Why dialogue between Museveni and RNC is needed

Museveni’s support has been enormous. He has provided the RNC a recruitment base, with its recruiters given free rein to mobilize support across Uganda

There is substantial evidence showing that the Uganda-RNC agenda to destabilise Rwanda is failing miserably. Barely a year ago, few could have predicted an embarrassing outcome from which that agenda's chief architect Kayumba – would be begging for dialogue.

It is a sharp turn in strategy, that is apparent from the headline in Uganda’s Daily Monitor of June 20, 2019: “Rwanda opposition in exile asks Kagame for dialogue!”

Geopolitical analysts must ask the question, what exactly prompted this change and what does the future portend for the unholy alliance between RNC and Museveni? Has Museveni suddenly discovered that partnering with a terrorist organisation is bad politics? The answer is clearly, no.

The apparent change in strategy is more explainable by the bad fortune that has befallen the partnership. Museveni has tried everything he could, using proxies to destabilise Rwanda, but the results keep disappointing him; it appears he now has to ask himself whether his support to Rwandan armed dissident groups doesn’t represent sunk costs from which he ought to cut himself loose.

Museveni’s support has been enormous. He has provided the RNC a recruitment base, with its recruiters given free rein to mobilize support across Uganda. They have the freedom to intimidate Rwandans into joining the terrorist organisation; they are free to arrest and torture Rwandans who refuse to either join or make financial contributions to it.

Further, Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) are doing all they can to implement his instructions. They have facilitated visits of senior RNC officials who travel to Uganda frequently to monitor “progress” achieved by their operatives on the ground. Just last September 2018, Benjamin Rutabana, the RNC’s head of capacity development, was able to crisscross recruitment bases in Wakiso, Mubende, Kiboga, and Nyakivara, with ISO providing him the kind of protection that even Uganda dignitaries have failed to secure for themselves.

Tribert Rujugiro, the RNC main financier, has partnered with Museveni's younger brother Salim Saleh to set up business in Uganda, with the proceeds going towards financing RNC activities. Whenever Rujugiro lands at Entebbe Airport, he finds President Museveni's Special Force Command (SFC), the presidential guard, at the airport tarmac to pick him up and deliver him to his meetings with Museveni, as Uganda’s president has himself admitted to these meetings in his letter to President Kagame last March.

Frank Ntwali, who resides in South Africa and frequents Kampala on Kayumba’s errands, enjoys similar VIP treatment. Top officials of the FDLR –LaForge Bazeye and Lt Col Theophile Abega– who were captured by DRC security at the Bunagana border on their way back from a coordination meeting in Kampala last year (December 13-14) confirmed that their visit had been at the invitation of Uganda’s Minister of State for Regional Affairs, Philomen Mateke, and that Frank Ntwari represented the RNC at the meeting.

In other words, the sirens of rushing dignitaries between Entebbe and Kampala that are ever eager to bump ordinary people off the roads aren’t always carrying Uganda’s dignitaries. Eugene Gasana and Charlotte Mukankusi were beneficiaries of this treatment during their meeting with Museveni in March 2019 (which also President Museveni admitted to in the same letter to President Kagame) when they travelled on Ugandan passports, to request for more support for the terror outfit, to which, according to reliable sources, Museveni responded “We are together."

Indeed they are – for now. However, more misfortune would continue to pile up. Less than two months later, in May 2019, the commander and spokesman of the FLN, the armed wing of Paul Rusesabagina’s MRCD, was arrested and confessed to having met with Uganda’s top security officials, and that at the moment of his capture a meeting between him and Brig Abel Kandiho, chief of Uganda's CMI - who had agreed to provide support to his rebellion - was pending.

The MRCD is part of the P5, an RNC-led rebel coalition whose fighters are based in the DRC, and whose overall commander is Kayumba Nyamwasa, according to the 31 December 2018 United Nations Group of Experts Report on the Congo, which also confirmed the above mentioned existence of an extensive rebel recruitment network, including “logistical” support from Burundi.

“We are together” has not been enough, According to reliable sources, militarily, the number of casualties on the side of the multitude of RNC, Kayumba's terrorists on Congolese territory has been mounting, “many have been killed and dozens captured,” adding, “Doubters will soon be provided with ample evidence!”

In other words, the Kaguta-RNC scheme is failing miserably, despite the enormous support the former has provided the latter. The writing is now on the wall.

Thus some face-saving gimmick is needed to help bail Museveni out of his self-inflicted embarrassment, which explains Museveni’s errand to The Daily Monitor to float the idea that his allied terrorist group should engage in dialogue with the Rwandan government.

But this begs the question: Wouldn't it be much better for Museveni  and leaders of rebels against the Rwandan goverment to undertake dialogue on how they should pull their chestnuts out of the situation in which they now find themselves?



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