Sunday, January 19, 2014

US on the Murder of Patrick Karegeya in South Africa

Jen Psaki, Spokesperson, US State Dept.
AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards
By Jen Psaki
Spokesperson

US State Dept.
Washington, DC
January 16, 2014

RWANDA
Murder of Patrick Karegeya in South Africa
Troubled by Murders of Prominent Rwandan Exiles
Sanctions / M23
 
QUESTION: Jen, can I move to Rwanda, please?

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: I wanted to ask about the murder of the Rwandan former spy chief. His name is Patrick Karegeya. I’m not exactly sure how you pronounce his name.

MS. PSAKI: I think that’s right.

QUESTION: He was found dead in his hotel room in Johannesburg on New Year’s Day. Are you aware of the case?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Do you have any more information? And what is the U.S. comment on it?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we condemn – we are aware of the case. We condemn the murder of former Rwandan Government official Colonel Patrick Karegeya in South Africa, where he lived in exile. We welcome the South African Government’s prompt and thorough investigation into his death and await the outcome of that investigation. We also welcome their statement pledging – from January 9th, so just last week – to leave no stone unturned in bringing to justice those involved in this criminal act.

And let me also say we are troubled by the succession of what appear to be politically motivated murders of prominent Rwandan exiles. President Kagame’s recent statements about “consequences” for those who betray Rwanda are of deep concern to us.

QUESTION: Are you in touch with the Rwandan authorities about this? Have you spoken to them directly about your concerns?

MS. PSAKI: Let me check on that. I know, obviously, we regularly voice our concerns, but let me see if there is anything specific on how we’ve done that.

QUESTION: And where are you with the sanctions that were put in place over the M23 children soldier recruits issue?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything new to report to you on any changes to that.

QUESTION: They’re still – they remain in place, do they?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. PSAKI: Yeah. But I can check with our team and see if anything has changed.

QUESTION: How would you review them? How would you go about reviewing whether to lift them or not?

MS. PSAKI: Well, there’s always an internal review when we put sanctions in place or when we take them back, and there’s a range of factors, depending on the country. Typically, we don’t outline those publicly, but I can see if there’s anything specific to update you all on on that piece.

QUESTION: Thank you.

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