EDITORIAL: Dear social media, the truth will set you free

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s “accidental” letter to President Paul Kagame has been causing quite a ruckus on social media.

Some of the comments are on the borderline of the absurd and one wonders whether the writers were ignorant of what was happening, were exercising their blind patriotic duty to defend their side tooth and nail or whether they were ignoring facts on purpose.

But instead of going on the defensive, flailing arms up, right and centre playing the victim, judge and arsonist, they should at least try to find out the veracity of Rwanda’s accusations:

Have Rwandans been abducted, tortured, denied consular visits and later dumped at the border with no charges?

Why has Uganda been giving passports to Rwandan dissidents on a regular basis? In 2005 it furnished several senior members of the FDLR militia with travel documents. They included its president, Ignace Mutsindashyaka, the former head of Habyarimana’s Republican Guard, Major Protais Mpiranya, Major Wallace Nsengiyumva and many others.

Incidentally, the US government has issued a five million dollar reward for the capture of Mpiranya. Luckily, none of the Ugandan officials knew about it otherwise it would have turned around one family’s financial fortunes.

Does anyone remember the famous letter President Museveni wrote to British Secretary of State for International Development, Claire Short in 2001?

“You remember, just before you came, I went to Rwanda and met Mr Kagame at the border, on the Rwanda side. In that meeting, we agreed that the dissidents of the two countries entering either country should not only not be supported by the host government, but they should also not be allowed to carry out any hostile activities against their home country,” Museveni wrote.

The current standoff between both countries can only be resolved if each side honoured its side of the bargain and not shifting goal posts at every whim. Yes, the truth hurts sometimes.



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