JMV Ndagijimana: Foreign Affair Minister who disappeared in New York with $187,000 in October 1994

Rwanda’s Foreign Affair Minister disappeared in New York along with $187,000 in cash he had carried to finance the country’s embassy in Washington and United Nations mission.

The Foreign Affair Minister, Vianney Jean-Marie Ndagijimana, accompanied Rwanda’s new President to New York on Oct. 1995 to attend the General Assembly session. Three days later, when the President summoned Rwandan diplomats for a meeting, the Foreign Affair Minister did not appear, and he has not been seen since.

It is noted that Mr. Ndagijimana, who had not yet been sworn into office, had absconded with the only money the country has shortly after genocide in New York.

The statement from Prime minister’s office pointedly that the Foreign Affair Minister had been given the “privilege” of joining the delegation to the United States and entrusted with what the Government called only “a very substantial sum of money” because the authorities in Kigali had vouched for his honesty.

Mr. Ndagijimana is a member of the Movement for a Democratic Rwanda (MDR), a moderate Hutu party to which the Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu also belonged. He has not been regarded as a political enemy who was brought into the fold only for the purpose of national reconciliation.

Diplomats and United Nations officials are confused by the case but were not also surprised that Mr. Jean Marie Vianney Ndagijimana who is known to be good in embezzling public funds in his previous carries, may have been carrying a large sum of money in cash, that it is like saving meat in dog cage.

Faustin Twagiramungu, the then Prime Minister, and Jean Marie Vianney Ndagimana

Mr. Ndagijimana’s family lives in Paris, where he had been previously been the Ambassador to France and it seems that he exiled to France were he carried out his negative activities against the Government of Rwanda. A friend to his brother-in-law, who was also a diplomat in the Rwandan Embassy in Washington, told the New York times that Jean Marie Vianney Ndagijimana did not like to work with the Tutsi Government, he only accepted the appointment to find a way to pickpocket a potential sum of money that will help him to escape the country.

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