Civilians accuse soldiers of human rights abuses during lockdown in Rwanda


Rwandan government has ordered the arrest of five soldiers accused of raping women and brutalising civilians as they enforced a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Residents of Nyarutarama, a slum area in the capital Kigali, have been telling the military prosecution office that the soldiers also beat up male residents and stole from them, a BBC reporter in Kigali says.

The Rwanda Defence Force has said it has started investigating the alleged incidences of torture, forced sex and extortion by its officers.

One of the victims told journalists that on March 26 an armed soldier forced his way into her home and beat up her husband, when she tried to intervene the soldier raped her.

The government imposed a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19, but residents have complained about brutality meted out by security officers.

Last week, two men were shot dead after they were caught walking outside.

The police said the men had tried to attack the officers.

Rwanda has confirmed 89 cases of COVID-19. (Source: BBC)