducted by eight people claiming to be Mozambican police officers accompanied by a man who was supposedly a Rwandan official.
Cassien was allegedly kidnapped on 23 May 2021 on the island of Inhaca on the Bay of Maputo.
Rwandan refugees in Mozambique have petitioned the Public Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the disappearance of the missing journalist.
Cassien is said to have escaped from prison in Rwanda in 2017, two years after being sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for various crimes.
Prior to that, Cassien worked as a journalist and director of Christian radio, Amazing Grace, in Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. He was now working as a trader in Mozambique.
His arrest, at the time, was seen as persecution of political opponents by the Rwandan government. Following his escape, the journalist moved to Mozambique, where he lived as a refugee.
Concerns have been raised that Cassien’s disappearance came after a meeting between Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi and Paul Kagame, the Rwandan President.
Speculation is rife that the meeting might have encouraged the Mozambican government to extradite Rwandan refugees in exchange for Rwanda’s support in fighting terrorism in Cabo Delgado province.
The Association of Rwandan Refugees in Mozambique has since lodged a complaint with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in Maputo, over Cassien’s disappearance.