After intense pressure, Burundi has finally given up the body of deceased ex-Rwanda minister and diplomat Jacques Bihozagara who it assassinated, at least according to readily available details.
The body arrived at the Kigali International airport around 6PM Kigali time, aboard national carrier RwandAir.
On scene to receive the body were painfully grieving family members. Amid sobs, the wife of the deceased diplomat struggled to hold back tears.
The daughter Benita Isaro was more affected by the ordeal.
“This is very cruel,” she said as she held back emotions. “It has been four months we had no idea how all this was going to end,” she said.
“I beg the government of Rwanda to conduct an autopsy of my father’s body to assertion the cause of his death,” said Isaro.
Earlier, KT Press reported exclusively how officials from the office of Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza tried to force the Bihozagara’s Canadian son-in-law, Robert Viviand, to sign a document saying he had died of natural causes.
Viviand refused and found his way into Rwanda after facing death threats.
The family told KT Press they have gone through a painful process to have the body repatriated to Kigali.
The Rwanda embassy in Bujumbura took up the matter – writing to the government of Burundi requesting his body to be handed over.
It has taken over a week for his body to be repatriated.
“We refused blackmail that’s why we let the embassy handle the matter,” said family member Eugene Murigande.
“This is a crime committed against a Rwandan, so the government of Rwanda has the obligation to find the truth,” he added
He continued: “It is also a crime against humanity, reason for which the international community has to take up the issue.”
The family is demanding for two things: an autopsy to be conducted by the government of Rwanda and an international investigation.
The government of Rwanda is yet to respond to the demands of the family, but it had ealier demanded Burundian authorities to clarify this sudden death, “which raises many questions”.
Burundi has remained silent on the matter.