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At the start of March 2019, Anselme Mutuyimana, the spokesperson of the United Democratic Forces of Rwanda (FDU-Inkingi), an opposition coalition, was found dead in Gishwati National Forest. At 30 years old, his death is tragic, yet unsurprising.

Mutuyimana’s death comes just three months after the acquittal of Diane Rwigara—the 2017 would-be presidential candidate and outspoken critic of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame—and her mother, Adeline, of what the three-judge Kigali High Court bench called the “baseless” charges of inciting insurrection and forging endorsement signatures. Though their family’s substantial assets were auctioned off before they were granted bail in October, the drop of the Prosecutor General’s appeal in January seemed to signal to the world that Rwanda was finally ready to accept not only opposition but true gender parity in politics.

Though in January, it appeared as if she would be the last, Rwigara was certainly not the first opposition figure to face persecution during President Kagame’s tenure. Seven years earlier, another female presidential candidate and the leader of FDU-Inkingi, Victoire Ingabire, was sentenced to a 15-year…

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