Arusha,30 May 2008(FH)-One of renowned Journalist of Hirondelle News Agency, Augustin Twagirayezu,47, suddenly died Friday as he was heading to his office.

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The Hirondelle Agency exclusively covers the judicial proceedings of the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), trying key architects of the 1994 genocide.

The deceased was in a taxi when suddenly he felt uncomfortable and was dashed to the Mount Meru Hospital, where moments later he collapsed and died.

Mr Twagirayezu has exclusively covered the tribunal for over ten years, and was one of the most accomplished journalist with a mastery in four languages-Kinyarwanda, English, French and Kiswahili.

He was soft spoken and minutely looked at all details of a story. "He was a dedicated and disciplined person. He was also a talented person with languages," said his colleague Nicodemus Ikonko, who has known the deceased for the last eight years.

He fled Rwanda genocide in 1994 following intensive killings sparked by the downing of the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana near the capital, Kigali by unknown assailants.

Kennedy Ndahiro, a consultant with Rwandan pro-government newspaper New Times and who worked with the deceased in Arusha was shocked of the sudden death and said on phone from Kigali:" We have lost one of the best editors in our region. He was well informed and extremely intelligent person...he was encyclopedia of ICTR"

Mr Twagirayezu's had his last report published Friday over the VOA, apart from other media outlets, over the ICTR Chamber's decision to quash prosecutor's motion to transfer genocide accused Yusuf Munyakazi to Rwanda to stand a trial. He also worked on two stories the previous night before his death, ready to be transmitted before fate took him away in the early hours of Friday morning.

His journalistic career spunned over 23 years. He started as a reporter in 1985 with Rwanda Information Authority (ORINFOR) and nine years later rose to the position of Chief Editor of weekly "La Releve''.

He moved in mid 1990's to Radio Agatashya as Assistant Editor and joined Hirondelle Agency in 1997 until the cruel hands of death robbed the journalistic fraternity of one of its most respected servants.

The deceased is survived by a widow and 15-yaer-old daughter.


© Hirondelle News Agency