Rwandan military says it detained a relative of a dissident general; denies he disappeared

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Rwanda's military on Monday denied claims that an officer related to a dissident general attacked in South Africa had disappeared, and said that he was being detained at a military facility.

Lt. Col. Rugigana Ngabo was arrested Friday on suspicion of engaging in activities related to insecurity, army spokesman Lt. Col. Jill Rutaremara said.

Rutaremara said that Ngabo's family members were sounding a false alarm to the outside world, saying he disappeared, in the hopes of raising pressure on the Rwandan military.

"Rugigana is currently being held by the military in one of the military prisons. The fact that the investigation authorities refused Rugigana's wife to meet him doesn't at all mean that he has disappeared," Rutaremara said, adding that he would soon go to court.

Ngabo is the brother of dissident former army chief Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, who was shot and wounded outside his South African home in July in a case that raised suspicions of a possible Rwandan assassination attempt. Rwanda has denied those allegations.

Rwanda's government has previously accused Nyamwasa of being behind a series of grenade attacks in Kigali over the last year.

Ngabo's wife told the BBC that she feared for her husband's life after not being able to find the facility where he was being held.

Rwanda has won international praise for its economic development in recent years, but critics say the government quashes all dissent and rules with an authoritarian approach.

More than 500,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the country's 1994 genocide. The government says it is governing in a way that will allow the country to move past and not repeat ethnic warfare.

(This version Corrects gender of spokesman.)